A Mackenzie River Pony Club rider in action at the Blackwater gymkhana at the weekend.
A Mackenzie River Pony Club rider in action at the Blackwater gymkhana at the weekend.

Caleb conquers The Joker

CALEB Cheal makes no joke when it comes to winning.

Competing at Blackwater's gymkhana at the weekend, the Emerald Horse and Pony Club rider took out Champion Junior Rider.

Club spokeswoman and mum Kim Cheal said the 11-year-old did really well on the day.

"He was really happy … he really likes his rider class," Kim said.

"He started riding when he was eight so he has been riding for three years. "

Cheal also won his jumping class, overcoming some challenging jumps including one nicknamed The Joker.

"The Joker is worth 200 points. It's a risk for them to do it," Kim explained.

"The higher the jump, the more points (they earn) ... He likes the challenge.

"He did the joker jump twice earning 400 points plus the other jumps worth 80 to 90 points."

Fellow Emerald riders Hannah Cheal and Alex Marles also placed well in the jumping.

Kim explained the riders did a lot of jumping at the Emerald club.

She said the riders had been particularly inspired by Edwina Tops-Alexander who has progressed with fellow Aussie Julie Hargreaves into the final two rounds of show jumping at the Olympics.

"All the kids aspire to be there one day," Kim said.

"It would just to be a thrill. She started at a pony club and she is there at the Olympics.

"The pony club gives a good base to start with. They learn a variety of skills and then they can specialise in disciplines like eventing, show jumping and dressage."

Eight riders from Emerald competed in Blackwater and Kim said all came away with a ribbon.

The Emerald Horse and Pony Club took home the award for the club with the most points on the day - the second time they have won it this year.


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