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MBABANE - Five young equestrian athletes left the kingdom yesterday to participate in the FEI Group IX Inter Africa Cup 2019 at Penbritte Equestrian Estate near Johannesburg.

Lara Emmett, Lia van Wyk, Chloe Thorne, Brendan van Kooten and Coral Taman are set to compete against a field comprising athletes from Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. The event falls under the umbrella of competitions run by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) of which Eswatini is a member.

Swaziland Equestrian Federation (SEF) Secretary General Sue Elsey confirmed the trip.  “Lia van Wyk will be competing on a borrowed horse in Elementary Medium dressage and show jumping over a height of 1.10m. This young athlete has proved herself successful in the SANESA events, and we expect much from her at this event, despite the challenge of competing on a horse that she has never ridden before,” she said.


Joining her at Elementary dressage and over one metre showjumping is Chloe Thorne, another up and coming horsewomen in the Kingdom. She, too, has opted to ride an unknown horse and Elsey said they wished her the best of luck. She said Brendan van Kooten was a young man determined to make his mark in the equestrian world, having grown significantly in skill and experience during 2018.

He has entered to ride at 90cm showjumping and novice dressage on his horse, Faith’s Final Impact. Coral Taman, a name known to many equestrian enthusiasts having had an extremely successful year in 2018 in all disciplines she competed in, is entered on two mounts, one leased to compete in 1 metre show jumping, as well as with her pony, Cornerstone Dreamer also in the 1 metre show jumping category. Lara Emmett is also joining the team as the only adult rider, competing in Novice dressage on her own horse, Woof.

 “Following weeks of training and hard work, we also wish her the best of luck. The team will be accompanied and coached by Peter Emmett, an SEF registered coach. All athletes are extremely grateful to Brendan’s mother Allison, for all her hard work and energy in recent weeks organising the vast paperwork and planning that goes alongside such a team event,” she said.

Elsey added that the team had worked hard both in their training for these disciplines at the event but also in fund-raising to attend. In addition to a fantastic raffle of various prizes donated by equestrian supporters, funds were donated from a number of businesses and individuals.

She said the team was extremely grateful to SEF, SwaziPharm, Momentum, Rewarder, Tibiyo Insurance Group, Pheonix Insurance Group, Mica, Peter Emmett, Khoko, Benka Lifestyle, Savannah du Plessis, Mr Veg, Van Wyk Family, Barbara Wolverson and Andrew Bastock.

Else said without this support the team’s participation would have been extremely difficult and wished the five riders all the best as she highlighted that looked forward to welcoming them home with a bevy of medals.

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