Hi, I’m Georgia Coory and this is my story!
From the age of 2 years old I have loved horses. My mum got me a little pony when I was 5 and since then I have never lost the passion for them. I have been a pony club member for the last 11 years and have competed at many equestrian events. As I grew I needed a bigger pony but as this is not a cheap sport my parents weren’t able to buy me one, so I raised calves and bought my own pony at the age of 10. Since then I have worked hard to be able to look after and compete with my own ponies.
I competed in Show Jumping and Dressage but my real passion is Showing, which to those not horsey is a bit like a beauty pageant for horses! Basically everything has to be perfect – the conformation of the horse, how it moves, how the horse and rider are presented and how the rider rides it.
I saved up and bought my first show pony – Paddy – who I love to the moon and back. The art of Showing is very detailed and takes a long time to learn and perfect. Luckily for me I had a mentor who taught me and helped me in the early days and thanks to her I am now able to do it myself. As this is only my second season showing I have had to work extremely hard to compete with riders who have been doing this from a young age. Despite having chosen one of the most expensive disciplines, I am doing my very best to allow myself to compete at top levels.
To get and keep my pony in competition condition I ride twice a day – before and after school, 6 days a week, and to prepare my pony for an event I have to get him looking amazing which can take around 4 hours the day before and then 3 hours on the day which means very early starts, sometimes as early as 4.30am!
My dream was always to compete in the Show Ring at Horse of the Year and last season I was lucky enough to qualify and compete which was an amazing experience and even managed to place at this event! Since then I ultimately wanted to represent New Zealand and this season I got the opportunity to trial. I was up against very experienced horses and riders and was very much an outsider. However, my hard work paid off and with my amazing Paddy we qualified in 3 classes – 2 for my pony and 1 as a rider. This means my pony Paddy and I will represent NZ at the Australian Grand Nationals and the prestigious Sydney Royal Show in March/April 2018.
Of course this comes with a huge cost – mostly the transport of my special pony to Australia. All up with flights, accommodation, horse stabling, feed, transport and entry fees I am going to have to pay around $16,000. This is even after some sponsorship that the team have already managed to get.
This is a huge ask for me but I am determined to make it happen. I am working and fundraising – selling fruit, holding a quiz night and working on vineyards and orchards.