AT just 10 years of age Jorjia Farrugia made a real breakthrough in show jumping last weekend, winning the 2011 Mount Gambier Show High Point Champion Rider for 18 years and under.
The award was based on the points accumulated over three days of competition, with Farrugia leading from very early on day one and holding her lead right through to the final day.
The talented youngster was competing on two horses throughout the competition, Walkenny Park Princess, which was bred at her family’s stud, and Fernley Crackerjack.
It was the high point of what has been a strong riding season so far for the 10-year-old, having finished runner up in the Winter Show Jumping Series in Mount Gambier, however despite her good form of late Farrugia’s mother, Denise Farrugia, said the family had not expected her to do quite so well at the Mount Gambier show, which typically attracted a very tough level of competition.
“She has been going very well, but I certainly didn’t expect her to do as well as she did, only because Mount Gambier is noted as being an exceptionally good show jumping show that draws some really good riders and tough competition,” Denise Farrugia said.
“If you come away from the Mount Gambier show with a ribbon you are doing fairly well.
“They have a lot of riders, on the Friday it took them two and a half hours just to get through the 60cm showjumping.
“There is anything between 40 and 60 riders a class and they all have to go through one by one, and everyone who gets through clear comes back for a jump off.”
Jorjia, who has been riding since the age of two, was handed the leading rider ribbon after the third class on the opening day and went on to complete a very solid opening day of riding.
Her second day of competition was not quite so strong, indecently the day her father David came to watch her compete, with Jorjia quickly putting him in his place.
“She turned to her Dad and said, “you’ve jinxed me, you shouldn’t have come!”
“She then had an exceptional day on Saturday.”
Denise said Jorjia was passionate about horses and spent a lot of time either working or riding them and the results were starting to show.
She said Jorjia had also had a lot of help from fellow young Drumborg rider, Joseph Patterson, who himself was continuing to produce some impressive results.
Patterson recently competed at the Dubbo Show, competing in the Champion Junior Title class in the biggest class he had ever competed in, jumping up to 1.30 metres, over two days of competition.
Patterson finished 26th out of 60 riders to just miss the final, which was eventually won by Wagga Wagga’s Tom McDermott for his fourth straight title.
After the second day of riding Patterson was invited to be the reserve rider for the Victorian Junior team.
While he came away without any wins from the two days of competition against 240 other riders he was pleased with the development shown by his horses and the experience of competing on a course designed by John Vallance, Australia’s highest ranked course builder.