With International Women’s Day around the corner, we thought that we would take a step back to celebrate one of our inspiring female team members. Whilst we’re lucky in this sport to have a relatively equal playing field for men and women, we still think it’s important to reflect on the inspiring women doing great things in the equestrian industry. With that; here is our interview with sponsored eventing rider, Laurelle Hayes! We love how she is managing to balance her career and her passion for eventing.
Tell us about yourself and your horses?
My name is Laurelle Hayes, and I’m a mine worker in the southwest.
I currently have 4 horses in competition work.
Heart Show and Star Song are both off the track thoroughbreds just beginning their eventing careers in the 85cm classes.
KDale Mr Knightly is an 8 yr old thoroughbred/warmblood x gelding owned and bred by Stephanie Sneyd. He will be competing at 2* level.
Nukku Park Royal Diamond is a 10 yr old warmblood gelding by Royal Hit. He loves dressage so we are switching disciplines with him and giving that a go. He is medium/advanced level.
What do you consider your greatest riding achievement?
Representing Western Australia in South Africa and competing at both Adelaide and Melbourne International Three Day Events have been highlights for me. Owning my own property and training my horses from scratch, either breaking them in or retraining from off the track.
How do you manage working with competing and training event horses?
It is quite difficult. I do all the riding myself unless I’m XC training and have lots of horses to get through, then my sister on occasion will hop on one or two to help me out. I have lots of family support managing the horses when I’m at work, my parents, sister or fiancé will always feed up etc when I can’t. For the past 18 months my friend Kate lunges all the horses and does all the yard work when I’m rostered on. I can’t express how much everyone helps.
What’s your top tip for aspiring female riders wanting to make it to the top of the sport?
Perseverance and a good work ethic, but that’s for everyone! You need a good strong network around you family, friends, coaches, farriers, vets… Everyone! Also I think if you can be financially self-sufficient when it comes to the horses that’s very beneficial. No-one can drag you away from them then.
What are your favourite pieces of tack?
I’m a big fan of all the KenTaur gear, but some of my favourite pieces include:
- The KenTaur stud girths; my personal favourite is the ‘Cassis‘ girth. My very first KenTaur girth is now 20yrs old. It’s had a hard life and is still going strong and never been repaired!
- I love my KenTaur ‘Triton’ Jump saddle for the fit it gives big shouldered, high withered thoroughbreds. This was the saddle that made me decide to ride all my horses in KenTaur saddles.
- The KenTaur ‘Sophia’ Chaps. They are quite simply beautiful to look at and completely comfortable from the very first ride
- The KenTaur ‘Gogue’ Training Aid. All the horses are lunged in this when I’m working. Fabulous for encouraging stretching and building top line.
- Kentaur Leather bell boots. My horses wear these every day. Enough padding to offer protection and easy to put on and take off.