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Queensland-bred galloper claims inaugural QOTT Showjumping Showcase

15 August 2023

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Emily Patterson has made history as the winner of the inaugural Queensland Off-The-Track Program Showjumping Showcase, held on Monday afternoon in the Ekka’s Main Arena.

The experienced showjumper took out the top prize on the back of retired racehorse Liberty Shopper (competing as Libertarian) in what was a hotly-contested 30-strong field that included former Group race runners.

“I’m absolutely ecstatic, I can’t believe it,” Patterson said after the win.

“We only ride as a hobby but he’s taken me around two World Cups, he’s literally just the best horse ever.

“His original racing owners from Victoria are here watching him today and it’s just amazing for him to win this class.

“He’s quite mischievous, he likes getting into anything but he gallops up to me in the paddock and we just have the best bond and I just love him so much.”

Victory for the Queensland-bred son of Statue Of Liberty and Bonnie Shopper came ten years after his last race of a 21-start career, which netted three wins.

It was a chance conversation that saw Patterson enter Libertarian into the nation’s most lucrative showjumping event for retired racehorses.

“I honestly didn’t know about the event straight up…but he’s the only thoroughbred in Australia jumping World Cups at the moment which is the highest you can jump,” Patterson said.

“The thoroughbreds are my favourite breed so I was straight on board wanting to support it.

“These events are so important because the thoroughbreds, they’re not getting enough in this day and age - the warmbloods are taking over and the thoroughbreds are still just as good.”

Emily Patterson competes on Libertarian.

The inaugural QOTT Showjumping Showcase included the largest prize money pool presently on offer for a showjumping class exclusive for retired racehorses.

A pool of $50,000 was up for grabs across the field, including $10,000 to the winner and paying down to 30th place.

Patterson and Libertarian held off rising star Maleah Lang-McMahon who claimed second and third on the back of Ned O’Reilly and Royal Talisman respectively.

RQ Senior Animal Care Manager Kim Duffy hailed the first edition of the QOTT Showjumping Showcase as a success.

“We knew the quality of the showjumping competition would be high, and this inaugural event certainly did not disappoint,” Ms Duffy said.

“A huge congratulations goes to Emily and Libertarian, as well as to all of our competitors who made it a memorable afternoon in the Main Arena.

“I also want to thank Racing Minister Grace Grace who was in attendance and had a fantastic afternoon cheering on the competition.

“It was fantastic to see so many retired racehorses thriving in their lives post-racing, and we cannot wait to bring the event to life again in 2024!”

Earlier in the day, nearly 200 retired racehorses also competed in a range of Led and Ridden classes for Thoroughbred and Standardbred Day.

Click here for the full results from the QOTT Showjumping Showcase.