Another national title has made its way back to Armidale with a superb showing in the equestrian arena.
Bronte Dagg and her horse EBL Lust took out the overall show horse secondary title at the 2019 Marcus Oldham Interschool Championships last week.
The competition consisted of three individual events - rider, led and hack - where Bronte and Lust received two firsts and a second place to win the overall title.
The six-year-old Arabian Warmblood, Lust, hasn't always been an easy ride but Bronte said that even made it more special.
"It is a huge thrill to win this and be the winner of a national title," she said.
"I have been runner-up before, but to take home the top award is really very special.
"Only the best four riders in their discipline from each state make it through to Nationals and to then go on and win a title there is a pretty big deal.
"We have all put a lot of hard work into my young horse in the last two years and it hasn't always been easy.
"But to come home with a national title is something I have always aspired to and am super happy to have achieved."
She also got to skipper the NSW show horse team, an honour on its own.
"I got to help with team chants, inspiring and helping young riders and supporting all the NSW team riders as well as taking centre stage with all the other team captains."
Heading into the competition, Bronte was confident.
"I was aiming to win the title all along," she said.
"I knew I had a good chance as myself and Lust have had a great year, winning many awards and qualifying for Grand Nationals early in the year.
"My preparation wasn't great going into it though with the grounds so hard up here with the drought and when you are riding a horse you never really know how you are going to go as anything can happen.
"We pulled off some super workouts and the judges must have thought the same as we scored very well across our three phases.
"Lust was very relaxed and, although the workouts were quite complicated, she looked and felt amazing."
Fellow Armidale-based riders Anna Jarvis and Katie Hancock also competed with Anna captaining the eventing team and Katie skippering the combined training squad.
The NSW eventing team were crowned the overall eventing champions.
"We all had such a good time at The Marcus Oldham Australian Interschool Championships 2019," Anna said.
"I am so excited to say that NSW came home as the National Insterschools 'Eventing Champions'
"I am beyond proud of all the Eventers!
"It's not easy being able to excel in all three disciplines, however NSW showed everyone that they can do it, especially with such stiff competition which now extends to schools from New Zealand."
Katie was leading her 105 centimetre division of the combined training competition after the dressage phase first up and kept up her good form to finish third.
Her NSW combined training team also finished third overall against the other states.
"It was incredibly exciting to place first after the dressage phase and third overall in the National CT105CM class," Katie said.
"I was also part of the NSW Team to place third for the CT Teams award.
"I wouldn't have been able to achieve this without my amazing horse Leo Degas who truly showed he is up there with the best in the country."
"Finally it was such an honour as joint captain of combined training to mentor the younger riders of the team."
Next year's national interschools event will be held in Toowoomba.
With Anna and Katie both in year 11, and Bronte in year 10, there is still time to achieve more outstanding results at this level.
Article courtesy of Australian Community Media and The Armidale Express