LAURA Shaw’s first horse Whitney still lives on her family’s Noorat property.
The ageing pet is a pleasant reminder of her lifelong links to equestrian.
Laura, 16, has always had a passion for horses.
It’s led to the Terang College student, along with her younger sister Sophie, travelling across Australia to compete in showing events. And to her latest achievement, being named Victorian showing team captain for the 2014 Australian Inter-school Equestrian Championships in late September.
“It’s in the family. I had a horse before I was born,” Laura said of her interest in the sport.
“My mum rode, my grandma rode, so it was always going to happen.”
Laura will ride Daly Downs Trend, affectionately known as Harry, at the inter-school championships.
But she still has a soft spot for her first horse Whitney.
“We still have all of them, here living a life of luxury at the moment, teaching lots of little kids to ride,” she said.
“The horses are like our best friends really.
“I just love it (the sport). I don’t know how to put it into words.”
Laura qualified for the inter-school nationals in July when she competed at the state titles in Werribee.
She found out she was captain for the five-day tournament, which is also in Werribee, earlier this week.
“I was sitting in the lounge room and Sophie said ‘look at this’,” Laura said.
“I was pretty shocked (to be named).
“We have team meetings and make sure everyone is OK and we help out.”
The inter-school nationals’ show horse section will focus on three disciplines — ridden show horse, led show horse and rider.
“I think I am strong in all three,” Laura said.
“I was lucky enough to win two out of the three at state champs.”
Eventing, jumping and dressage are the other categories at the competition, which runs from September 29 to October 3.