Star Ziggy leaves them in the dust in Perth

Taj StubberAlbany Advertiser
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Emma Panizza and Don Diva Danzig qualified for the Sydney Grand Nationals after winning at the Perth Royal Show.
Camera IconEmma Panizza and Don Diva Danzig qualified for the Sydney Grand Nationals after winning at the Perth Royal Show. Credit: Christie Lyn

Leading Albany equestrian rider Emma Panizza has returned from a successful Perth Royal Show, where her horse Don Diva Danzig secured qualification for the upcoming Sydney Grand Nationals.

Competing at the Perth Royal Show between September 28 and October 5, Don Diva Danzig and Panizza won Champion Show Hunter Hack over 15hh.

Panizza also won her two qualifying classes and came first in her weight class. That performance helped Don Diva Danzig earn a spot in the Sydney Grand Nationals to be held in March.

Panizza said they would give serious thought to the trip to the Sydney Grand Nationals.

“The trip to Sydney would be amazing and we will discuss the possibility with Ziggy’s part-owner Suzette,” she said.

“Ziggy doesn’t travel well so this will be something we would have to really consider before choosing to travel her for three days across to Sydney.”

Panizza said she would love to go back to the nationals.

Emma Panizza and Don Diva Danzig qualified for the Sydney Grand Nationals after winning at the Perth Royal Show.
Camera IconEmma Panizza and Don Diva Danzig qualified for the Sydney Grand Nationals after winning at the Perth Royal Show. Credit: Christie Lyn

“2012 was the last time I competed at Grand Nationals and my show hunter hack and I were lucky enough to win that year,” she said. “So it would mean a lot to compete again with Ziggy”. That triumph in 2012 helped her earn the 2012 Albany Sportsperson of the Year award.

Don Diva Danzig and Panizza have competed at four Perth Royal Shows, with this year being their best after finishing runner-up in 2017 and 2018.

“I have had Ziggy for about five years and she continues to get better every year,” Panizza said.

“She has a great work ethic but she can be a challenge at times, which makes a win all the more rewarding.”

The Great Southern had its best representation at the show in recent years, with four lead rein riders, Sam Dawe, Millie Stone, Aliyah Ruffo and Cooper Lucas all having great competitions.

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