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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Kid from Tassie chases down a dream to take her pony to top 3DE

ABOVE: Chloe Daun and Archie on their way to a sixth placing at Melbourne 3DE. Picture: DEREK O'LEARY

A SLIGHT 14 year-old-girl and a 14.3hh Riding Pony are not a pair you would expect to see sailing around the two-star cross country course at Melbourne International Three Day Event, but Chloe Daun and Archie think big.

Chloe lives in Hobart, Tasmania, and has been a keen rider since she was tiny.

And she is well travelled. As a nine-year-old Chloe went to Interschools in Queensland riding a borrowed pony and ended up reserve champion 80cm primary school rider. At 12 she was the sub-junior dressage champion at the Interschools Championships in NSW.

Chloe did this on smaller ponies, qualifying two 12.3hh ponies to Grade 3 (EA 80cm) then moving on to a 13.3hh chestnut mare that really didn’t like dressage but jumped like a five-star horse. The pair competed up to one star in Tasmanian eventing.

ABOVE: Chloe’s first pony, Bailey, who could jump up to 90cm at only 12.2hh.

To improve Chloe’s dressage, Chloe’s mother, Meegan, who runs the Parklands Equestrian Centre at Allans Rivulet near Hobart, bought a beautiful old 14.2hh mare that gave Chloe a love of showing and dressage.

Then came Archie. The very cheeky, outgoing Riding Pony, proper name, Barindale Grandeur, that, by his royal pedigree should have been happiest pointing his toes and trotting circles in the show ring.

“He came to Parklands equestrian centre to be sold,” Meegan said. “Archie was bred in Victoria and sold to a lovely adult rider in Tasmania. He was quick and a bit quirky but we soon found out he could seriously jump so we bought him.”

Archie started as an EA65 horse but with training and a lot of hard work Chloe continued his education, developed his confidence in jumping and dressage and the pair became a successful team.

At 13, Chloe rode him to win a grade one pony club trials (eventing) in Tasmania against riders nearly twice her age.

She decided she wanted to compete at two-star level eventing, which meant she had to qualify.

She worked hard on her show jumping and regularly competed in 1.15m classes in Tasmania.

In the past two seasons she and Archie competed successfully in one star without a cross country jumping fault in any competition.

Eventing rules are very strict, and organisers of major events are cautious about young ride safety, so Chloe and the pony needed an exemption to ride at two-star level as she was just 14.

She and her family were confident of the pair’s ability and the exemption was successfully applied for, but they still had to qualify and there was also the issue that there were no two-star events at that time in Tasmania.

ABOVE: The trip was completed with a clear round in the showjumping at Melbourne 3DE. Picture: DEREK O'LEARY

A huge two-month trip to the mainland to qualify for Melbourne International Junior two-star was planned.

It meant school work was done remotely online, with a lot of catching up on assignments when she got back.

It was all worth it though.

Chloe and Archie placed fourth at Heytesbury Horse Trials, 11th at Ballarat International Horse Trials (54 in the field) and ninth at Albury Horse Trials.

With these qualifications under their belt they got to start at the Melbourne International 3DE, coming in sixth with clear rounds in cross country and showjumping.

Chloe’s ambitions are pretty clear.

“To ride five-star,” she said.

“I love to ride lots of different horses and cross country. When I finish school I want, of course, to continue with my horses and do a VET certificate in farming and agriculture.”


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