• Eastern Cape Rising Sun

Show jumper needs boost to enter SA Youth Champs

Clarendon High School learner Tyra Whittal (18) climbed her first horse before her 2nd birthday. Today she is an equestrian rider and showjumper that has qualified for the South African Champs to be held at the biggest showground, Kyalami, in Johannesburg this December.

This will all depend on whether she can raise an amount of R19 000 for accommodation, stabling, and horse transport as horse riding is an expensive sport.

The youngster comes from a middle-class family of horse riding, with her mother Pauline being a former competitor.

This will be her last year competing as a junior in show jumping and showing after a successful career of coming first in almost all her races.

In 2018, the Grade 11 learner took first place in Novice Show Hunter, Dressage, Junior Novice show hack, show riding, show horse at the BEC Winter and Spring shows. She had an equally good run at the Eastern Cape Showing Champs held in Makhanda last year where she came first in show hack, show riding, best-kept ex-racehorse, novice show hack and show riding.

At the Eastern Cape Junior Showing Champs held last month, she came third in a thoroughbred show riding horse, thoroughbred show hunter, best-kept ex-racehorse and junior novice working riding. “I enjoy the feeling I get when I am on my horse Drake, we work really well together and we help each other out. Horse riding allows me to be myself and I am at my happiest when I am riding,” said Tyra.

The teenager would love to have a professional career in horse riding and study to be a veterinarian in order to work with horses and other animals while competing at the world stage. The upcoming SA Champs, she is certain, will be the launchpad she has been training for all her life. “I want to make the novice showing team and hopefully win one of my showing events. With show jumping, I am hoping Drake and I will have faultless rounds and do the best we can as a team against some of the toughest competitors,” she details.

Tyra rides for the Border Equestrian Club. If anyone wants to make a donation towards Tyra’s trip, please contact her mother Pauline on 065 330 6646.

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