Showjumpers Emelia Forsyth and Nicola Hammond have been awarded the University of Waikato Blues for their sporting achievements. The annual awards are one of Waikato University’s strongest traditions, recognising students’ highest sporting and artistic achievements.
Both young women were extremely proud to have been honoured with their Blues and for 22-year-old Nicola it came with a very special memory. “My late grandfather was awarded his rugby Blues at Oxford University and cricket Blues at Cambridge University, so he would have been very proud of my achievement,” said Nicola. “It is pretty special just to be recognised like this – it is open to a lot of athletes and many of them are at professional level.”
Nicola is a carded athlete for Singapore who she represented in Beijing at the CSIOY in 2018 where she won the welcome speed class and was double clear in the team competition. The family lived for a decade in Singapore and six years in Hong Kong, however she is now a permanent resident of New Zealand.
She is just completing a Bachelor of Social Science, majoring in psychology and is looking forward to just focusing on her team of horses for a while. She is a Sir Edmund Hillary scholar and previously on the ESNZ Talent ID Squad. This season she will compete in Grand Prix and 1.40m with Carlo and with her seven-year-old Enya NZPH in the age group classes. She also has Cornetta PSH, a five-year-old who is about to come onto the circuit and four-year-old Firenze du Rouet who will have a few “little learning outings”.
Twenty-one-year-old Emelia is also a Sir Edmund Hillary scholar, a current member of the Talent ID Squad and in her second year studying a Bachelor of Business Management, majoring in strategic management and economics. Last season she was in the victorious New Zealand young rider team to beat Australia in the hard-fought Trans-Tasman clash.
“I have definitely always wanted my Blues,” said Emelia, “and once I represented my country I realised it would become a reality. It is just awesome.”
She too is looking forward to a fun season ahead with Henton Faberge, who is owned by Henton Lodge Hanoverians. While World Cups are on the agenda, her focus is very much on performing well in the “big” classes, including the Olympic Cup.
She and the 15-year-old chestnut mare were last season sixth in the Olympic Cup and won the Takapoto Estate Gold Tour Qualifier in the second week of the show, whetting Emelia’s whistle for success at top national level.
Emelia and Nicola join a strong list of other equestrians who have received University of Waikato sports blues in the past decade, including three-time winner Sarah Young (2015, 2016, 2017), Jackson Bovill (2017), Aleisha Collett (2016), Lucy Olphert (2013), Samantha Lissington (nee Felton – 2012) and Laura Newman-Dempster (2011).
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos supplied by Waikato University