Teens riding high in the saddle


Three Queenstown teens have received accolades for their success in horse riding this season.

Olivia Robertson, 13, Emma Milliken, 15, and Anna Nesbit, 16, took top honours at the Wakatipu Pony Club prizegiving recently.

Olivia won the achievement award for top show jumper and took out the overall club prize after her national achievements – in February she won junior national show hunter and open show hunter at the national show jumping champs.

She also represented New Zealand at the FEI (International Equestrian Federation) World Children’s Challenge in the lower North Island town of Foxton and then went on to earn 10th place at Pony of the Year at grand prix level for show jumping.

Emma, who won the junior competition at the South Island Pony Club dressage champs and placed third nationally, won the top dressage prize.

Anna won the local club’s eventing prize after a strong individual performance at the national pony club eventing competition in Auckland.

Anna and Emma were part of the Otago-Southland eventing team that won the junior competition.

Pony club coach Jan Hunt, Olivia’s mum, says the girls and the rest of the club have done “amazingly well”.

“It’s never easy – we’re at the far end of where the true competition is.

“We’re not a very big club but we’ve got lots of littlies so that’s quite exciting. It’s inspiring for them to be able to see that you can do it from here – you don’t have to be in Dunedin or Christchurch or Auckland.”