Smith's two flawless rounds
HE’S won a few World Cup showjumping events in his career, but never a Gympie Show Grand Prix – that is, until yesterday.
Gatton rider Clem Smith rode two flawless rounds on Florina, in an exciting main event to take the title and the $1500 first prize.
Smith was the last rider in the second round, pipping Stewart Jenkins, onboard Fairview Maestro, to first prize by just over two seconds.
Both riders entered two mistake-free runs of the Kevin Hansen-designed course. Only the time split them.
“I have tried for a long time to win at the Gympie Show,” Smith said.
“I have come second a couple of times.”
What made the win even more enjoyable for Smith was the fact he won it on Florina a young horse he has been educating.
Smith imported the beautiful dark show jumper from Europe. He has only just started entering the warm-blood mare in Grand Prix showjumping events.
“She is only young and this is her first win,” Smith said.
Smith has won World Cup events on another horse, Dark Ages.
He also rode Dark Ages at the Gympie Show, but Florina out-performed the more experienced horse.
“Dark Ages is coming to the end of his career,” Smith said.
“He has had his peak, now she (Florina) is ready to take over.
“We have some big plans to take her back overseas,” he said.
New Zealand-based course designer Kevin Hansen was pleased with the technical design he laid out for the Gympie Show Grand Prix.
On Thursday, just after his arrival in town, he predicted he would build a course that would have four or five horses go clear in the first round.
Then he said he would have two horses with double clear rounds after the final round.
That’s exactly what happened.
“I’m pretty good aren’t I,” Hansen laughed, after being asked about his prediction yesterday.
“I told you, that’s my job.”