A clear jumping round has landed Chloe Jong and her beloved horse a first placing during the annual Interschool horse championships in Werribee, Victoria this month.
The Faith College year 12 student spent five days competing in the coveted Marcus Oldham Australia Interschool Championships.
And mother Sharyn says she couldn’t be any prouder of her 17-year-old daughter.
“At the beginning of the year, school children around Australia enter into the Interschool competition in each state with the aim for a spot in a team that will represent their state,” she explained.
“My daughter entered herself and her horse Copper Boy, an off the track Thoroughbred, into EvA95 and EvA105 for eventing, with both of these classes sending four representatives each for SA.
“This meant Chloe had to place in at least three of the five chosen events that Equestrian SA had chosen in her discipline, which is eventing,’ she explained.
As a result, Chloe managed to get into the placings in three qualifiers for EvA95.
However, due to a sprained tendon on her horse they were out for a few weeks and could not get enough qualifications for EvA105.
Chloe and Cooper Boy were successful though, in making it into the team of four for EvA95, with Equestrian SA hosting another 34 children in all other horse riding disciplines of Show Horse, Dressage, Combined Training and Show Jumping.
Mrs Jong shared how Interschool is usually held along the East Coast as SA doesn’t have adequate facilities to hold such an event, “which is a shame for us”.
On the first day an opening ceremony of all states were represented, including Northern Territory having two entries.
All entrants came running out in their teams, with SA sporting “awesome” red and navy uniforms.
“There was a lot of yelling and chanting going on. It was very exciting to watch,” Mrs Jong said.
Three coaches were on hand Megan Jones, Clive Reed and Tamsin Adcock who provided the entrants with support, plus their manager Lyndal Clarke and Chef d'Equipe Mary Nitschke.
“On Tuesday, Chloe had her dressage test and was up against another 19 young hopefuls.
“She was smiling on the way out of the arena after her test, and even happier when she realised she was coming third,” Mrs Jong said.
On the Wednesday Chloe competed in cross country, and Copper Boy went around smoothly – clear on jumping and clear on time.
“The first two place getters must have had some problems on the cross country course, as Chloe and Copper were now in the lead,” she said.
Thursday was the showjumping phase and the competition ran from last to first.
“This meant Chloe had to jump last and get a clear round to win.
“If Copper knocked even one rail they would have been out of the placings, as there was not even one point between first and second. We all held our breath, and they both went around clear and everyone from SA yelled and cheered.
“Chloe and Copper have come along way in the last two years, and her dedication to this sport and her horse is great to watch and be a part of, especially being in year 12, Mrs Jong added