Love at first ride
SHE put her hand on El Roblecito Malaika and stood there quietly for a moment of connection and chemistry.
They clicked and Zimbabwe’s Brianagh Clark went on to win a bronze medal with Team Africa at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires last week. It was Zimbabwe’s only medal at the third edition of the YOG and 17-year-old Clark is proud of her feat.
“I am overwhelmed with a lot of happiness for having competed for my country at the Youth Olympics. Winning a Youth Olympic medal has been a dream come true and all the hard work over the years has paid off,” she said.
“Staying positive and moving forward helped every step of the way.”
El Roblecito Malaika is an Argentinian horse she rode for the competition after their two-day-old relationship. by Liz Gregg
“It didn’t take very long for us to be on similar levels with each other, I spent a lot of quite time with her. I just had my hand on her and we just stood quietly and would spend a lot of time walking or even just sitting outside her stable. When your horse has been drawn to your name, you have to trust the horse to help build the chemistry between you as a rider and your horse.
“You have two days to learn the horse’s quirks and to really trust each other, so communication with your horse and forming a bond is very key.”
Clark, who finished 18th in the Individuals category, says her YOG experience has opened doors for her. She said having the Minister of Youth, Sports, Arts and Culture Honourable Kirsty Coventry as Team Zimbabwe’s Chef de mission for the Games was a privilege.
“It (the YOG experience) has left me with so many open doors and showed me what it means to be a rider and to experience other people’s cultures.
“I made new friends from different places in the world. It has been a great privilege and honor to have her (Hon Coventry), she has been very supportive not only to me but to every other athlete at YOG, managing to watch and support my rides and all the other athletes’ games,” said Clark.
So what’s next for the Chisipite Senior School lower sixth student?
“I had to put my Eventing on hold while training for YOG so I’ll be trying to get back into that, and as to what the next step is, I have not thought that far yet,” she said.
CONNECTION . . . Zimbabwe’s show jumper Brianagh Clark puts her hands on her Youth Olympic Games horse El Roblecito Malaika to build chemistry between the two of them-