Riding trio join forces for Aquis QLD team
SHOWJUMPING: Local horse riders Clem Smith, Stuart Jenkins and Olivia Hamood will team up representing Queensland at the coming Aquis Championships.
Held at Elysian Fields, Canungra, the trio will ride in the team's league challenge in the lead up to the nation's richest grand prix event.
The riders will not only take on their interstate rivals, but teams from New Zealand, Australia and the Aquis squad in a tough competition.
Spring Creek rider Clem Smith will compete on Guru and said the Aquis Championships was one of the best showjumping events in Queensland.
"I'm excited about this team, the other two riders are very competitive,” Smith said.
"Hopefully we'll be on top at the end.”
The New Zealand team recently competed against an Australian team at Equifest in Sydney last weekend, with Australia narrowly securing the victory.
Smith and Jenkins will compete at the Sydney Royal this weekend ahead of the two-weekend Aquis Championships on April 21-23 and 26-30.
It's the first time a teams league challenge has been held at the Aquis Championships.
With more than $150,000 prizemoney across the two weekends on offer, the event draws horses and riders from across the nation.
Glamorgan Vale rider Stuart Jenkins said the new rules, only allowing three riders per team, would make every score count.
"It will be a tough class, but it will be interesting and exciting,” Jenkins said.
The teams league challenge will serve as a warm up class for the Aquis Gold Cup, where riders will compete in two qualifiers ahead of the final, which boasts $50,000 shared prizemoney.
Jenkins said he had attended the Aquis showjumping since it first started and would ride for Queensland on his horse Fairview Aliquidam.
"I'm really happy to be selected, we just want to make sure when we do get there we do a good job,” Jenkins said.
"It's the same as State of Origin football - we want to beat New South Wales.”
Aquis Championship organiser Michelle Lang-McMahon said the aim was to make the championship similar to the Global Champions League held in Europe.
"It will be the first time we've ever run this event, combining international riders plus the state and aquis rider,” she said.
"There's an extra $10,000 in prizemoney going on the nations cup on top of the class.”