THERE were no long faces for Molly Corbett and Harrison Galloway-Smith, who both performed exceptionally well at the 2022 Australian Interschool Equestrian Championships.
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Harrison Galloway-Smith, who, at just nine years old, competed in the show horse discipline, was the highest point scorer in the event, earning him the title of overall champion.
There are three phases in the show horse discipline; the first phase is a led phase, in which Harrison won, the second phase is the rider class, where Harrison placed fourth, and he placed second in the ridden hunter workout.
These places resulted in Harrison receiving the highest cumulative point score, against 13 or 14 competitors.
Harrison said that the event went really well, and he was very happy with his results.
"I smashed all of my classes and I tried my hardest," he said.
Generally however, Harrison was excited about the experience as a whole.
"I had a really, really good time ... we got to decorate our stables and we had a gecko mascot in there," he said.
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Harrison's mother, Vanessa Galloway-Smith was clearly moved by her son's achievements.
"I feel extremely proud. He has put a lot of hard work and dedication into this, years and years of training leading up to an event like this."
While holding back tears, Vanessa said that the were both extremely grateful and extremely lucky to have such amazing success at such a big event.
"Each of his routines were the best I've ever seen him do and he really tried really hard," she said.
"I said to him when we went to the meet that to be in the NSW state team is an achievement within itself and that he should be proud that he's representing his school [O'Connell Public School] and the NSW state team - go out, try your best, have fun and see how you go.
"And then he won. He was the overall champion for the whole meet, he won the Australian championships," she said.
Molly Corbett, who at just 16 years old, was selected as part of the One Day Event (ODE) which involves dressage, show jumping and cross country, placed fifth overall in the competition.
"It was really fun. It was an awesome experience," Molly said.
"It was really exciting because it was a big team atmosphere and everyone was kind of supporting each other and working together,
"It was awesome to be in such a big competition, so I was really excited."
Molly Corbett's mother, Abby Corbett, said that Molly receiving fifth place in the competition was the result of enduring perseverance.
"She [Molly] works very hard and is always dedicated, rain, hail, or shine, her horse is in work and they train together," Ms Corbett said.
Despite the event being incredibly stressful for Ms Corbett to watch, the relationship between Molly and her horse 'Ollie', is one in which she places an immense amount of trust.
"It's quite nerve-wracking when they go out and do the cross country, but her horse is amazing. We couldn't ask for more from a horse and he and Molly are a very great team," she said.
Overall, Ms Corbett was delighted by her daughter's achievements, and the way in which she represented herself and her school; Scots All Saints College.
"I am super proud of Molly's results at National Interschools, but I'm even more proud of her quiet and consistent dedication to her horses and her sport," she said.
"In eventing, you really are competing against yourself because you have to get all three elements to a stage where they're good enough ... and Molly was amazing, It was amazing, and it was such a great atmosphere down there.
It was very special to be a part of; win, lose or draw."
The Interschool Championships took place from September 26 to September 30 in Sydney, and saw representatives from each state competing.
NSW was crowned the overall winning state at the competition, and both Molly and Harrison played a pivotal role in ensuring that their home state was victorious.
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