STANHOPE local Mackinley Glover has reined in a big opportunity after being selected to represent Australia in the Global Youth Reining Cup in Italy later this month.
Mackinley has been competing in reining for most of her life and said representing Australia will be a huge honour.
“I was really shocked and excited when I heard the news. It’s pretty amazing to be able to have been chosen with so many other talented young riders around Australia, and I’m looking forward to making the most of the opportunity,” she said.
Mum Kate Glover said she was “proud and a bit blown away”.
“It’s a really short turnaround time, so now we just have to get organised and get there,” she said.
With just four weeks between being selected and the competition, it has certainly required a bit of a logistical miracle to make it happen.
A new passport was first on the to-do list – this will be Mackinley’s first trip overseas.
Eleven countries will be represented by one youth competitor aged between 12 and 18 years old.
Competitors will get allocated horses through a lottery system 10 days before they compete.
Mackinley will only be able to ride her horse once before competing with it.
“How I go is hugely dependant on the horse that I get and how I am able to work with it,” Mackinley said.
Reining is somewhat of an unconventional sport, relying on the precision of the rider to guide the horse through a pattern of circles, spins and stops.
It’s that attention to detail that Mackinley loves.
“I am a little bit OCD and will work for something to make it better – that’s probably why I love reining. The more you improve your horse, the higher the score,” she said.
She’s riding most days in the lead-up to the competition.
“My parents breed reining horses and for me it’s always been a part of my life. I’m finishing school this year and regardless of where I end up next I’ll always ride – I love it,” she said.
And while the nerves are sure to kick in once the wheels hit the runway, she’s just looking forward to pulling on the green and gold.
“I still get nervous before showing every time but it gets easier every time, and I’m really just stoked to have been given the opportunity,” she said.
The competition takes place on May 25.