Emma Gillies is making good in her first season on hacks.
The 15-year-old from Oamaru has had a brilliant season and topped it off at the Glistening Waters ESNZ Series Final Show by winning the Mainland Coachwork Junior Rider Series.
She teamed up with Chic Xtreme in October last year and after a great start, the series became a goal and one she ticked off with six points to spare ahead of Kimberley Carrington (Takapau), with Mikayla Trott (Auckland) in third place.
It was Kimberley and Double J Barmaid who came out on top in the Good Farmers NZ-sponsored grand final going double clear in 39.13 seconds, with Emma also all clean in 39.91 seconds.
Emma figures Fidget – as the horse is known at home – is very well named. “She really lives up to that,” she says. “She is very fidgety and spunky . . . and loves her food. She just ate the announcer’s papers! Standing still is not her thing.”
Coming into the grand final Emma figured as long as she placed she would hold on to the series crown. “I don’t get nervous – there’s just no point. I just had to give it a try and see what comes out of it.”
She was rapt with the series win but tipped her hat to the mare. “She really deserves this because she tries so hard.”
Emma says Fidget is quite pony-like in her manner, so it wasn’t a hard transition and the horse had been well prepared in her seven-year-old year by Annabel and Charlotte Francis.
Emma and her family have been campaigning in the North Island for five weeks in the lead up to the series final show, and doing very well, thank you! “I don’t get sick of being with horses all of the time so I have enjoyed it lots,” she says.
She was hugely appreciative of her mum Phillipa and trainer Jeff McVean who had given her plenty of confidence. It helped too that he knew Chic Xtreme well.
Emma is hoping to move to Young Rider classes next season and a few mini prix. “We will just see how things go.”
While this is the first showjumping series Emma has won, she was very successful in show hunter. “I miss show hunter sometimes,” she says. “I did it for a very long time and had some really good ponies.”
Mainland Junior Rider Series Grand Final (sponsored by Good Farmers NZ): Kimberley Carrington (Takapau) Double J Barmaid 1, Emma Gillies (Oamaru) Chic Xtreme 2, Tara Gower (Ohura) Double J Image 3, Madison Jackson (Karaka) Henton Excalibur 4, Hollie Falloon (Masterton) Just Jessie 5, Amara Green (Woodhill) Cluedo Xtreme 6.
Mainland Junior Rider Series: Emma Gillies (Oamaru) 103 points 1, Kimberley Carrington (Takapau) 97 points 2, Mikayla Trott (Auckland) 72 3, Tara Gower (Ohura) 67 4, Meg Bisset (Blenheim) 66 5, Rose Windross (Auckland) 65 6.
For full results, head to www.evoevents.co.nz
The Jumping Team – 29 April 2022