CAMBEWARRA’S Jamie Priestley is jumping for joy over her latest showjumping triumph.
Priestley competed at the Royal Canberra Show from February 22 to 24 and won two out of her three classes as well as claiming the champion junior rider.
Horse leading horse, Optimus, picked up the champion jumper.
This was an excellent result for the 15 year-old, who has only ridden Optimus for six months.
“He is not the easiest horse, but we are working each other out,” she laughed.
These results put her in good stead for the upcoming Sydney Royal Easter Show, and later this year, the Australian Showjumping Championships.
“It was the biggest show I have had all year, and is really important in the lead-up to the Sydney Royal,” she said.
Priestley competed in three junior events on three different horses in each event.
In her first class on Thursday, February 21, she finished first riding Optimus and third riding Classic Act.
On Friday she picked up another first on Optimus and a fourth on Classic Act.
On the Saturday’s grand prix event she picked up a fourth riding Classic Act.
“It was a very exciting few days. Before then I had never placed in showjumping at the royal show,” said Priestley.
“I got a bit nervous on the last day, because I knew that I had to keep my results high to win the junior award.
“But I try not to think about it. If you feel nervous, then you cannot ride the best you can.”
It was a family affair at the Royal Canberra, with Priestley’s father, Kel, placing third in the open grand prix on Class Act and picking up another fourth place ribbon.
Her mother and grandfather were also there to provide support.
It has been a big show season for Jamie Priestley, who swept the field at the local shows and won both her junior classes at the Gundagai Show.
The Nowra Anglican College student holds an Illawarra Academy of Sport scholarship for equestrian and was the first person to receive a scholarship in the sport.
“I would really like to thank the academy for its support as it has really helped me out,” she said.
Priestley also found out in January that she was selected in the NSW junior showjumping squad as one of the state’s best junior riders.
But most exciting for her was featuring in Australian equestrian magazine, Go Jump Magazine, as the March edition’s Young Gun of Showjumping.
Priestley hopes she can continue her success at the Sydney Royal Easter Show, which starts on March 21.
“I will just keep doing what I am doing. I am not sure how I will go at Sydney, but I will just hope that I can perform as well as I did in Canberra, and keep working hard,” she said.