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Horse & Rider
  • Competition Safe Remedies for you and your Horse

  • Rider Hope Beerling with her healthy horse

    by Fiona Lane July 17, 2023

    Lucy Cochrane – Head Competition Rider & Competing In Australia

    Lucy is a Hippo Sponsored Rider from New Zealand who, at just 20 years old, landed an international head competition rider job. We chatted with her about working and competing in Australia, her main mount  Gymanji and why she finds it tough to choose just one discipline to be her favourite.

    Tell us about your horse.

    “My number one mount is Gymanji aka 'Splash', a 14-year-old gelding by Gymnastik Star out of an Anamout mare. His grand sire is the appaloosa Grand Prix dressage stallion 'Sundays Sensation' who gives Splash his unique blanket of spots. We purchased him as an 8-year-old who couldn't canter a 20m circle and had been used as a trekking horse, so I've been lucky enough to teach him all he knows. He has had a hugely successful dressage career in both New Zealand and Australia and is looking to step up to Grand Prix next season. Not only a star in the dressage arena, we show-jumped in the Junior Rider series, evented at 1* and he carried me to many successful rider titles in the show ring, all in our early years together.

    He has the biggest heart and tries so hard for me. He's got an extreme personality; you can read his thoughts. He has a few cheeky quirks up his sleeve, his most recent includes channelling his inner kangaroo - he finds them very amusing in the paddock so does his best impression of their leaps and bounds when we’re out hacking!! Treats are Splash's middle name. He'll take your hand off before you even offer him a treat - even when you don't have a treat in hand! He is the biggest foodie, but as my groom says - how could you not give that innocent face all the carrots!!!”

    What’s your favourite discipline to compete in, and why?

    “I've had a lot of experience in most disciplines, all to a national level, and I love them for different reasons. There is a reason I'm a professional dressage rider – it's an extremely rewarding sport and there is always something to focus and improve on. It's a perfectionist discipline, and I've always been someone to strive for perfection in everything I do. You certainly have to love dressage to make a profession out of it! As I have a large team of horses at a range of different levels, every day is different and I am learning all of the time.” 

    What achievement in your riding career are you most proud of?

    “It has to be landing a head competition rider job internationally at the age of 20. Not many people, let alone young riders, get this opportunity and it's so rewarding after all the hard work I've put in through the years. It's icing on the cake to be already recognised and accredited on the Australian circuit for my riding and for my skill in producing horses. I’ve had some results I’m proud of too. Gymanji went National u25 Champion three years in a row in his first three years of competition which was amazing, and of course winning a major show rider title at my first competition in Australia on the lovely Keystone Fantasy was very special too.” 

    Which Hippo Health remedies do you use the most?

    “We’ve been using the Mud & Rain and calming range remedies for a long time now - they are amazing – but my current favourite has to be the Oversexed Horse remedy. I have two very high-power stallions on the team at the moment, one in particular who hasn't had many ridden outings. We found huge success with him at a recent clinic, where the regular spectators could not believe it was the same horse.

    For myself, I love the support I get from the PMS Plus remedy. As a professional rider with severe endometriosis, I have huge issues with my cycles which are a lot to cope with when doing the amount of riding I'm doing.”

    What’s next for you?

    “Next season will be a big one. Gymanji will take on the CDI u25 Grand Prix circuit in Australia which will be a huge goal to tick off. Keystone Kashmir, our European imported breeding stallion, will make his competition debut, while Keystone Fantasy will start in the CDI-Y (if she hasn't sold before then). I have an amazing team of young horses to show in the 4-7 YDH classes, including this season's most successful mount Keystone FurstinClass who will challenge the 6-year-old classes. Looking into the future, it would be a dream to take Keystone Kashmir to Europe as a Grand Prix horse aiming for the likes of WC Final & WEG. There are so many exciting horses coming through for me so there is a bright future and lots of goals to aim for!”

    How old were you when you started riding?

    “I got my first pony 'Sparkey, Gundagai Sparkle' when I was about 5. He was the most special first pony and is still teaching our family friends children to ride well into his 30's. My first competition pony was the talented 'Dolly, Highstyle Dolly' who came to us when I was about 7. She took me around my first Springston Trophy at only 8 and gave me my first taste of dressage. I've been lucky to have many superstar mounts, most of which I have produced from scratch. They have all played an important part in my journey, however I credit my real competition riding to the magnificent 'Felix, Inspector Gadget' - my heart pony. We won the MT title at NZPCA Eventing Champs together, and we stepped up the grades together. He was the only pony eventing at 105cm at the time and I was only 13!”

    Aside from horse riding, what else do you like to do?

    “There isn't much time between riding to be fair! I run Musical Freestyles by Lucy so this takes up any spare time I have. It's been a rewarding experience and continues to grow each year. I was lucky enough to even sponsor the CDN Grand Prix Freestyle at Sydney CDI this year which is very exciting. Any left-over time is more often than not spent sleeping or eating - although I do love getting out with friends for a nice cocktail!”

    What’s your favourite food?

    “I'm a bit of a foodie. The Aussie's have got me hooked on Potato Cakes - which are apparently just potato fritters at home - but I didn't know they existed when I lived there!”

    What is your kryptonite?

    “Definitely chips and dip.”

    Follow Lucy’s journey on  Facebook and  Instagram.

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