TAMWORTH teenager Emma Hindmarsh has jumped another fence on her way to becoming an Olympic eventing rider.
The 18-year-old will fly to the United States next year for a month-long stay that is sure to help her ever-improving riding skills after receiving the Phillip Dutton Scholarship for 2012.
“It entitles me to an all- expenses paid trip to America to work and train with Phillip Dutton himself,” Hindmarsh said.
“To win this I went to the two Nyngan one-day events, sent in a resume and had to have an interview.”
Dutton is a former Australian Olympic dual gold medallist who now lives in America and runs an eventing academy in Pennsylvania.
His academy awards scholarships to young riders who have proved their worth in the sport.
The scholarship was awarded for Hindmarsh’s efforts at the Mid-Western event at Nyngan, but also for her many previous exploits.
Her long list of achievements include representing NSW throughout her time at school.
“I made the all-schools teams from 2008 till now,” Hindmarsh said.
“One of my biggest highlights was Melbourne 2011 where I came third.
“And being named NSW junior rider in 2010 and being ranked 19th in Australia for three consecutive months in 2010.”
To be a top eventing rider the three skills of show jumping, dressage and cross country are all important and Hindmarsh spends a lot of time training her horses and practising each event.
Her family came from Narrabri to Tamworth when she was five and even before that she was riding horses.
“Since I could crawl,” she reckons.
Now they breed, break, train and ride their own horses in competition from the family property at Daruka.
“All of the horses I ride we bred ourselves, except one,” Hindmarsh said.
The family has just got back from a trip to Europe where they toured horse studs in the UK, France and especially in Germany where they saw some impressive facilities and breeding programs.
With the family business in full swing and opportunities like the scholarship with Phillip Dutton, Hindmarsh is moving closer to her ambition of becoming a fulltime professional equestrian rider.
“That’s my goal,” she said.
“The first goal is to make the trans-Tasman team for New Zealand v Australia next year.
“And then the next big thing is the Rio Olympics in 2016.”
In the meantime there is a lot of work to do and she will be training and competing at every opportunity.
Having a jumps course and a dressage ring at her place at Daruka is a big help but there are also plenty of new courses, including cross country courses, being built around the area all the time.