ZIMBABWE is flying its colours high in jumping competitions across Africa, thanks to the strict standards being observed. Recent competitions held in Zambia and South Africa revealed that Zimbabwe had secured the best positions. Jumping is a sport in which horses and riders jump heights of between 60 centimetres and 1, 4 metres, competing to give the best clear rounds they can. A clear round is when the combination of a horse and rider completes a course of jumps in the stipulated time without knocking the fence. Four children and four juniors, who travelled to Zambia to compete with three Zambian teams and one from the Democratic Republic of Congo, did the country proud when they scooped trophies and rosettes. In an interview with The Patriot, a member of the Horses Society of Zimbabwe, Linda Davidson, said the competition held in Zambia’s capital Lusaka, between 4 and 6 May was unique. “The uniqueness of the competition in Zambia is that the team never travelled with any horses as they used borrowed horses and it is amazing that they still won,” she said. “They only had two days to work with the horses because we borrowed horses from there and each player had two horses.” The children’s team comprised Cameryn Davidson (11), Carly Uys (13), Hannah Craig (13) and Floyd Makoni (13) whilst the junior team had Amy Engelbrechnt (19), Nicola Bramsen (18), Courtney Haddon (17) and Annette Rousseau (15). Children’s teams have riders under 15 years and the junior teams have riders between 15 and 19. Davidson said both teams gave an outstanding performance as they managed to develop good horse-rider relationship, for a good result. “In the Dressage, the children’s team was in first place as well as the junior team,” said Davidson. In the jumping show, the children’s team was number one whilst the junior team was number three. “The reason why we have such results is because we are strict with the children and we encourage them to follow the same rules as the adults,” she said. “This has managed to get Zimbabwe medals even in the Olympics. “Yarah Hanseen got a bronze last year.” One of the riders who won in Zambia, 12-year-old Cami Davidson, shared tips on how a rider and horse could work together to achieve clean rounds. “You need to talk to the horse, be generous to it by giving it water to drink, giving it carrots and being kind to it,” she said. “I started riding when I was two years old and I have a good coach, Charlie Crockart, so that way I became better and knew what I was doing.” Davidson disclosed that in the Easter competitions held in South Africa where each class carries 60 riders, Zimbabwe managed to get places. Ricky Johnson (18), who came sixth in South Africa in individual competitions, said determination propelled him to achieve the positive result. “You must believe in yourself and that you are the best, that is the only way you can win,” said Johnson. “I practise three times a week because I have become passionate about riding and jumping.” Meanwhile, in the Autumn Show sponsored by Centra Feeds and held over the weekend, winners in different categories managed to go home with feed for their horses while the 40 grooms present were given two bags of mealie-meal each. Some of the winners during the competition included Andreas Lividitakis, Rebecca Kageler, Angela Pretorius, Seale Bissett, Viki Wilde in first places and Celeste Wright, Kerry Downey and Katie Stock in second places amongst others.