Gippsland Grammar has two new national equestrian champions.
Siblings Alice and Will Murray both won their respective showjumping titles at the Australian Interschool Equestrian Championships last week. Alice, who is in Year 8, won the 1m secondary school class (the same title she won last year) while Year 5 student Will took out the 80cm primary section.
They were riding as part of the Victorian equestrian which won the coveted Harry le Bherz Perpetual Trophy, the award for the Champion State Team at the Marcus Oldham Australian Interschool Equestrian Championships, held at Werribee Park National Equestrian Centre over four days of the school holidays. The NSW team came second with 3330 points and Queensland third with 3026.
Will and his pony Linbil Southern Cross were also awarded the overall showjumping trophy - The Finch Farms Show Jumping Trophy for recording the highest score, 104 out of a possible 105. A mighty fine achievement for an 11-year-old who was up against riders aged 18.
The young competitors qualified for this prestigious national event riding for their school at local and State level throughout the year. Alice actually qualified in two different events on two different mounts. Her beloved palomino gelding FP Outlaw, who helped her win the title last year was ‘champion of the day’ again.
Equestrian Victoria CEO Matthew Brown described this year’s event as a huge success with every state and territory represented participating in the different disciplines of show jumping, dressage and eventing.
“The sight of several hundred children camping with their families, riding their horses and ponies, and cheering each other on was quite a spectacle.
“The Australian Interschool Championships is a large and growing force in the equestrian world. The first competitions were held in 2008, and thousands of children have enjoyed the event since.
“Riders who have won and competed in the Championships have gone on to represent Australia, proving Interschool’s vital role in nurturing our up and coming competitors.”
With a little sibling rivalry and a lot of love for their horses and the sport, both Will and Alice have high hopes for their future. They both want to make it all the way to nationals again next year aiming to bring home the silverware again.