Jamie Priestley jumping for joy

CAMBEWARRA’S Jamie Priestley has returned from her fifth straight Australian show jumping championships at Werribee with two top three finishes.

COMBINATION: Jamie Priestley and her horse Optimus compete at the recent Australian show jumping championships. Photo: STEPHEN MOWBRAY

COMBINATION: Jamie Priestley and her horse Optimus compete at the recent Australian show jumping championships. Photo: STEPHEN MOWBRAY

The 19-year-old Shoalhaven Jump Club rider won the Australian young rider grand prix with her horse Amaretto, while finishing third on Optimus. 

“I had my two main horses Ks Optimus and Amaretto MVNZ in the Australian young rider title, for riders from the age of 16 to 21,” Priestley said.

“It is all about consistency over the three days of competition.

“On the first day warming up on KS Optimus, he took a disliking to the mud and we parted company – not the best way to have to start the competition.

“I made it to the ring and finished sixth, which was a big achievement in itself.

“After the first two qualifying events, I had both in the top 25 and into the final.

“I was first to go on Amaretto and he did an amazing clear round before coming out later on Optimus, jumping clear until last fence just touching a brick out of the wall.

“There was only five clears, but everyone got to come back for the second round.

ALL SMILES: Jamie Priestley and Amaretto after their recent success at the Australian show jumping championships. Photo: STEPHEN MOWBRAY

ALL SMILES: Jamie Priestley and Amaretto after their recent success at the Australian show jumping championships. Photo: STEPHEN MOWBRAY

“I went out on Amaretto, set the pace and did a fantastic clear round.

“Coming out on Optimus he also posted not only a clear round, but the fastest clear in the second round.

“So Amaretto and I won the Australian young rider Grand Prix, with Optimus and I finishing third.”

On the back of these results, Priestley managed to finish fourth overall on Optimus and seventh overall on Amaretto, after the three events.

“I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed to finish higher overall but to get first and third in the biggest class of the year for young riders made up for that disappointment,” she said.

“I was really happy with my results this year as it is such a big event and it’s difficult for everything to go right on the day, but winning the Australian young rider grand prix was such an amazing feeling.”

Prior to 2017, Priestley had competed at these championships four time, finishing in the top 10 the first two and the top five in 2016 and 2017.

Priestley will be hoping these success can springboard her into more strong finished at the New South Wales State showjumping titles, held in Sydney from October 20-22.

She will have one horse in the young rider titles and two horses in the mini prix event.