Gymkhana tests skills and horses

Central and North Burnett Times - - SPORT -

THE Jones fam­ily of Win­dera, near Nanango, were en­thu­si­as­tic and fast com­peti­tors at last weekend’s gymkhana events in Gayn­dah.

Sarah and Scott Jones started breed­ing paint horses and rid­ing ponies to pro­vide their daugh­ters with ap­pro­pri­ate mounts.

For Sarah, who grew up on an Ather­ton cat­tle property and later worked in the horse in­dus­try, par­tic­i­pa­tion in gymkhanas and show events has given her daugh­ters ma­tu­rity.

“(It be­comes) easy to adapt to dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines and events, gives fo­cus and I see the team spirit be­tween the girls,” Sarah said.

The rid­ing events also pro­vide the horses with “good bal­ance and flat­work ed­u­ca­tion” which “all pays off in work­ing on the sta­tion”, she added.

While youngest daugh­ter Bri­anna was led by fa­ther Scott on Satur­day’s gymkhana events, she ex­cit­edly com­pleted sev­eral events on her own dur­ing Sun­day’s Zone 16 events.

“I did the event all by my­self, (but) I couldn’t do the rider class or the jump­ing,” Bri­anna said.

While fa­ther Scott said Bri­anna should grad­u­ate from the led or as­sisted class soon, Bri­anna praised her pony Booboo as be­ing “very fast and very good”.

“I like the western bar­rels as I can go re­ally fast – it’s comfy to go fast.”

When she is no longer as­sisted in events, Bri­anna will be able to take part in the show jump­ing – an event that un­set­tles her older sis­ters Clau­dia and Natalie.

The girls de­clared their fond­ness for cat­tle work and fast-paced sport­ing events, like the flag race and western bend, but said show jump­ing scared them.

Natalie ex­plained the fear as “too afraid to jump too big”, but said with prac­tice the fear might go away.

PHOTO: SHIRLEY WAY

RID­ING TO­GETHER: The Jones fam­ily of Nanango be­tween events at the Zone 16 Gymkhana, Gayn­dah, on July 13, 2014. From left, Bri­anna, Scott, Natalie on Zoe, Clau­dia on Shakira and Sarah on Meeka.

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