Emma Mail and Oakvale Sovereign [Tahi] competing at Solway Showgrounds. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

EQUESTRIAN

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

A Clareville dressage rider has won a prestigious scholarship to assist with her development in the sport.

Emma Mail is one of three riders to be awarded the scholarships through Australian equine feed manufacturer Pryde’s Easifeed.

The scholarship came about after Mail was one of 20 North Island riders selected for Dressage New Zealand’s young rider talent ID squad for the 2018-2019 season.

The squad focused on recognising talent for the future in dressage.

As part of the squad training Mail attended a clinic in Taupo in September last year which focused on rider fitness, goals, workshops, and riding instruction.

Three riders who showed through their results and development during the season, sportsmanship, and how much of an ambassador the riders were to the Pryde’s Easifeed brand, were awarded the scholarship.

The scholarship caps off a good season for Mail and her 20-year-old horse, Oakvale Sovereign, who Mail calls ‘Tahi’.

The pair were part of the North Island and Wairarapa teams for the Under-25 national championships where they finished fifth in the young rider musical freestyle with a 68 per cent score.

She has also been named the Wairarapa winner of the Young Rider Top Ten Amateur League for Tahi’s category.

Mail is excited about the opportunities the scholarship will give her, including instruction from a leading dressage rider.

“It gives me the opportunity to develop and it gives me the opportunity to train with and learn from a top-level grand prix rider.

“I want to develop Tahi up to Level Three and this will be a big help.

“We competed at Solway and finished third in Level 3A with a test score of 63 per cent.”

Mail is enthused about her future prospects in the sport she loves but says it’s a lot of hard work.

“I work fulltime as a baker. My day starts at four in the morning so I have to juggle that with training.

“I try to do a couple of hours a day with Tahi. I really enjoy the sport – it is awesome.”

Mail will be presented with her scholarship at the Dressage NZ national awards dinner night in Auckland at the end of the month.