Knight Impresses Again in MarBill Hill U25 1.40m

Langley, BC – Georgia Knight (CAN) had a plan for Chris Jones’ speed track in the MarBill Hill U25 1.40m.

Then she changed it. With longtime mount Ecolano vs Romano, it proved to be the winning move. She and “Romeo” produced the only clear round of the afternoon to earn a second consecutive win in the division at the April Season Opener, having also won Wednesday’s 1.35m jump-off competition.

“My original plan was to do a few more inside turns. And then as I watched the class, I realized it was a hard course. [The other riders] did the inside turns, and then they had a couple rails,” Knight explained. “I know my horse really well, and he’s fast, naturally. So I said, ‘I’m not going to do the inside turns. I’m not going to risk him being off balance or on an angle.’ So, I just decided to go around everywhere, and I trusted him that he’d leave all the jumps up.”

Even with a more conservative track, Romeo’s footspeed carried the pair quickly around the course. If a rail would have fallen, they still would have been faster than runners-up Natalie Popham (CAN) and Jillz; the winning time was 72.61 seconds, while Popham finished with a single rail in 77.26 seconds. Knight also finished third with new mount Indy, bookending the podium (8/72.51s).

[Ecolano vs Romano] is the type of horse where you just need to gallop with his head up, and he reads the jumps. So, it is definitely easier for him and easier for me if I’m just galloping the whole way around,” Knight shared. “I find I usually have one of the fastest times, because that’s just the way I need to ride the course.”

Knight has been paired with Romeo for nearly two years, and the bay helped his rider secure the overall MarBill Hill U25 series title at tbird in 2023. Last year, he complemented a more seasoned lease mount in Onyx, but in 2024, the 15-year-old anchors Knight’s U25 string alongside younger mounts Indy and Ero del Pierre.

“It took me a while to learn to ride him, but now I just know him so well. I know all his buttons and what he’s thinking, and that just gives me so much confidence,” she expressed.

Knight credits Romeo for making her a stronger, more accurate rider and helping evolve her seat from a lighter, hunter-styled position to being more effective in the saddle for tackling bigger, more technical tracks.

Beyond that, his quirky personality has won Knight’s heart in the barn.

“Romeo is my favourite horse ever. He is very strange, but he’s just the most cuddly horse. He likes when you rub his eyes, and when you stick your finger up his nose—it’s really weird—he just falls asleep,” she laughed. “And the weirdest thing about him is that when you give him a treat, he has to lick something for a good 20 minutes after. It’s nonstop, whether it’s your hand or the side of the stall wall.”

MarBill Hill U25 1.40m
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Ecolano VS Romano / Georgia Knight / CAN / Georgia Knight / 0 72.61
2. Jillz / Natalie Popham / CAN / Natalie Popham / 4 77.26
3. Indy / Georgia Knight / CAN / Georgia Knight / 8 72.51
4. Canberre 59 / Sloane Betker / CAN / Sloane Betker / 8 74.83
5. Lestat OLD / Ashley Arnoldt / CAN / Jennifer Arnoldt / 8 75.56
6. Nuovo Supremo / Jessa Rae Girard / CAN / Jessa Rae Girard / 8 85.27
7. Cella / Colby Winther Konig / CAN / Taylor Winther / RT