I had the amazing privilege of being selected to represent my country in the African Shield Event in Zambia. The African Shield is a tournament that takes place over a year and comprises of 4 nations. South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia, with each leg of the competition taking place at each hosts nation. The African Shield competition is at 80cm level.
It was very exciting riding in Zambia, my team and I rode on borrowed horses as it is impossible to take horses up that far North. I am fortunate enough to have a lot of experience riding unknown horses at Eventing shows. Getting on a horse you don’t know and riding it in a event the following day is not a easy thing.
I rode a little school pony named Lady Contessa as I was the smallest rider there and the others ended up on larger horses. We arrived in Zambia on the Thursday, where we settled in and rode our borrowed horses.
On the Friday we completed the Dressage phase and our team course walk, with a get together that evening. The course was fairly challenging, much more challenging than I was used to in South Africa. On the Saturday we completed the Show Jumping phase, I had a very quick round on my pony that I was riding. On the Sunday we completed the Cross Country phase, it was quite a challenging course and I sadly had a glance off at one of the skinny jumps, but nonetheless had a good round. That afternoon was prize giving, South Africa did not win the Zambia leg, but we were the overall champions for the series, and brought home the gold.