NANNEELLA’S Laura Dobson is a champion.
The 15-year-old and her pony Annie have come home winners from the Royal Melbourne Show, and the realisation is only just setting in.
Laura won first place in novice pony 13-13.2 hands, champion novice pony 12.2-14 hands and first place in open pony 13-13.2 hands.
‘‘I couldn’t quite believe it — I was shocked,’’ Laura said.
‘‘To even make it to the Melbourne Show was pretty amazing but to come home with three wins is incredible.
‘‘And to be competing against professionals, I didn’t think I had a chance at the open category.
‘‘I just went in it and did my thing, so to come out as the winner was incredible.’’
Laura bought Annie as a two-year-old pony from Tongala’s Wyann Stud with her own savings.
Throughout a 12-month period, she worked with Annie and broke her in to saddle, getting her used to life as a riding horse.
Laura’s mum Jodi said a few tears were shed.
‘‘Laura has done a lot of work to get her to the Melbourne Show so to come out with the wins was just a bonus,’’ she said.
‘‘It was really nice for her grandparents to be there to see her compete as well.
Show horse competitions focus heavily on presentation, with judges critiquing a range of areas including manners, balance, elegance, lightness and rhythm.
The next step is to qualify for Grand Nationals. ‘‘It is the biggest and the best,’’ Jodi said.
‘‘Our first chance to qualify is on October 15 in Tatura but there are no expectations.’’