Emily Hayward loves to create history. The 19-year-old from Cambridge this weekend added her fourth consecutive FMG Young Rider Series crown to her name – no one else has even come close.
But in her usual quiet way, Emily sums it up by just saying “it’s been a good season” – which is has considering she also won the Olympic Cup and picked up the Nationwide Trophy for most points across open jumping competitions at the Land Rover Horse of the Year Show.
“We had a bit of a slow start because I broke my leg when one of the young ones reared over on me and that put me out for a bit.”
Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t for as long as the doctor had wished. She would take her moon boot off to ride Yandoo Lady Gold and in October was back in full swing.
“The Young Riders just happened to be at the shows I was going to, so we did them.”
She does admit it is pretty special to have won four on the trot. “It is getting so much more competitive now – it is some serious competition.”
But as tough as it is in the ring, the Young Rider crew are pretty tight and that’s something Emily appreciates a lot. “We are all very close and like to support each other. That’s really important for the younger ones coming through,” she says. “I just really love what I do – the horses and the people and the atmosphere. It is a good place to be.”
Emily didn’t start in the grand final which was won by Olivia Dalton (Karaka) aboard her Aussie import Ci Dara Bonaparte as the only clear in the opening round from the eight starters.
By Diana Dobson
FMG Young Rider Series:
1st Emily Hayward (Cambridge) 157 points
2nd Steffi Whittaker (Christchurch) 153 points
3rd Olivia Dalton (Karaka) 120 points
4th Sophie Scott (Wellington) 107 points
5th Nicola Hammond (Cambridge) 101 points
6th Makenzie Causer (Christchurch) 94 points
FMG Young Rider Grand Final:
1st Olivia Dalton (Karaka) Cil Dara Bonaparte
2nd Emma Watson (Morrinsville) Letino
3rd Alexandra Hammond (Cambridge) Le Bam
4th Sophie Scott (Wellington) Lakota
5th Nicola Hammond (Cambridge) Carlo I
6th Elmo Jackson (Auckland) Fairview Animation