Name: Tess McInerney
Lives: Arcadia, NSW
Occupation: Instructor and Rider
At what age did you start riding and who introduced you? My love for riding began at the age of three on a Shetland pony that my parents bought me. Starting as just occasionally riding, my love grew stronger as I grew older. With the support of my parents I am lucky enough to now ride and teach full time.
Tell us about your first horse: My first horse was a cheeky black Shetland pony called BoJay. At only 10-hands-high he was full of personality. Despite being a naughty little pony, he taught me many things and my love for horses began to grow quickly.
How many horses do you currently have in work? Currently I have four horses in work on my competition team, and I normally ride between 2-4 horses for clients per day. My current competition team is Alpha Centauri (London), who is the most experienced on the team and starts in the bigger classes. Warraleigh Park Cortez (Corey) and two newer horses Holmood Valentine (Xena) and Quintation (Beachy).
Which horse is your current star and do you have any future stars? My current star would have to be London, being my most experienced horse who always trying his hardest for me. Although he is the most experienced, he is definitely the most quirky horse on the team. Not close behind would have to be Corey, and although it has taken a while for us to click I believe 2019 is going to be a great year for us. As for my future stars I am very excited about my 5-year-old gelding Beachy, who is showing great talent and Xena my 8-year-old mare who looks to have a very promising future.
Who was the biggest influence to your riding? My mum would definitely have to be the biggest influence on my riding. She has always supported me in every way possible. From helping me at home to being my biggest supporter in the ring.
What do you look for in a horse? I look for a number of things in a horse but mainly it would have to be the horse’s natural ability, carefulness and a forgiving nature.
How do you prepare your horse for a big class and what is important for your warm up? When I prepare a horse, I believe the most important thing to aim for is that the horse is happy at home and willing in training. Making sure that they are doing different things every day to keep them interested and motivated to learn during the week helps with that, so, as well as flatwork and jumping on the arena I try to work them in the paddock and go for a hack as often as I can.
As for my warm up at the show, I believe it’s important to keep your horse sharp and focused; a listening horse in the ring makes my job a little easier.
What are your biggest competitive achievements to date? My biggest competitive achievements would be winning the overall best Young rider at Sydney jump club end of year championships, placing in top five at the Willinga Park Jumping Grand Prix Final and also starting in my first Grand Prix placing 5th.
What are your short and long term goals? My goals for this year are to be consistently starting in Grand Prix classes, and to be targeting my first World Cup Qualifier on London. Also, to grow as a coach and continue to teach young people about horses and horse riding. As for my long-term goals I hope to one day to breed and produce my own top horses with the end goal being to ride overseas.
Who are your role models (Australian and/or international)? My Australian role model would have to be Tom McDermott. He is such a soft talented rider who is extremely hard working and dedicated. As for my international role models I love to follow the world stage of our sport, and I greatly admire Australia’s own Edwina Tops-Alexander as well as Beezie Madden and McLain Ward.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given? The best piece of advice I have ever been given is to be proud of your triumphs and to learn from your mistakes. Also, that if you create a bond and relationship with your horses, they will try their hardest for you.
Tell us a few things we don’t know about you. I am a type 1 diabetic. I own a miniature long haired Dachshund called Nelson who comes to every show with me. I like to be very organised and punctual.