Royal success for Matilda
MATILDA Longbottom from Cape Liptrap rode her pony, Helden Park Centre Stage or Teddy, to great success at this year’s Royal Melbourne Horse Show, held recently at the Werribee Park National Equestrian Centre.
“This Year at the RMHS Teddy and I placed sixth in the led riding pony show hunter 14 to 14.2hh and sixth in his ridden open breed show hunter class,” Matilda said.
“We also placed second in my rider 12 and under 14 years in the Pony Club section against 21 others and fifth in the Smartest on Parade.
“To compete at such a big show and to do well meant a lot to me and I felt really proud of myself and Teddy.
“I was just really thrilled with how Teddy performed and how hard he tried to do well and to be rewarded was amazing.”
To prepare for shows and other competitions, Matilda tries to ride Teddy six days a week and keeps him in continuous work, but she also makes sure he doesn’t get bored in the arena.
“I walk or canter him round the bush four times a week after working him. I also like to keep him washed after his exercise as well as cleaning his rugs regularly,” she said.
“Also, my coach Matthew (Matt) Archibald regularly helps out, teaching me one to two times a week. I always learn a lot and he is really inspiring.”
Matilda said her most memorable achievement to date is probably competing at the Royal Melbourne Show.
“Placing second in my rider class at the RMHS in the pony club section two years in a row is also a really great achievement,” she said.
“It was also really memorable being invited to the interschool Nationals in the two phase interschool challenge after only having Teddy for three months last year.”
Matilda has owned Teddy since April 2012 and since then; they have had a lot of fun together.
“He is really lovely to ride and is very cute and he loves to nudge me. He loves his ears being scratched and receiving lots of cuddles,” she said.
“He works really well and tries really hard to do as I ask. Teddy and I especially love riding at the farm and moving dad’s sheep.
“Teddy loves his food and hay and he will always neigh when we open the float door. He is a real character and I love him so much, but don’t get in his way when he’s eating his dinner!”
Matilda has aspirations of one day competing in the Olympics in Dressage for Australia.
“I would also really like to compete in the Garryowen. It will be lots of hard work but I just love riding so much,” she said.
“I like it when my pony is working well and is being happy and loved, that makes me feel really good too.”
When Matilda and Teddy are not strutting their stuff in the show ring, they also enjoy competing in dressage.
“We regularly do interschool dressage days and I also enjoy watching Three Day Events, because I think event riders and their horses are amazing doing three different disciplines,” she said.
“I have three special friends, Georgia, Nikki and Bec who are eventers and I love watching them on their amazing big horses.”
Matilda has more competitions coming up over the coming months, including the Foster Agricultural Show on Saturday. “We also have a few dressage competitions coming up and in March we are competing in the Equestrian Victoria horse of the year show at Werribee Park,” she said.
“I am so lucky to have the opportunity to ride (thank you mum and dad) and I love Teddy so very much. I love competing on him and it is so fun no matter how I go.”
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