LIFE on the competition circuit for those with a talent for equestrian can often become all consuming with huge amounts of time and money spent to get riders and their ponies ready for the next show.
When Danny Mayson-Kinder left her home in England to settle in the tropical tourist town of Airlie Beach, she thought she’d left this life behind her but little did she know a passion for horses was in the bloodlines.
Seven years ago, when the Kinder family visited relatives in Danny’s homeland, a then two-year-old Charlie hopped on a pony for the first time.
Her instant love for riding horses was as obvious then as her talent for all things equestrian is now and as a nine-year-old, Charlie will compete in her first Queensland State Championships for showjumping next week.
“I passed it down inadvertently,” Charlie’s mother Danny said of her daughter’s passion for horse riding.
But over the last seven years, as with many other ‘horse families’, Charlie’s love of riding has infected her whole family, leading to a recent relocation from suburban Cannonvale to the fields of Strathdickie.
“When I moved to the beach I didn’t expect to be living in the country again,” Danny said.
“But we love it out here and it’s much easier being close to the ponies than having to travel to them every day to get Charlie’s practice in.”
And the move has reaped instant reward.
Last year Charlie had a breakthrough year on the North Queensland Equestrian Group circuit, winning several events and qualifying for her biggest competition yet, the State Championships.
As a nine-year-old, Charlie will be one of the youngest riders to compete, landing her the big task of taking on riders up to three years her senior in the under 12 showjumping event.
The Kinders expect the four day championship in Maryborough to be a huge step up and how Charlie reacts to the challenge will go some way to determining the path she takes over the coming years.
“We’ll see how she goes this year but if she continues to enjoy it and continues to do well, we’ll look at getting a bigger pony and see how far she can go,” Danny said. The sky may be the limit and Charlie’s already got her pathway planned in her dreams.
“My goal is the Olympics in 2016,” Charlie said.
If she were to achieve it Charlie would be one of the Australian Olympic team’s youngest members at just 16 but for now continued enjoyment is the main thing.
“Showjumping’s my favourite and I just want to do the best I can,” Charlie said.
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