Over the weekend, Crookwell Public School sent two students to the ACT State Champion Interschools event which was held at Bungendore.
Zackery Eldridge and Montanna Allwright made up the representative team from Crookwell, and both riders made great progress across the two days.
By the end of the weekend, Zackery had even been named the Supreme Champion for Year One.
Coordinator of Crookwell Public School’s equestrian team, Kerry Anthony, said that she was “probably not” expecting that level of success, and thought it would mostly be a learning experience for the children.
“We went down thinking that we would just give everything a go,” Anthony said.
“But [Zackery] was amazing. He went from being on the lead when we first arrived to riding independently by the end of the weekend. He did really, really well.”
By no means was Montanna outshone by Zackery, and in her first ever show, she managed to place in every event in which she took part, which Anthony said was “amazing for her.”
Despite being relatively new to the show scene, both children were eager to take part and both “really excited”, Anthony added.
Along with the plethora of awards that the kids took home from Bungendore, they learned some important lessons just by observing their fellow competitors.
“It was amazing, they watch and they see what other kids are doing, and they want to copy that,” Anthony said.
“[Zackery] had never cantered before and he was asking by the end of the weekend ‘can I canter?’”
Representing their school and town, Anthony said, instilled the kids with a sense of pride, and it was gratifying for her to see them compete so well against a field made up largely of private schools.
“They were just so proud to be there and representing us, so that was wonderful,” she said.
“A lot of the schools who compete are private schools, so there was only a few public schools there. It was nice for us to be there as well.”
Following the kids’ immense enjoyment of the event, Anthony confirmed that the school will be returning to the competition.