Philip Smith Memorial Equitation Championship 2015 – A note from the first winner in 2001 – Casey Rosseau (nee Lourens)

Casey Rosseau (nee Lourens) – Winner of the 1st Philip Smith Memorial Equitation Championship  held in 2001 with our most generous patron, Mrs Mary Slack.

Words from Casey – I competed in the Philip Smith Memorial Competition (PSMC) in 2001 during my matric year. I was the first winner of this competition after it replaced WAS.

It was my junior career dream to join this elite group of Champions, so when I qualified for this event I was excited beyond belief as this was my last chance to achieve this goal.

I preferred the format of the PSMC to WAS as the quality of horses were better than my experience the previous year. This new format also put riders on an equal playing field in comparison to a normal equitation show as we all had to ride the same horses.

The amount of hard-work that it took as well as the support and encouragement from my riding teachers are testament to the fact that dedication, team work and self belief can result in success not just in the sporting arena but in all walks of life. This is a lesson learnt while working towards that goal that I’ve since applied throughout my life. It has stood me in good stead in achieving in other areas of my life ranging from success at university, in my career and representing my province as well as South Africa in other sporting codes.

The recognition received from having won this competition among the riding community as well as my school peers reaffirmed what one can achieve with a strong work ethic and a passion for what one loves.

My hope is that this competition will be in place for years to come so that other equitation competitors can enjoy the thrill of being part of a major sporting championship and experience the invaluable lessons and recognition that go hand in hand with it.

The Four 2001 Competitors on the podium with Casey Rosseau’s (nee Lourens) coaches, Claire Webb and Barry Taylor: