[dropcap]J[/dropcap]orja-Joan Rohrich will be competing in the Pony Rider 1.20 classes as well as the Junior 1m classes at this year’s Nissan Easter Festival. WE caught up with her to see how her preparations are going.

Which horses will you be competing at this year’s Nissan Easter Festival?

This year I have my Pony Assegaai Rimanda in the Pony Rider 1.20m classes. I was supposed to bring Tatooine Bobbysox for those classes as well but unfortunately he suffered an injury so in his place I have my horse Font Chalooga in the Junior 1m classes.

Tell us about your horses’ personalities

Rimanda is very high in energy. She loves praise and being told that she is fantastic. She tries her heart out! At home she never walks in the paddock but trots and canters around instead, often jumping out of the paddocks to see what is going on around the stables.

Chalooga is the exact opposite: totally chilled and an absolute gentleman.

How did you prepare in the weeks leading up to the show?

Lots of fitness work! We do loads of hill work to build up muscle and stamina as horses have a long trip up here from Port Elizabeth so they need to be very fit. I jump once or twice a week with my coach Diane Snodgrass Botes. Since this show is already well into the year, my ponies are already quite fit and into a routine having also just done Presidents Cup two weeks ago.

Tell us about you on show day?

I try be very positive and go through the courses in my head on each horse planning the best lines, strides and turns.

What do you love most about the Nissan Easter Festival?

The shops! I also love the amazing courses and getting to watch all the top riders and horses competing in the top grades.

How many times have you competed in this show and what are your memories?

This will be my fourth NEF. In my first one, I won the Victor Ludorum on my pony Junos Blessing. The following year I won it on Bobbysox and was third in the Grand Prix. Last year I placed third again.

NEF has always been a great show for me and my ponies and a lovely opportunity to jump in the Bob Charter arena.

What class do you love the most at this show?

The fancy dress and the Luduma Cup as both bring the show to life! The Luduma Cup is definitely my personal favourite because I got to compete in it last year and will be competing in it again at this show.

Who are your favourite horse & rider combinations to watch?

I dont really have a favourite but I do enjoy watching Jonathan Clark and Hummer: they make it look so easy.

If we played music as you entered the arena, what music do you think your horse would want and why?

Soft Kitty Warm Kitty for Rimanda because she needs to be calmed down before her round. Make me Feel by Janelle Monae for Chalooga because I just love the song and I think it suits him.

Tell us something about you that nobody knows?

I had nagged my mom to buy Tatooine Bobbysox for me but when we got him home and I rode him for the first time he ran away with me! I was too scared to tell my mom that I thought we had bought the wrong pony! But luckily we forged a good relationship and he went on to win SA Champs with me!

Text: PR Machine