THE State’s top young equestrian riders put their boots down and left their horses at home recently to attend Equestrian Victoria’s (EV) annual award’s night.
Around 200 keen riders got together to celebrate the announcement of the 2009 Young Ambassadors where Nicole Touzel, 18, of Cockatoo secured the top spot in the dressage section and Adam Benson, 20, of Lilydale snapped up the eventing crown.
Prue Chamberlain, 20, of Kilmore was named show horse ambassador and Toni Scattergood, 19, of Yarra Glen landed the jumping title.
The four young riders conquered 100 other hopefuls from around the state, following an intensive training weekend earlier in the year in Werribee where the top 10 in each event were evaluated by a team of judges.
The title was open to 14-21 year-olds state wide, who nominated themselves.
“We were really looking for someone who showed leadership skills and who could promote the sport,” event organiser, Kellet McDonell said, adding the idea behind the awards was to foster the talent of the State’s top equestrian riders.
Prue Chamberlain was overjoyed at being named 2009 show horse ambassador.
“I’ve been riding for 17 years, since I was three-years-old, so it’s a great opportunity for me to give something back to the sport now,” Ms Chamberlain said.
The keen rider has a passion for organising events, competing and judging.
“I attended a judge’s seminar recently and realised there was a lack for support for young people to get out there and judge,” she said.
“I would really to like to organise a junior judge’s seminar, so that young people have access to that avenue if they want to pursue judging.”
The Kilmore show horse competitor already competes at Royal Shows around the country and said the ambassador title had given her a platform to promote the sport and get her ideas heard.
She plans to help out at the four-day National Interschool event in September, the Show Horse State Titles in October and the Show Horse Nationals in December.
Previous recipients of the ambassador award have gone on to compete at international level events and the Olympics, Ms McDonnel added.
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