Success for local rider at National Pony Club event

Local Kaila Wharton and her horse ‘Be Just’ finished as the highest placed NSW entrants in the NSW Senior Eventing Team at the Pony Club Australia National Championships at Murray Bridge in South Australia last week.

Kaila and her team of five other NSW riders and horses finished in overall 2nd place in the Team event.

The National Championships is a biannual competition where each state or territory can select up to six riders, in a junior and senior division, to represent their state in the disciplines of Dressage, Eventing, Showjumping, Mounted Games and Tetrathalon.

Riders are scored individually for placings and then team members’ scores are added together for the team event.

The week started with some warm up competitions to allow the horses and riders to settle and get used to the arenas and area.

Kaila rode in her warm up Dressage competition on Tuesday and placed 12th and then competed in her warm up Showjumping round on Wednesday where she placed 11th.

She kickstarted her official competition on Friday with her Dressage test where Kaila and Be Just were left in a disappointing 15th place.

On Saturday they completed their Cross Country phase where Kaila rode a fantastic round being one of only two riders to finish double clear (no jump or time penalties).

With quite a few other riders having difficulties on course, Kaila’s good ride saw her move up 10 places to put her into 5th position going into the Showjumping phase on Sunday.

The nail biting Showjumping round was run in reverse order of placings.

With some extremely close scores and less than one rail separating the other four riders, the pressure was on for Kaila.

Kaila managed to pull off another great round to hold onto her position and finish 5th overall in the individual competition.

When the remainder of her team’s scores were added up, the NSW side then claimed second place in the Teams event.

Kaila said she was extremely happy with her result at another national competition and is now focused on her upcoming state competition which will be her last ride for the year.