Showjumper off to worlds

South Waikato News - - Your Place, Your Paper - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

A Lich­field teen has been se­lected to rep­re­sent New Zealand at the World Pony Showjump­ing cham­pi­onships in South Korea.

Al­ley Car­son, 15, forms a con­tin­gent of three riders from Taupo and Mor­rinsville who leave on May 19.

The lat­est news comes as no sur­prise to sup­port­ers of the South Waikato teen who de­liv­ered an im­pres­sive year of win­ning ti­tles.

Al­ley rode away as the 2016 Open Pony Grand Prix Cham­pion at the na­tion­als.

This in­cludes win­ning Pony of the Year in March at Horse of the Year show, the coun­try’s premier eques­trian event.

Al­ley said it was ‘‘wicked’’ to be rep­re­sent­ing New Zealand and said the ex­pe­ri­ence will be valu­able

‘‘It’s go­ing to be a cool ex­pe­ri­ence and I want to make the most of it.’

Horses will be pro­vided by the host coun­try which will be in­ter­est­ing, Al­ley said.

‘‘I’ll take it as it comes. I may show them a thing or two.

‘‘It kind of feels like you’re go­ing in with a bit of a blind­fold on. Any­thing can hap­pen be­cause of the horses.’’

She is go­ing in with no ex­pec­ta­tion, just proud to be wear­ing the sil­ver fern.

‘‘Horses are al­ways sur­pris­ing and any­thing that does hap­pen is a bonus. ‘‘They kinda keep you hum­ble.’’ Al­ley has had prac­tice con­trol­ling her nerves af­ter com­pet­ing at the Horse of the Year.

Jump­ing a dou­ble clear in two rounds, she took home the ti­tle in the fi­nal round with the least num­ber of faults.

‘‘It was pretty wicked re­ally. It felt pretty cool to jump two rounds in one of the big­gest classes in New Zealand.

‘‘I had some pretty good com­pe­ti­tion fol­low­ing me. I had to re­mem­ber the job I had to do and just do what you know.’’

Sis­ter Drew Car­son,17, joined in the cel­e­bra­tion com­ing a close sec­ond in Ju­nior Rider of the Year.

Drew said the ri­valry was friendly against a com­peti­tor she beat at the na­tion­als this year. ‘‘We had a good crack at it. It was re­ally good. I went clear with a fast time but she just beat me.’’

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