SOPHIE Peach is taking the reins in dressage after earning herself the title of National Champion in her class at an equestrian competition.
The Beaudesert State High School student represented Queensland at the National Interschool Equestrian Championships last week.
Hosted by Equestrian Australia, the event saw about 300 riders flock to Toowoomba to compete in four categories – dressage, show horse, show jumping and combined training events and eventing.
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Sophie was named the National Champion in her class for having the highest points across the two tests in dressage.
She placed third in the Intermediate Secondary Preliminary Dressage class for both events with her pony Craigston Whispering Jack.
Sophie said she was happy she won the National Champion title with her consistent results.
“I was very pleased,” she said.
“I knew I would come up with an overall place but I didn’t think I was going to get National Champion for my class.”
Sophie said enjoyed meeting other riders at the event.
“It was a very good experience because I got to see other teams from interstate and to see where I’m at (compared to other riders),” she said.
Sophie underwent several qualifiers to progress to nationals such as being one of the top four riders for dressage at the state championships.
She also rode every morning before school and trained with Craigston Whispering Jack almost five times a week in preparation for the competition.
This was the second time Sophie had taken part in the national championship.
The keen rider said she was proud to be following in her mother’s footsteps, having grown up around horses and showed enthusiasm to compete.
“Mum had done it all her life and she taught me everything,” she said.
“I have been riding pretty much since I learnt to walk.”
Sophie said she spent five years training her pony, which was something she had never done before.
“When we got him he was green broke which means he hadn’t done any sort of training before,” she said.
“At times it was very frustrating but in the end, it was great to see the results and know the hard work payed off.”
Sophie said her next goal was to train two horses in preparation for next year’s competitions.