Linking up with a new horse is no easy task – Harriet King knows all about it.
She’s been riding Lukey for close to a year and while it’s hard work – for both Harriet and mum Sophie – it’s all worth it.
Harriet will represent NSW at the 2018 Australian Interschool Championships, which begin in Werribee on Monday.
The Ashcam School student qualified for the national titles in three events after being named champion senior working hunter, champion senior preliminary dressage and third overall novice champion at the state championships.
Harriet and Lukey will be combining again at nationals and while Lukey can still be spooked at times, he always tends to do his job once he hits the arena.
“[He needs a] bit of warm-up but I feel like as soon as we go into the arena, he just knows to focus,” Harriet said.
“He always gives me a good ride once we go into the competition.”
Harriet – who has been accepted into NIAS’ “Gunnedah Services and Bowling Club” Lone Star program for 2019 – said Lukey still has plenty of improvement in him as well.
“We got him in November last year but before we got him he’d only done hacking,” she said.
“We’ve been in a process of teaching him to jump which is a long process but he’s getting very good at it and his dad’s a great jumper so he’s got the breeding.”
Harriet has to make sure she’s on top of her game, too.
The Gunnedah Pony Club rider has to be “confident” when riding which is something she’s managed to do more often than not.
The 2018 Australian Interschool Championships will mark the fourth consecutive time Harriet has competed at the event.
The Year 9 student will compete in the secondary section this year but competed in the primary section back in 2015 when she claimed a national title.
Harriet said that experience would help her this year.
“It’s different every year. Different horses and, I guess, competing against different people but it is good going into my fourth time because I know what’s happening and what level the competition is,” she said.
The competition will run from October 1-5.
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