The Ups and Downs of Showjumping
Sponsored Rider Hannah Wigg has had some very big up and downs this year.
I have been riding for as long as I can remember, riding at my first pony club rally at the age of three. I own two horses, Lilly, a 15 year old thoroughbred x warmblood and Cappy, a 3 year old warmblood, and am a part of the Victorian State Young Rider Showjumping Squad.
I have experienced the rollercoaster of showjumping many times. One minute you are on a high, making lots of progress to then falling to a low where you feel like you're going backwards. These low moments may suck but they make the high moments so much more rewarding.
In May of this year I was at an all time low having had a terrible fall, resulting in breaking both my arms at once! I was stuck with two hands in plaster and not being able to do many basic things such as brushing my hair, having a shower or cutting my food. I felt very useless and was so angry with myself for putting Lilly in the situation which caused the fall. Luckily I had lots of support and after many doctor and physio appointments I slowly got back to riding after 8 weeks. I've went back down to the beginning and will slowly work my way up to the big jumps again. This injury plus COVID has made it very hard to get out competing and has been very hard to continue improving my riding and competing at the higher level.
I then went from a low moment feeling like I'd lost all my progress to a high moment when I was selected as a Top 10 Jumping Finalist for the Equestrian Victoria Young Ambassador of the year. This was my third year in a row being selected however I was very surprised to be selected this year due to my injury and COVID stopping me from competing so I was very excited and honoured to be up against many great Young Riders.
The weekend consists of showjumping lessons, interviews and different equine sessions and the announcement of the Top 3. I was lucky enough to attend the Top 10 finalists weekend 2019 where I met heaps of amazing riders and learnt lots. I was also lucky enough to be selected for the second year in a row in the Victorian Senior Showjumping team for the Pony Club Australia National Championships which were to be held in Victoria in September. I was also selected for these championships in 2019 so was super excited to represent my state against riders from all over the country.
Although I have experienced many highs and lows while competing in showjumping, I still love the sport and wouldn't change it for the world. I have created such a special bond with my amazing mare Lilly. She is a very forward and quirky horse who can at times made me feel very frustrated, but she always tries her hardest and will always get me around the course safely. She has taught me to never give up even through the low moments and how the high moments are so much more rewarding. I am also very lucky to have my amazing mum who has supported me through all these years of riding and many 4am starts and cold rainy weekends away competing.