Yass High School entered a team to compete at the recent ACT Interschools State Championships, which were held at the Bungendore Showground from Friday November 2 to Sunday November 4.
The team had some outstanding results across all available equestrian events, including showjumping, dressage, show riding and sporting.
It consisted of Naomi Kelly (Year 11), Darcie O'Sullivan (Year 9), Keely Owen (Year 8), Kelaya Shand (Year 7) and Lucy O'Sullivan (Year 7).
Weather conditions were less than ideal on the first day of the competition, with gale-force winds blowing over the show jumps.
Many riders needed helpers to hold up the jumps during their rounds.
Unfortunately, the committee had to make the hard decision to cancel the one metre and 1.10 metre competitions due to the dangerous weather.
The weather was not the only challenge overcome during the weekend, as Lucy was chased by a brown snake while warming up for dressage and Darcie suffered an unlucky fall in the showjumping.
After all this the teams' best results over the three days included:
- Lucy O'Sullivan (Year 7) and "Jackson" - Champion Show Hunter, Runner Up Individual Top Point Score as well as places in show jumping (80cm and 90cm) and dressage.
- Kelaya Shand (Year 7) and "Jasper" - Show jumping - First Open Six Bar, and places in the 80cm AM7 and 60cm Accumulator
- Keely Owen (Year 8) and "Blossom and Marty" - Overall Sporting Champion Year 8, Overall Individual Top Point Score, First Runner Up Show Riding Year 8.
- Darcie O'Sullivan (Year 9) and "Belle" - After an unlucky fall in the show jumping, she had many wins and placings in the show riding. Reserve Champion Show Rider Year 9 and 2nd Runner Up Champion Pleasure Hack Year 9.
- Naomi Kelly (Year 11) and "Pistol" - Fourth Show jumping AM7 1.10m.
Darcie and Lucy’s mother, Glynese Evans, said that all of the girls were incredibly supportive of one another throughout the event.
“The [Murrumbateman and Yass] pony clubs have really instilled a good sense of sportsmanship,” Evans said.
“The kids aren’t walking around boasting, it was really a good team effort. They all just support each other, and even when things went wrong with other teams, they still support other teams.
“It’s just really good to see that with kids that age. You do hear so much about nasty parents on the sideline, but you just didn’t see any of it [at the event].
“That sportsmanship shone through with all of them.”
This support was a result of the cohesiveness which the girls showed in Bungendore. This was particularly pleasing to see, Evans said, due to the fact that the girls’ varied ages mean that they had not ridden together much beforehand.
“It all sort of came together and went really well,” she said.