Course passes first test
OLYMPIC hopeful Jess Somerfield went into the weekend's Maryborough Station Square One Day Event hoping just to finish.
That she did - winning the CNC two-star class at Maryborough Showgrounds and Equestrian Park.
Making the victory more amazing was the fact Somerfield was competing in just her second competition since moving up to the two-star level.
"It was a huge shock to end up on top. It's amazing," she said.
Somerfield, who turned 20 last Thursday, was forced to win it the hard way after finishing last in the dressage, albeit registering a personal best score.
She went on to claim overall honours after a clear show-jumping round and expertly piloting her horse, Wildfires Revenge, across the new-look cross country course.
"It was unreal, I had tears of joys," she said.
"I've been training non-stop for the past two years so to get this result is very rewarding."
The result in Maryborough has instilled the Brisbanite with more confidence as she sets her sights on the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
"I went to nationals last year and represented Queensland, but representing Australia is something I've always wanted to do," she said.
The two-day event proved to be a testing one for some riders, with rain earlier in the week leading officials to fear the event would be cancelled.
But thanks to the people who worked tirelessly to prepare the course, which had just undergone a $50,000 facelift, the show went ahead with 200 riders saddling up for the competition.
Improvements to the course and a change to the format made this year's May long weekend event extra exciting.
Event organiser Amy Harth said it was the first time Fraser Coast Horse Trials and Hervey Bay Pony Club have combined to host their one day events on the same weekend.
She said the upgraded cross country course attracted plenty of pre-competition hype and riders were not disappointed.
"All the new jumps rode extremely well," she said.
"There was some stiff competition and some top quality horses there."
Fraser Coast Horse Trials
- CNC two-star - Jess Somerfield
- CNC one-star - Kathy Humphry
- Pre-novice - Tom Doyle
- Junior pre-novice - Justine Streater
- Preliminary - Tom Doyle
- Junior preliminary - Alanah Evans
- Introductory - Dean Morris
- Junior introductory - Gillian Kirchner
- Pre-introductory - Audrey Kirchner
Hervey Bay Pony Club
- One-star - Evelyn Williamson
- Pre-novice - Melissa Jensen
- Preliminary - Melanie Hobi
- Introductory - Teigan Griffiths
- 12-and-under - Spencer Hose
- 11-years and U26 80cm - Jess Somerfield
- 11-years and U26 60cm - Maddie Hose
- 10-and-under 60cm - Kristen Mackie
- Seniors - Karen Morgan