Name: Lucy Evans
Lives: South Coast of NSW (Moruya)
At what age did you start riding and who introduced you?
My mum introduced me to horse riding at a very young age, I have practically been riding ever since I could walk. My mum used to lead me around on this Shetland pony called Wizard and then from him I progressed to riding my sisters pony Charlie. It wasn’t until I got my own pony at the age of 8 that I discovered my love for show jumping which I have been focused on ever since.
Tell us about your first horse
I got my very own pony when I was 8 years old and his name was Charlie Brown. He was a 13hh Australian Riding Pony that I practically did everything on including pony club, show horse, dressage and even eventing but show jumping was always our favourite. He was a real character as whenever I would try and catch him from his paddock he would always bolt out the gate and head straight for the feed shed!
How many horses do you currently have in work?
I currently have 2 horses in work, my more experienced horse Viva Joy (Joy) who I compete in Young Riders and my young horse Glenara Vintage Balou (Flo) who is just doing some open classes at the moment.
Which horse is your current star and do you have any future stars?
Viva Joy would have to be my current star as I have had the most success on her throughout my career and Glenara Vintage Balou would definitely be my up and coming star as she is showing great potential over the jumps.
Photo credit: Stephen Mowbray Photography
Who was the biggest influence to your riding?
My Mum has been a great influence in my riding as she has been around horses her whole life and introduced me to the sport at a very young age, but together both my parents have been a big influence in my riding, they have both supported me since day one and always make me see the brighter side when things don’t go so well, without them both I wouldn’t be where I am today.
What do you look for in a horse?
I look for a horse that is well balanced, brave and is careful over the fence. I think it is also important to have a horse with a good brain and a kind nature as competitions are becoming tougher therefore the horses need to be trainable so you can get the best out of them in the ring.
How do you prepare your horse for a big class and what is important for your warm up?
To prepare for a big class I make sure my horses are in good form meaning they are fit and feeling good in themselves. By achieving this it means working both my horses each day doing jumping exercises and lots of flat work. I also think it is important for the horses to have some down time in their work, so I like to take them on long walks through the trails we have at home to help them refresh. As well as making sure the horses are in good prep for a big class I also like to focus on keeping myself from getting nervous, which I do through exercising and making sure my gear is neat and tidy. During my warm up for a big class I will always get on the horse as early as I can and walk and trot them around to loosen their muscles and then I will usually start by jumping some smaller fences and move up to jumping some bigger oxers. To finish my warm up I always jump a tall vertical to keep the horses sharp in front.
What are your biggest competitive achievements to date?
My biggest achievements to date would definitely be winning at Sydney Royal in 2018 in the young riders on Viva Joy and recently being selected to represent Australia in New Zealand for the NZ vs AUS young rider test. As well as these results achieved through competing I also feel proud in the work I have done with both my horses as I started them both off as inexperienced young horses and have brought them up to where they are now.
Tell us about your trip to New Zealand as part of the Australian Young Rider Team
I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the show as it was slightly different to the shows we have in Australia, they have different types of classes and events on each night. I also really loved going over with a team of riders and competing together for a change rather than competing individually, as well as our Chef d’equip, Todd Hinde who made our time away really fun. To sum up, I mostly enjoyed the overall experience and everything that came with it, as it was my first time competing in a team’s event in a different country.
There was a quite a mix of horses that got put forward by the New Zealand team, each horse in the pool was completely different. The horses were all good competitors but the way in which they performed really depended on how you adjusted to it and rode it. Overall the competition was run smoothly and the way it worked made it a fair game for both teams. Although our team didn’t come home with the win, it didn’t really bother us as we were all stoked to have been given the opportunity to partake in such a great event which lead us to meet so many new people and experience their different show culture.
Photo Credit: Rebecca Williams Photography
Photo Credit: Rebecca Williams Photography
What are your short and long-term goals?
My short-term goals are to enjoy my year off before I start University and travel overseas, as well as try to get some good results at all the major shows this year on both my horses. In the long term, I would like to have finished a degree at university and hopefully start competing in world cups. In the future, I would also like to compete overseas but it just depends on where life takes me.
Who are your role models (Australian and/or international)?
My Australian role model would have to be Rowan Willis as I really admire the way in which he has achieved his success by working his way from the bottom to the top levels of the sport, which is not a common path these days due to the money involved in the sport. My other role model would have to be my coach Colleen Brook as I have been with her for a number of years now and she has taught me so much in my riding. As far as international role models go, the ones who I enjoy watching the most would have to be Beezie Madden and Luciana Diniz.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
Sometimes I can get quite nervous before I go into the ring but I have improved over the years I have been competing as I’m always reminded to focus on what’s in front of me, not think about the end result to much and to just enjoy the ride. Also, my parents always remind me that “hard work pays off”.
Tell us a few things we don’t know about you
I live in a small coastal town which is 6 hours away from Sydney, I’m a part time lifeguard and I have in the past competitively played sports such as basketball, athletics and tennis.