VICTORY SPOILS: Winners’ grins are on the faces of the victorious Zone 21 Junior A team, Nikki Burraston, Leesa Eastwell, Emily Bradfield and Grace McLauchlan after winning in the Mounted Games competition.
VICTORY SPOILS: Winners’ grins are on the faces of the victorious Zone 21 Junior A team, Nikki Burraston, Leesa Eastwell, Emily Bradfield and Grace McLauchlan after winning in the Mounted Games competition. Contributed

Riders seize victory

MEMBERS of the Warwick Pony Club have returned home after a victorious outing at the Queensland Pony Club State Championships in Taroom.

Riders compete in their zones for state competitions, with Warwick included in Zone 21 alongside Killarney, Stanthorpe, Cunningham, Inglewood and Texas.

The four-day event included campdrafting, a formal gymkhana, sporting and mounted games, with hundreds of competitors from across the state taking part.

In the Mounted Games Competition, Zone 21 fielded three teams of junior competitors who are under the age of 17 and one senior team, ranging in age from 17-26.

The competition was very close all day with 29 teams competing in the junior section and 11 in the senior section.

As the teams battled it out in heats of six teams, any mistakes made added to the overall pressure.

At the end of eight games, two teams were in equal first place, which meant a tie break event.

The Zone 21 Junior A team held their nerve and came home winners.

"The team, made up of Leesa Eastwell, Emily Bradfield, Grace McLauchlan and Nikki Burraston have been practising hard for the last few months and it was great to see their persistence pay off," a pony club spokeswoman said.

Nikki and Grace were both previously selected in the Queensland State Mounted Games Team with Emily as a reserve.

Both girls head off to Perth to the national competition, which will be held at the Perth Royal Show next weekend.

The Junior B team, comprising Georgia Bellingham, Angela Krahe, Grace Brennan, Brianna Wilson and Latisha Murphy, also performed strongly and finished in fourth overall.

The Zone 21 Junior C team made up of Emily Banks, Leila Wilson, Kaden Beckett and Eliza Johnstone, who were competing at their first State event, worked together well, finishing the event in 16th place overall.

The senior team had some memorable runs winning a second in the Postman's Chase and a third in the Tyre Race to finish the competition in overall sixth.

To top off a great event, Miss Comet, a horse owned and prepared by Wendy Morrish and ridden by Grace Brennan, was named Best Presented Horse at the Mounted Games Championships.



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