Wednesday, August 05, 2009

South Africa: Local Lanel ranked nr 3 in the world

Limpopo Informant - full article
Grade 11 Stanford Lake College learner, Lanel van Nieuwenhuizen, has been chosen to represent South Africa in endurance riding at the Young Rider World Championships on 5 September in Babolna, Hungary. She and the rest of the team will be competing over a 120km distance. She is currently the number one Fei endurance young rider (14-21 years) in South Africa and is ranked third in the world.

Grade 11 Stanford Lake College learner, Lanel van Nieuwenhuizen (17), was recently chosen to represent South Africa in endurance riding at the Young Rider World Championships that will take place on 5 September in Babolna, Hungary.

She and the rest of the team will be competing over a 120km distance on horses especially hired for the team from France. The horses will be sent from France to Hungary for the championships.

The Van Nieuwenhuizen family lives in Louis Trichardt and when she is not at school, Van Niewenhuizen is riding one of her horses. Endurance riding is definitely a family activity. Her mother, Leonie, developed her love for all things horsy at an early age and bought her her first horse when she was just 7 years old. She.started endurance riding when she was 10 years old on her horse Studvet Sam. She still has Studvet Sam and he is her favourite out of the eight horses she currently has, although he is no longer her main competition horse. Her main competition horse is now Jozami Foxin. She has competed in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Chili and Hungary – all on horses that she had never ridden before and, even more remarkably, finished in the top three riders every time.

Up until the age of 14 years, Van Nieuwenhuizen was not allowed to participate riding alone (as per this sport’s rules) but this was no problem as her mother is also a keen endurance rider and a Springbok.

Van Nieuwenhuizen’s father, Johan, is her groom. In endurance riding, the horse has to return to a certain spot every 30km for grooming and a check done by a veterinarian.

To date, Van Nieuwenhuizen has done over 8 000km in competition on 17 different horses. The basics of endurance riding is dressage and she has done numerous training and jumping courses.

Van Nieuwenhuizen is the number one Fei Endurance Young Rider (14 -21 years old) in South Africa. She is also currently the number three Fei Endurance Young Rider on the Fei world ranking list.

She represented South Africa for the first time when she was 14 years old and received her permanent Springbok number when she was 15 years of age. She also has her Protea colours. She has competed against senior riders over distances of 120km and 160km in Italy and South Africa. This means her saddle had to be loaded with weights for her to be able to pass the minimum weight requirement of 75kg. Van Nieuwenhuizen does well academically and when she is not on a horse, she plays hockey and netball. She plans to become a veterinarian or an equine physiotherapist and wants to continue endurance riding after school. Endurance is the fastest growing horsesport in the world and at an average ride in South Africa, one would find over 200 horses competing.

"Lanel loves her horses and loves riding and is very hard working," says her mom of her. - Karen Venter