Showjumpers compete at Caboolture

SHOWJUMPING: For the first time in three years Rockhampton riders have buckled their helmets on and galloped their sturdy horses onto the Caboolture Showgrounds for their crack at the 2009 Showjumping Teams Challenge.

Yes Caboolture, they're back.

About 12 local riders have bound together as Zone 27, representing an area of Central Queensland including Yeppoon, Rockhampton and Gracemere that combines all of the local clubs.

Zone 27 has not had a team compete for at least three years, but this year the Rocky jumpers have bounced back with great force.

The team has built themselves up strongly over the year, and they hope their hard work and training will send them to victory in the two-day challenge.

The solid team will plunge through with team members that already have had a victorious history.

Not a week ago Nelson Smyth claimed Gold in the Zone Championships with teammate Rowena Barlow coming in at silver.

The pair will combine their talent for the state titles, with teammates and national gold medallists Samantha Coombes and Liberty Smyth.

President of Zone 27, Kevin Tomkins, said the competitors had progressed well this year and they were at a very high standard.

“Nothing happens without hard work,” he said.

“And they have done a lot of training and a lot of hard work to get to where they are.”

Tomkins said he hoped the team did well at the event, and he believed with a bit of good luck they could take the title.

Team manager of the Over 17's, Kerrod Smyth, said the Zone Challenge presented the children with a unique opportunity.

“The competitors can get together from all over the state and have some fun, and they have never had that sort of opportunity before,” he said.

He said the competitors would be riding in true pony club spirit.

“True pony club spirit means the kids get together and basically have fun,” he said.

“They make some new friends and compete in a safe environment.”

Last night the teams competed in the State of Origin event, that sees the natural-born rivals, Queensland and New South Wales, compete in a fun tournament.

But today is when things get a bit more serious, with the team event kicking off.

The Overall Champion Zone team will receive the Alan Hession Memorial Cup.

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