Teen eques­trian rider claims col­lege ti­tle

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

Six months af­ter win­ning two na­tional eques­trian ti­tles, year 11 stu­dent Kayleigh Ryan has earned the ti­tle of Mata­mata Col­lege Sportswoman of the Year.

The 16 year old com­peted in the dres­sage sec­tion at this year’s New Zealand Horse of the Year Show in Hast­ings.

With her ponies Stormy and Lucy, she won the Dres­sage Pony of the Year at both level one and three.

‘‘ I have been try­ing to win those ti­tles for a few years ... it has been my main goal,’’ Kayleigh said.

‘‘You have to have a good horse and a good in­struc­tor.

‘‘Not many kids do dres­sage be­cause it’s hard and you have to prac­tise a lot be­cause it’s very tech­ni­cal.’’

Kayleigh prac­tises a few hours a day, five days a week, and has lessons with Grand Prix dres­sage rider Vanessa Way once a month and in­struc­tor Kay Ver­coe weekly.

This was her fi­nal year com­pet­ing in the pony class and she plans to have a break from com­pet­ing for the next few years.

‘‘Even­tu­ally I want to get a nice young horse and train it up to Grand Prix,’’ she said.

Kayleigh has also ex­celled in cross- coun­try and ath­let­ics.

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