Rider’s Name: Hayley Anita Young
Horse’s Name: Gorsaf Golden Girl (Gigi, often referred to as Ginger or G) Age: 17 (D.O.B 04/05/2000) Height: 15hh Breed: Welsh Section D Gender: Mare
Gigi is my first horse, I bought her when she was aged 11, immediately I fell in love with her character. Despite the challenges we faced, I saw potential and a friend for life. With hard work (…and my fair share of sitting in the sand) training began to get Gigi jumping. Gigi has proven herself to be a very keen jumper (now she knows how her legs work) with a lot of potential. Gigi’s favourite treats are stud muffins and cherry Likits, she used to be terrified of her stable but those fears melted away when her box became less of a dungeon and more of a playground.
Gigi is very clever; she is a quick learner with a variety of tricks. She will often attempt to do all of her tricks at once when she decides its time for a treat!
What Do We Compete In? We compete predominantly in show jumping from 80cm-1m. I had a huge confidence knock after a nasty fall (rotational) despite this I’m determined to get past the mental block and compete at 1m again. We have recently started competing in eventing and some hunter trials. We compete as part of a British riding club and participate in team events.
When Did I First Become Interested In Horse Riding and Why? I started riding when I was 3years old and had weekly riding lessons at a local stable until I was 16. Horses have always been my favourite animal. My mum was a keen rider when she was younger although she lost all her confidence and no longer rides, so I’d say it runs in the family. When I was old enough I would spend all my free time helping at the stables, I was very fortunate to participate in pony days and camps. I even got to go on a few riding holidays (my parents would stay in a little cottage nearby and enjoy their holiday, while I got to stay at camp). I was never able to have my own horse because of the cost, however I think this has made me determined and more responsible in the long run. At 16 I moved out of my family home to pursue an equine management degree at college, I learnt so much there and met Gigi! While living away I got a job at a riding school and as a polo groom on my days off, in order to save up and purchase Gigi without financial support from my parents. I don’t know why I love it so much, but I wouldn’t change it!
What Is My Greatest Achievement To Date In My Chosen Discipline? Gigi has brought me so many great achievements; it’s so hard to pick just one! I’m going to say winning our first individual hunter trial (doubling up as our first clear XC run) and qualifying for the Horseware National Hunter Trial Championships on 30th September 2017, which we attended. We had a fabulous clear run but were too slow to place. The championship was one of the biggest classes I have ever entered with over 100 people participating in our class (80cm). It also consisted of a very challenging, technical course. Gigi coped extraordinarily as it made me realise how tame the courses I have previously done were. We had not jumped many of the fences in training, or previous competition and venues I normally attend are much flatter! One of my best achievements in show jumping was being the champion of both Summer and Winter leagues in 90cm and 1m, along with highest points champion at a local venue for the entire of 2015, since then I have pushed to travel to bigger competitions and bigger venues, which pose increasingly difficult courses and challenges.
What Do I Hope To Achieve With Gigi In 2017/2018? I hope to be competing strongly in 1m show jumping classes and to try some 1m arena eventing, I also want to push myself and enter my first 90cm one day event and some 90cm hunter trials. I want to continue to take Gigi to bigger venues in order to challenge both of us.
Which Of The Likit Toys And Treats Are My Favourite And Why? Well I quite like licking the cherry ones… Realistically this is a question for Gigi and I’m sure she would say the Snak-A-Ball, she rolls it round for hours, both in her stable and out at pasture. I love that she can have treats in it or pony nuts to extend dinner time. Her other favourite is definitely the Tongue Twister; this is another one she will just stand spinning it round and round for hours!
If I Could Spend The Day With Any Professional Equestrian Who Would It Be And Why? If I could spend a day with any professional rider I would want to spend the day with Mary King. I have always looked up to her as a rider, I find it truly inspirational that she broke her neck in a riding accident but less than a year later she was back in the spotlight, competing at international events. I love that Mary has worked hard to build up her career, she did not come from a horsey family yet she has achieved so much, including going to the Olympics 6 times and coming home with Silver and Bronze medals!!