Top class jumping classic

Zoe Boulton, riding Valchetta.

Zoe Boulton, riding Valchetta.

THERE will be thrills and spills galore when three of Gippsland’s best young riders pit their skills against some of the countries most accomplished showjumpers to compete in the Elms Show Jumping Grand Prix at the Sale Showgrounds on Sunday.

Twenty-four-year-old Zoe Boulton, along with Teagan Chester and Melissa Backman, both 22, will ride in the $15,000 event for the first time.

With a course set at 1.50 metres and designed by Olympian Gavin Chester, the three young guns will compete against riders from across Australia including Atlanta Olympian Russell Johnson, leading Queensland rider Billy Raymont and local superstars Ally and Andrew Lamb.

Teagan said she was excited, but really nervous, for the class.

“It will be the biggest track I have jumped on Vimoore and I know it will be tough,” she said.

“I have ridden at the Elms Show Jumping Classic since I could walk and would love to win and keep the title in Gippsland.”

Boulton will ride Valchetta, a horse she has produced herself and the class will be a big step up for the mare.

“I hope it all goes well. I am excited to compete in my first grand prix at Sale but will just have to wait and see, anything could happen,” Boulton said.

Probably the most experienced partnership, Backman will ride locally bred Blackall Park Coloe. This pair have competed in world cup qualifiers and other grand prix events and will definitely be one to watch.

With free entry to the grounds the public will be treated to an afternoon of great entertainment which starts with a six bar event where horses jump higher and higher until a rail or rider falls.

This is an event which encourages the public to be involved and cheer for their favourite competitor.

The crowd will be invited to sit in the shade of the elm trees at the showgrounds to enjoy the Elms Grand Prix, and with plenty of food and drink also on offer, the event promises to be a good family outing.

Gippsland Senior
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