Teen equestrian rider claims college title
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.