Twenty-year-old Georgia Knight has entered the 2024 show season at Thunderbird Show Park with a new mindset. But the results have quickly proven to be the same.

Knight, tbird’s 2023 MarBill Hill U25 overall series champion, claimed the top two spots in Wednesday’s U25 1.35m jump-off class at the April Season Opener, taking the win with her longtime partner Ecolano vs Romano (37.21 seconds) and finishing second with new mount Ero del Pierre (39.82s). Ashley Arnoldt finished third with Lestat OLD (40.58s) by way of a five-horse jump-off over Chris Jones’ shortened track.

“Last year, I started off the year, and I didn’t expect to win [the series]. It really, really boosted my confidence,” Knight said. “I [realized], I can actually do well in these classes. Coming into this year, I was just going to try and be consistent again.”

The Victoria, BC native certainly had a consistent scorecard Wednesday, with two double-clear efforts producing zeros across the board. She used the jump-off to experiment. After an attempt at an inside turn went awry aboard Ero del Pierre, she utilized the footspeed that has made she and Ecolano vs Romano difficult to beat in this division.

“I’m still getting to know [Ero del Pierre], and I wasn’t sure how fast I could go [in the jump-off], because he’s bigger and has a big stride and a slower canter, so my strategy was to do an inside turn after jump three,” Knight explained. “I tried to do it, but I missed the turn, so I just galloped around to the next jump. I knew there was no point in trying to do that turn again.

“The thing about [Ecolano vs Romano] is that he’s so fun to do jump-offs on,” she continued. “I was just going to go as fast as I can. He loves it.”

Knight has not only entered the season with boosted confidence, but she’s also more seasoned, having spent a month in California showing this past winter under the tutelage of her trainer Lizzy Gingras. She’ll continue to compete in the U25 division this season at tbird, while also pursuing new goals.

“My goal is to try and be consistent, because that’s sort of what happened last year: The consistent consistency led to the [series] championship,” she said. “And I would like to compete in my first FEI show—hopefully that will be in May.”

The MarBill Hill U25 division continues Friday and Saturday, April 19-20.

MarBill Hill U25 1.35m
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time

1. Ecolano VS Romano / Georgia Knight / CAN / Georgia Knight / 0/0 37.21
2. Ero del Pierre / Georgia Knight / CAN / Georgia Knight / 0/0 39.82
3. Lestat OLD / Ashley Arnoldt / CAN / Jennifer Arnoldt / 0/0 40.58
4. Jillz / Natalie Popham / CAN / Natalie Popham / 0/0 41.99
5. Kristalstar / Sloane Betker / CAN / Sloane Betker / 0/14 65.89
6. Canberre 59 / Sloane Betker / CAN / Sloane Betker / 4 85.98
7. Nuovo Supremo / Jessa Rae Girard / CAN / Jessa Rae Girard / 35 117.84
8. Arctic Outflow / Jessa Rae Girard / CAN / Jessa Rae Girard / EL

Watch the livestream here.

Full results here.