Margaret River Senior High School student Jessica Ridley is on her way to Queensland this week, where she will compete in the 2017 Equestrian Australia Australian Interschool Championships being held in the last week of September.
The Year 8 student will represent her school and her State at the championships in Toowoomba, and according to mum Corien Ridley, Jessica is looking forward to connecting with other students from around the country involved in the program.
“The primary objective of Equestrian Australia is the development of horse sports from the participation level to the high performance level,” Ms Ridley said.
“Interschool comprises a competition and educational pathway for young athletes to participate in equestrian sport during their primary and secondary school years.
“It is the largest equestrian grassroots program delivered nationally in Australia.”
Jessica will compete in the Dressage and Show Hunter categories, and will be joined by a 35-strong WA competition group.
“Jessica was invited to be on the team after successfully competing at the WA State Championships held in Perth in the April school holidays,” Ms Ridley said.
The young rider enjoyed great results at the State competition with her pony, Diamond Dream Flying Spirit, but will be meeting a new ‘pool pony’ in Queensland, the journey too far for her own horse.
Pool horses are offered by members of Equestrian Queensland for use during the competition, and are matched according to riders’ capabilities.
“Jessica is excited about meeting her pool pony, Tajara Park True Spirit, who is a local horse based in Toowoomba and the challenges of getting to know a new horse and striking up a partnership with him.”
“She’s also looking forward to meeting the other kids who have the same enjoyment in competing at the top level of competition for school riders.”