New junior champion just getting started

Ella Morshuis and her horse World Famous at home in Mosgiel this week.
PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Ella Morshuis and her horse World Famous at home in Mosgiel this week. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Blaze is blazing new ground.

And it is not over yet.

Ella Morshuis (15), of Mosgiel, won the national junior title at the South Island three-day eventing championships in Christchurch last weekend.

Morshuis and her horse, Blaze, better known as World Famous on competition day, took part in dressage, cross-country and show jumping.

After the first day they were lying second after a dressage score of 70.83 points, a personal best for the young rider.

On the second day, Morshuis rode clear over the cross-country course within time, a top effort.

"It was my first long-format [event] and it was a difficult course but I was stoked to clear it," she said.

Heading into the final day of the competition, Morshuis was at the top of the placings, which meant she would be last competitor to ride.

"It was an awful feeling. I was so nervous.

"But World Famous jumped the last fence and jumped it clear and it was all pretty emotional.

"Everyone sort of surrounds you, all the competitors are amazing and everyone is so happy for you."

Morshuis, a year 10 pupil at St Hilda's Collegiate, said she could not have done it without all the support she had received.

That included from her parents, Debs and Lloyd Morshuis, her local coach Lauren Enright, Waikato coaches Tracy Smith and Lizzie Green, her veterinarian, Pete Gillespie, and farrier Trevor Sutherland.

She is not resting on her laurels.

She and World Famous will be going to Rotorua at the end of the month for the one-day national trial.

A couple of weeks later horse and rider will attempt their first international competition, the Puhinui Three-Day Event in Auckland.

"I am nervous but I am excited to see what it's like.

"There will be some really good professional riders there so it's exciting and cool."

- By Holly Percival

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