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Pint sized Equestrian and her Gentle Giant

Posted on : 11 April 2017

Written by: Hilary Cassell

For six-year-old Sophie Janssen the Easter Show isn’t just about showbags, fairy floss and carnival rides. Sophie has a special reason to be excited about Australia’s largest agricultural show.

Sophie makes the trip every year from Denman in the Hunter Valley with her parents to help them show their Clydesdales.

 Much loved as the stars of the Carlton United Brewery Clydesdale team, Clydesdales were traditionally used to plough fields and pull lorries loaded with goods in early pioneer Australia.

When many young girls are begging their parents for a pony, Sophie was hounding her Mum to let her practice leading the Clydesdales around the family farm.

“Sophie was raised around them so she isn’t afraid of their size and horses are often different around small children, they seem to know that they are only small,” explained Sophie’s mum Rebecca.

Sophie barely reaches the bottom of these shoulders of these imposing horses but leads them with the confidence of a seasoned competitor and won the ‘Junior Driving in Long Reins’ event this year with four-year-old mare Matilda.

Sophie must drive the horse from the rear through a set obstacle course, controlling the horse’s pace and direction. An impressive achievement for young Sophie and her towering gentle giant Matilda.

“I like showing horses because the horses are very pretty, it’s so much fun! “

“Matilda is very quiet and does what she has to do, she's fluffy and sweet and the best horse I’ve ever had!” said Sophie.