Young Riders, funded by NZ On Air is releasing a second series on HeiHei, TVNZ’s kids’ platform (now on TVNZ OnDemand) on Friday 3 July (start of the school holidays).
New shows, new riders, new horses
With two fresh faces added to the mix, this year we follow eight young riders as they work and compete through the summer season for a place in the prestigious Young Rider of the Year.
From the early starts at their stables, to the daily work in the home arenas to the nail biting competition at the show grounds, we’ll see the hard yards our young riders put in to be able to compete at what is the highest level of competition for their age group.
We’ll get to know the new horses on the block and see how the bonds of last year’s horse and rider combinations continue to evolve.
Joining the team this year:
After years of competing on her much-adored Kaimanawa pony Bill, this year 17-year-old, Cambridge based Georgia Bouzaid is stepping up to her first Young Rider class on Ninja, the champion horse she bought from fellow Young Rider Emily Hayward. Both a show jumper and dressage rider, 17-year-old Ben Weir from Auckland is looking forward his debut in the Young Rider with his horses Gryphon and the attention-seeking Dan. Returning for another shot at the title: After losing last year’s Young Rider at Horse of the Year to Emily Hayward in the final because of a simple mistake, 20-year-old Ollie Croucher is very keen to put to bed ghosts from the past. 16-year-old Emma Watson from Morrinsville is excited about competing in this year’s Young Rider on her beloved Lime, after the rookie combination made it to the final in 2019. After a rough season that saw her lose her up-and-coming horse Dixie, 17-year-old Leeshelle Small from Ramarama has high hopes for this season on her new horse Archie. Will it be a threepeat? Having taken out the Young Rider title for the previous two years, 20-year-old Emily Hayward from Cambridge is keen to make it a trifecta. Sisters Drew and Ally Carson from Putaruru round out our Young Rider team. 21-year-old Drew returns on 16-year-old Bruce, with whom she took out the Young Rider title in 2017 and 19-year-old Ally puts in the hard work for what will be for her second year in this competition.
We’ll see the highs and lows that our riders go through as they strive to master the complicated combination that juggles: physics, nerves, dedication, courage and connection in their pursuit to land the top title -Young Rider of the Year.