By Caroline Malan
Team Nissan Team Captain and Show Jumper Barry Taylor is pleased with his year to date as all bodes well for a solid SA Derby performance come September 2018.
- You’re currently ranked number 4 in SA in 2018. Tell us about your year to date and why it’s all gone so well? I’ve had a great year so far with Counter Attack. He has been placed in all the World Cups so I am hoping to open the door with a big win soon.
- Who would you like to thank for all your success thus far? There’s far too many people to thank individually, but I must most definitely mention my family: without strong family support it is a hard game to do at the top.
- Tell us about Counter Attack – what makes him tick? His likes/dislikes? He is a loving and brave horse. I’ve found that training him is a balancing act between getting his body stronger and keeping his mind focused. He is very fiery and playful so you have to get him focused!
- Have you decided yet whether you will ride him in the SA Derby? I will see closer to the time but I am very tempted the way he is going.
- How will you prepare him in the build-up for Derby if you do decide to ride him? Luckily he doesn’t need a lot of prep as he does the Derby jumps well, but his brain gets to him on Derby day – he just gets over exuberant with the vibe and noise and loses his head.
- What is the biggest challenge for you personally in Derby? Not to sound blasé but I have done it now over 30 times so nothing really worries me. I love the challenge and my nervousness is more of a nervousness to do well.
- How do you ‘get into the zone’ before the big class? When I get on in the warm up I try and just get tunnel vision and forget the world exists. It is difficult because usually I have some of my clients riding in the Derby and they call for my help.
- The dress code theme for the after party is a smart affair titled “Spring in the Hamptons”. Any idea what you’re going to wear or are you the type to only think of this once the Derby class is completed? Wish I could dress up but if I am riding I will be in my riding gear. I like the theme: it’s exciting and a good theme for the Derby.
- In your opinion, what are the biggest errors made by riders jumping the Derby course? Lack of fitness is one. The other is losing their head from the dyke onwards.
- What other horses can we look forward to seeing you on at Derby? Companeiro’s son, who is Counter Attack’s brother – a 7 year old. Hopefully he’ll do the micro derby.