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Wallace in the pound seat as she chases WEG dream
- Updated: May 20, 2013
Young Cape Town equestrian ace Sarah Wallace has had another fine return as she chases her dream of riding for South Africa at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France.
Currently ranked second in the country in the eventing discipline, 19-year-old Wallace has swopped Hout Bay, Cape Town for KwaZulu-Natal to be closer to the big national shows that she needs to compete at to boost her experience.
Riding On Taps Ayres Rock (known as Jack) Wallace won the FEI CIC3* show in Treverton at the weekend and her other mount, Ramses, took fourth in the 2* class.
Both her horses are world class rides and she’s hoping to take them overseas with her ahead of the WEG competition. The last Games were held in Lexington, Kentucky in 2010.
Only the top five athletes from each qualifying country in that discipline are allowed to compete at the most prestige of equestrian events.
Wallace has dreamt of WEG competition since the age of 10 and through a huge amount of hard work, dedication, tenacity and talent Sarah, Ramses and Jack have proved that representing SA at WEG is no longer merely a dream, but a very tangible and real goal. She has campaigned hard┬áover the last 15 months┬áand her hard work has paid off.
She came second in the SA Championships in December last year and second again at Springs FEI 3* 2013, only being beaten by Martyn Swanepoel and his horse,┬áKardinal, current Sprinboks who represented SA at WEG in Kentucky in 2010.
The class of 3* eventing is the qualifying level for WEG and by going clear over this very tough course, which is set at international standards, they proved that they are up to the challenge.
Harry Payne, international eventing judge and coach┬ábased in England, was extremely impressed by Sarah and Jack when he judged them at the SA Championships and amazingly has agreed to take them in to his yard for her time there.┬áThis is a huge, huge accolade.
Originally she, Ramses and Jack were going to move across to England at the end of this year so that they could acclimatise and experience international competition before WEG.
However, with the┬áexport restrictions of three months quarantine in Mauritius due to horse sickness hopefully being lifted for a short period over July/August which will then only entail┬ásix weeks quarantine in Cape Town and then a direct flight to Europe, its been decided to send them earlier to avoid┬áMauritius.┬á┬áA definite┬ádecision will be made by the EU import board on the 29th May. Jack, Ramses and Kardinal are booked to fly to Europe together.
Horses like Jack and Ramses don’t cross one’s path every day.┬áFor her, this┬áis an opportunity of a lifetime.┬áNow the big drive is to raise the finance to support this very courageous and exciting quest.
To this end an account has been opened for her with Investec which will be controlled by Leigh Markham (Jacks’ owner), Peter Thomas (KZN Eventing Chairman and FEI technical delegate) and Ivor Keppler (Director Lazer group).
Equestrian excellence comes at a high price and just some of the costs she’ll be looking at raising funds to cover are: Jack and Ramses’s international flights (R150,00 x 4) and livery costs at 750 pounds per month, per horse. There are also other costs such as coaching, room rental and entry fees.
Prospective sponsors can contact account director Kelly Burke with any offers of assistance. She can be reached on 021 785-6980 or at [email protected]