Sometimes the slimmest of margins are all you need to take bragging rights.
Emma Gillies (15) beat older sister Samantha (16) by 0.07 points in the 125cm championship, at the South Island Jumping and Show Hunter Championships last weekend.
Samantha rode first, giving Emma and pony Chic Extreme an opportunity to see their competition.
The Waitaki Bridge sisters competed against each other regularly, and Emma said it was good to beat her sister and win the South Island title.
‘‘It was pretty good because there was a lot of older people in that class and it was really competitive,’’ Emma said.
Samantha still had plenty to celebrate, claiming the major title of South Island grand prix, on Doctor Jones, and the South Island mini prix pony and South Island speed pony, on Destellar. Emma came second in the South Island speed pony.
Samantha said winning the grand prix was her highlight, after finishing second in the event two years ago.
‘‘It was pretty cool to win the grand prix . . . because it had been like a goal of mine,’’ Samantha said.
Samantha has had Destellar only since Christmas. She was proud of what they had been able to achieve together, in such a short time.
Both riders had a good lead up to the South Island event, taking several titles at the Canterbury Championships.
Samantha won the Country TV pony grand prix and Canterbury series, and the horse mini prix and horse mini prix series, and Emma won the junior rider Canterbury series. They also had a good run at the Ashburton Jumping and Show Hunter Championship Show.
After finishing the school day at St Kevin’s College, Samantha and Emma are always straight out on their horses and ‘‘fed them like an athlete’’ to prepare for competitions.
They had plenty of family support, and their brother, Ben (13) had been their ‘‘No 1 post’’ at the last two shows. Now their focus turned to the New Zealand Jumping and Showjumping Championships in Christchurch next week.
Samantha will compete in the 130-140m event, and young rider, while both girls will compete in the 110-120m event, 120-130m championship, junior rider and pony grand prix.