By Helena Adeloju
A 14-year-old local debutant came home with top two placings at the Melbourne International 3 Day Event competition at Werribee Park.
A Year 9 student at St Paul’s Anglican Grammar, Warragul, Sophie Bennett participated in the prestigious competition for junior eventers in Australia from Friday 9 to Monday 12 June.
Despite being the youngest competitor, Sophie clinched an impressive first placing in the team event and was placed second in the individual competition.
She said she was surprised with her results because it was her first time at such a big event.
Sophie competed in the Concours Complet International Junior (CCIJ) 1* class against the best junior riders up to 18 years old from all over Australia.
“I would have been happy just to complete the event,” Sophie said.
“To come second, was quite unexpected.”
She said she had been riding Branigans Irish Connection known affectionately as ‘Connie’ since March 2016, and competing on her since April 2016.
Sophie’s success at the Melbourne International 3 Day Event competition, the oldest three day event in the southern hemisphere, means Sophie has another big opportunity ahead of her in spring.
“I have qualified to compete at Toowoomba in Queensland late September during the school holidays for the Interschool National Event,” she said.
Sophie is part of the Elite Sports Performers Program at St Paul’s.