Set for the big jump

2013-10-08 00:00

IF she could have her way, St John’s DSG show jumping schoolgirl Vasti Theron would head to Europe to compete after she finished school.

Vasti started riding horses at a young age, and throughout the years she has gone on to claim five KwaZulu-Natal championships, most recently, two weekends ago.

Her first title came in 2009 when she was a pony rider. Two other provincial titles followed in 2010 and 2011. Last year, in a first year as a junior, she won another one and managed to defend it this year.

At last year’s national championships, she was also awarded the Victor Ludorum.

“I’ve never had a low in the sport. It’s all been good times,” she told The Witness yesterday.

The 16-year-old Grade 10 pupil said after finishing high school, she would love to go Germany or the UK, but her parents have other plans.

“They want me to go study first and told me I could go compete when I finished studying,” she said.

“So, I’ll go study and get my degree while still competing.”

She plans to study behaviour analysis or accounting.

Vasti has also represented South Africa, and has toured countries such as Russia and Mauritius.

“If my parents allow me, I’ll go back to Mauritius next year,” she said, adding that she’s competed against riders from Australia, France, New Zealand, Germany and Russia.

Her favourite international rider is the American-born German Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum. “I always watch her. When there’s show jumping on TV, I’ll always look out for her because she’s always done so well,” she said.

Locally, she looks up to Lorette and Barry Taylor, and her instructor Evan Anderson who has been teaching her since 2011.

Vasti, who trains every day after school, said she’d love to go to the Olympics one day.

“If I get to compete overseas, I’ll have a very good chance of going to the Olympics. I’d love to go to the Olympics. The World Equestrian Games are also quite big,” she added.

Her father, Stoffel, told The Witness that he was very proud of her achievements.

Backing his decision to get her to study after completing school, he said: “There are not a lot of people that can make a living out of the sport.

“She must get her degree so she can have something to fall back on,” he added.

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