Maranoa riders return from states with necks full of ribbons
Horse riding: Eleven riders from all over the Maranoa galloped into state championships during the school holidays, showing the fierce competition from all over the state that they were up for the challenge.
The first week saw Lucy Stanford, 16, and her horse Governor Royal travel to Rockhampton for the Jumping Equitation and Showjumping State Championships.
Her hard work and determination throughout the year paid off and she came out victorious as the PCQ 1m State Champion.
In the second week, riders travelled to Millmerran for the State Formal Gymkhana, Sporting Gymkhana, Stockmans Challenge, Campdraft and Mounted Games Championships.
Roma Pony Club's youngest riders Sophie Sydney, 8, on pony Yorkie and Ryan Anderson, 10, on seasoned mount Magnum competed in their first state events.
Sophie finished second in the Formal Gymkhana and 10th overall in the Stockmans Challenge, while Ryan placed fifth in the Formal Gymkhana and seventh in the Stockmans Challenge.
Jack Cosh, 9, from Injune Pony Club, was another one of the talented young riders who made the trek to his first state championship on Joey and Swirl, where he placed sixth in the Formal Gymkhana and ninth overall in the Sporting Gymkhana.
Not to be outdone by the youngest members of our team, the other five riders also rode well, with some stellar competition results.
Zoe May, 13, of Maranoa Pony Club, competed on her horse Spin for the week and finished sixth in the Formal Gymkhana, while Maya Jackson, 14, from Roma Pony Club, and Miss Kia finished eighth in the Sporting Gymkhana and Campdraft and fourth overall in the Stockmans Challenge.
Charly Anderson, 15, representing Roma Pony Club, rode Tryon Clancy to finish as reserve champion for the Formal Gymkhana, 10th overall in the Sporting Gymkhana, champion for the Stockmans Challenge and pipped by a point to finish reserve champion in the Campdraft.
A mammoth effort from Charly and TC also had them awarded with the Percy Bischop Trophy for the highest point horse and rider combination over the four days of competition.
Ciara Jackson on Black Douglas and Georgia Anderson on Fiddler, both 16, represented Roma Pony Club, with Ciara finishing ninth overall in the Stockmans Challenge, while Georgia placed fourth in the Formal Gymkhana.
The two older competitors also made their presence known at Millmerran, finishing with some great overall placings.
Taylah Matthews, of Roma Pony Club, rode successfully, finishing fifth overall in the Stockmans Challenge and sixth overall in the Campdraft on Jeebz.
Oldest competitor Peter Green represented Roma Pony Club at his last State Championship at that level, finishing on a high with a champion in the Sporting Gymkhana, reserve champion for the Stockmans Challenge, reserve champion in the Campdraft and third alongside Taylah Matthews and three other competitors in a composite team for Mounted Games.
Zone 20 also won the highest points Zone Team on Campdraft and Challenge day, with Charly, Peter, Maya and Taylah making up the winning score each day.
"It was a very busy fortnight of holidays with the two championships but Zone 20 could not be prouder of all the kids that represented us at both championships,” Taylah said.
"We are very proud of how our youngest riders handled the big event, all coming away with a neck full of ribbons at the end of the week. They represented their clubs well, displayed great sportsmanship and held their own against very strong competition.”