Hay flies flag at Youth Equestrian Games



Alpha Media Group



BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE TOP Zimbabwe teenage showjumper Amy Hay is set to fly the country’s flag at the Youth Equestrian Games, in Aachen, Germany this week. The Youth Equestrian Games are set to take place from June 23 to July 3 and the event will feature riders from 30 countries and six continents who will compete in both individual and continental team events. Hay is part of a small group of five African riders which includes Egypt's Haya Osama El Boraie, Jad Guerraoui from Morocco, Tunisian Elyes Chaouachi and South Africa’s Thomas van Rijckevorsel. The athletes, all aged between 15 and 18 years, will compete in individual and team jumping competitions in Aachen, with each nation competing as part of a fivemember continental team.* Africa came third the last time out back in 2018. “I’m so excited to be representing Zimbabwe at the Youth Equestrian Games in Aachen. I can’t wait and I hope to do my country proud,” Hay said following a training camp in Morocco last month. The South Africa-based athlete also spoke about her journey in showjumping and her love for horses. “I started riding in 2011, my older brother really got sick, he got cancer and my mum wanted me to do something fun which would distract me. So she took me to this rising yard and that’s when I started to trot around and I have been competing for nine years now,” she revealed. “I love everything about horses and showjumping. I really like the adrenalin feeling I get especially after doing a good round. I can go down to the stables and they can instantly make me happy when I am not feeling the best. They are always there for me,” Hay added. The teenage star left for Germany on Friday last week accompanied by her coach Charley Crockart, who is a top Zimbabwean professional showjumper. Hay and her Zimbabwean-bred warmblood horse Rivens Whirlwind qualified for the Youth Equestrian Games in July last year after attaining double clears in the second and third competitions of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) category A in Johannesburg, South Africa. They were the only Zimbabweans to have a double clear in the third leg of the competition as they finished a credible 12th in the overall World Rankings for category A. Hay claimed a gold medal in the South African Youth Grand Prix Championships in Cape Town late last year to become the first Zimbabwean showjumper to win at the competition. The 17- year-old rider has also qualified to compete at the Fei World Jumping Challenge finals set for Plovdiv, Bulgaria at the end of next month.