BERRY’S Milly Clarke has overcome glandular fever to ride two of her thoroughbred horses to new heights at the recent Australian Showjumping Championships.
Clarke was the overall winner on Connollys Eclipse in the Ruby Series, and finished 16th in her young riders division on Diamond B Jimmychoo, which included a fourth place as a part of the NSW team.
It was an unbelievable result for Clarke, who had suffered from glandular fever the past three months.
“My horses weren’t as fit as I would have liked because I definitely haven’t been well. I wasn’t even sure if I could go to this show,” Clarke admitted.
“I had been trying to ride them as much as possible but I have had no energy. I had been in bed for weeks so there was no way I thought I would get the results I did.”
The 19-year-old who rides in the young rider division took Diamond B Jimmychoo and her other thoroughbred horse, Connollys Eclipse, to compete at the championships held in Werribee from September 19 to 22.
This was not the first time Clarke has participated at the championships after she competed for NSW in the junior section in 2012.
Clarke applied for the Australian and NSW team and was eventually selected on the NSW team after she wowed the judges on the first day of competition.
As well as the other Australian states, NSW was also up against the Australian and New Zealand teams.
In the individual class, Clarke had a clear first round to qualify for the final. She then held her position to finish 16th in the country.
Clarke admitted to being extremely nervous for the teams event.
“It was ridiculous how nervous I got,” she said.
“It is one thing competing for yourself, but a team situation is so different,” she said.
Clarke was the only NSW rider to ride clear on her second round and posted the best score.
But this was not enough to carry her team through, with Australia taking out the top spot, followed by Queensland.
NSW ended up coming equal third with Western Australia, but because it went down to times, they were bumped down to fourth place.
“But we beat New Zealand so that’s good,” Clarke laughed.
Competing on the main ring, the riders completed a specially designed Frederic Cottier course.
French double Olympian Cotter is renowned for his long and intricate courses, and he did not disappoint at the Australian championships.
“It was a huge course. I would be halfway through and think we were finished. I was a really big effort from all of the horses because it was such a big course,” Clarke said.