CARRAMAR Year 12 student Isabella Lawrence was just a year old when she first jumped in a saddle.
Now, she and her Springbrook Reggae horse Hastie topped the Equestrian WA Eventing Master Series leaderboard for 2017 in the EvA80 junior class.
Lawrence also won the Saddles Plus Interschool Championship in eventing, receiving the awards at a special event last month.
“I’ve always grown up around horses,” the St Stephen’s School student said.
“As soon as my mum knew she was having a girl she was so excited as she knew she was going to turn me into a horse rider.
“She bought my first pony when I was born, called Boswell, then at the age of one, she sat me on my pony and used to lead me around – from then on I’ve always ridden horses.”
Growing up having horse-riding lessons, Lawrence ’s career became more competitive when the family welcomed Hastie, who had been a polocrosse horse for 12 years, into the fold.
“He is an exceptional horse,” she said.
“I trained him as an eventer, which consists of dressage, show jumping and cross country.
“He had to learn three new disciplines and he has never let me down.
“We have had a few bumps along our journey due to myself having surgery and then Hastie had a leg injury but we bounced back.
“Hastie has given me so much confidence as a rider, as he is very brave and will accept any situation he is faced with, with the reassurance of the rider.”
Though equine talents run in the family, Lawrence trains six days a week and goes to competitions on the weekends.
“In summer, I ride early mornings before school so I have time after school to get my homework done, then come winter, I have to ride after school and sit up to 10pm some nights doing homework,” she said.
The “tiring” schedule means she will hang up the saddle for a while as she focuses on her Year 12 studies.
“I’m so happy to have finished my year on top,” she said.
“Once I have my career on track, I’m looking forward to getting back in the saddle and starting training again.”