HE’S won multiple World Cups but this weekend it’s Peel River Produce Indoor Showjumping Championships ribbons Clem Smith is after.
The Queenslander will be one of the riders to beat in tomorrow afternoon’s feature Grand Prix.
He took it out last year and has two chances in Guru and Kartoon Debreve.
The championships are being run in conjunction with the Tamworth Show and have attracted a quality line-up of riders and horses.
Smith is one of an increased number of Queensland competitors entered this year.
He and his “entourage”, which includes daughter Jess and team of about eight horses have been in Tamworth since the start of the week after making the trek down from their Gatton base.
They had a stopover in Armidale
en route to compete in the Armidale Show showjumping event, but it only lasted one day with the second day washed out.
Smith has been showjumping since he was 17 and has enjoyed a successful career, punctuated by World Cup event wins at Toowoomba, the Adelaide Royal Show, Sydney Royal and Shepparton.
It established him as one of the nation’s best showjumpers.
“I think it’s the fairest sport out,” Smith said. “It’s no-one’s opinion.
“It comes down to who jumps the cleanest and the quickest.”
Horses are work and play for him. When he’s not competing in showjumping events or preparing horses for them – either his own or for other owners – he’s breaking in horses, mostly for dressage competition.
“Probably 80 per cent would be dressage horses,” Smith said.
This year will be his second time competing in the Tamworth event.
“Phil (Hetherington) had been telling us how good it was,” he said.
So last year they thought they’d come down and see what the fuss is about.
He’ll be in for a busy weekend. All up Smith will be riding seven horses across the different grades including Guru and Kartoon Debreve.
“The Kartoon horse, we’ve only had him a week,” he said.
“Guru he won the 1.25m Hoffman Memorial last year.
“He’s stepped up a grade.”
Tamworth will be only the second show they’ve done.
“The horses are probably not at their peak, but we’re happy with how they’re going,” Smith said.
“We just come here because we like it.”
It will be a family affair.
Jess is also competing. She’s entered in a couple of junior classes, the 1.5m and 1.10m, where among the competitors she’ll be up against will be her dad.
That is one of several events being run today.