Age: 19 years
Location: Singleton, NSW
Can you describe your average day?
It changes, but the I mostly wake up around 6.30am to feed and start the general morning jobs with the horses. I will than ride 3-5 horses depending on time, with a couple getting a lunge. A few days a week I work as a Life Guard at the local pool, with the shift either being early morning 4.30am to 9.30am or late afternoon from 4pm-9pm. Depending on when I work is when I do the horses. I also study Business and Economics online, so it’s a constant balance fitting this in as well.
How many horses do you have?
We have 28 horses on the property, but they aren’t all ours. I have 6-9 in work at any given time. I also have a few broodmares. We like to breed 1-4 foals each year, and have 3 foals due this season
Which horse do you enjoy riding the most, and why?
My favourite horse at the moment would have to be HL Kalina. She’s a 4 year old mare out of Oh I Say to the well known sire Kannan. I broke her in myself last summer, and so far she is very promising. My favourite horse that I miss having in work was my old Junior/Young Rider horse Kelstar that I had a lot of success on.
What is the best thing about your horses?
The best thing about my horses is that every one of them is unique and brings their own personality to the team. Whether they are a 3 year old being broken in at home, or King (my 18 year old thoroughbred), they always keep me on my toes. They make things easier when you have the early morning starts or late nights, as they always make it worthwhile in the end.
What plans do you have for 2019?
I want to continue to train and compete with Bertie at 3*** level, and to progress my young horse up to 1*. I have a number of young, home-bred horses who started competition this year. Its exciting to watch them develop and mature. My aim is to bring them up the grades to Grand Prix. At this year's WEG, two Australian based Showjumpers rode home-bred horses. I hope to do the same one day.
What are your highest achievements and career highlights to date?
I have two achievements that really stick out. One would be on Kelstar back 2015 at the Australian Titles when he was the only Junior horse out of 120 to not have a rail down all week. In the final, we went in positioned 26th and jumped 20 spots to 6th overall. We went on to win the final class (the Junior Grand Prix) as the only entry to go clear over the 3 rounds. My second most memorable achievement was in 2017 at the Australian Senior Speed titles. I was riding Midnight Rock, and placed 2nd in a class full of Grand Prix level horses and riders who had particularly come to the show to win this event.
What keeps you motivated?
I keep myself motivated by being a perfectionist. Perfection is so hard to achieve, and I may never achieve a stage in my career that everything is perfect. This is what motivates me more and more each day, knowing that there is always more room for improvement and that every horse is different to work with. My horses are a big motivation as well. Nothing excites me more than my young horses and the improvement they make as each show goes by. I am always working towards the goal of producing or riding a horse at the World Equestrian Games or the Olympics.
Who has been the most influential person in your riding career?
My mother is the biggest influence for my riding career, as she’s my coach and the person I will always turn to first for advice or assistance. My brother Jake Hunter and my Godfather Rowan Willis are also big influences for me.
What advice would you offer other riders?
I like to tell little kids to just have fun and relax. I would probably tell older riders around my age the same thing, and also advise them not to put too much pressure on themselves.
What is the most used item in your tack room?
My helmet and my saddles.
What is on your iPhone?
I don’t listen to much music - mainly the radio and whatever the top songs are at the current time. I have a game or two on my phone that I play at times, but other than that I mainly use the social media and messaging apps.
Where is your favourite place to go on holidays?
Not far from home - Port Stephens.
What do you like to do on a day off?
I love to sleep, so if I had a day off completely doing nothing or had no responsibilities, I probably would love to spend it in bed relaxing/sleeping. In my spare time I love to sauna and have a swim.
Your ultimate goals?
To one day represent Australia at the Olympics or World Equestrian Games.