Askin takes on the Aussies in the show jumping arena
|Askin takes on the Aussies in the show jumping arena - 12th Oct 2017|
Askin takes on the Aussies in the show jumping arena|
Mid Canterbury's Luci Askin has recently returned from a show jumping showdown with some of Australia's best.
The 21-year-old was one of four riders selected for the New Zealand Young Riders team and the only one from the South Island for the trans-Tasman competition against New South Wales in Sydney, at the venue used for the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Askin's selection came off the back of a stellar season, but when you're competing in another country without your own horses, it's hard to know how you'll fare.
Riders only got 15 minutes with their horses before heading into the ring, but Askin was mostly pleased with her own performances, and those of the horses she rode.
"There were two pools of horses and we have one for the first day, and then the Australians would have that one for the second day, and on the third day the pools get mixed together," Askin said.
Australia won the first day.
"We had quite a tricky pool of horses that day," Askin said.
On day two, New Zealand won, and on the third day the Kiwis won the first round and led by one point, but a strong finish from the Australians saw them take it out by just one point.
Askin now heads into the New Zealand show jumping season with her sights set high. From here on in, there are shows pretty much every weekend until Christmas. In March, Askin will head to the country's biggest horse show, Horse of the Year, where she's hoping to ride in the Olympic Cup, regarded as the most prestigious show jumping competition in New Zealand.
Last year she rode the level down where the jumps are 1.40 metres to 1.45 metres and came third. In Olympic Cup the rails will be higher, but Askin believes she's got a horse that's up to the task.
She's currently got a team of four horses, with five horses in work, and 12-year-old Portofino or Snip, as he's known around the Askin family's Coldstream farm is her best chance at glory. A thoroughbred born to be a race horse, Snip is proving to be a strong jumper.
One day, she'd love to take her own horses overseas to compete. This year she spent part of the winter working and jumping in Australia, and the winter before she was in America. Next year she's hoping to head to Europe, and she has dreams of one day competing in World Cup classes.
"That's probably next season's aim for me, I don't think I'll quite do that this year," she said.
Askin was born to ride. Her mum was an eventer and her dad a polo player, so naturally Askin, her sister and brothers became horse people too.
"I've been riding since I was little. I got put on a rocking horse first, and you know how it goes," she said.
She wasn't keen on show jumping the first time she tried it, but then again, she was only about four. The second time she tried, she loved it, and was hooked.
"I love it. I don't think I will change trade so far as going to eventing, I just love show jumping."
Askin's team mates in Sydney were North Island riders Lily Toothill, Emily Hayward-Morgan and Briar Burnett-Grant.
Article courtesy of Fairfax Digital and Stuff - The Stuff