JAKE Hunter is the Australian Junior Showjumping Champion after a near-perfect performance at the Werribee (Vic) International Equestrian Centre.
The four-day event saw the 16-year-old up against riders two years his senior with 80 competitors cut down to 30 for the final day of competition.
Jake qualified in first position for the finals riding Midnight Rock, a 12-year-old thoroughbred gelding the family bought 10 years ago and trained by Jake’s mother.
The pair continued their winning way and went on to take out the junior championship.
Jake said he was confident in Midnight Rock and knew he had the championship in him but said anything could happen at competitions at this level.
Jake knows that more than most.
A couple of years ago one of Jake’s horses had a heart attack and died while he was making a jump during competition.
It took a couple of years before the young rider could put that experience behind him and now has his ambitious sights set on the world stage.
Jake I shoping to qualify for the Youth Olympics in 2014 at China and seriously has his hopeson competiting at the Olympic Games at Riodigenero in 2016.
However there is one obstacle in Jake’s way.
“I need to get the right horse, it is extremely hard to get that right horse, to get the right breeding and it is not cheap, Olympic horses are expensive,” Jake said.
Jake said he appreciated the support from his ‘really good’ sponsors but said financial support was the thing standing between him and his Olympic dream.
Jake thanked Geoff Searle Oakwood Cleaning Products, Puff Rock Australia, Prydes Easy Feed and Bombers Bits who have supported him over a number of years.
Jake puts in plenty of hours into his sport and the horses. He spends every afternoon and weekends working his horses, the only thing sending him inside is a lack of light.
Jake competed for the second time at Melbourne Royal this year l taking out the junior Championship and the ribbon for the most successful junior rider.
Jake has also won Sydney Royal two years in a row which takes in the top show jumpers in New South Wales.