South African born and raised dressage rider, Nichola Mohr, has set the wheels in motion to fulfil her dream of riding and competing her own horse overseas with the eventual goal of riding for South Africa at the Olympic Games. Earlier this year she loaded her best friend, Callaho Winston, onto a flight to the island of Mauritius for him to wait out his mandatory quarantine before flying off to Olympic dressage rider, Tanya Seymour’s yard in Germany where him and Nichola will be based.
“It has always been a dream of mine to compete internationally and in the Olympics for my country,” says Nichola. “To be able to ride alongside my idol, Charlotte Dujardin, would be a dream come true!”
Nichola, whose love of horses and riding career started before she could even walk, has been seriously competing since she was 8 years old, and in the last 18years since then has competed her horses up to Grand Prix level. “My greatest riding achievement to date definitely has to be competing my off-the-track thoroughbred up to Grand Prix level,” says Nichola. Nichola has been in the Western Province team since the age of 10 and during that time has also represented South Africa. She has also been invited to train and compete at international yards in Germany, Holland, New Zealand and in the UK.
Winston comes from the highly esteemed Callaho Stud, and was bought by Nichola at their annual auction in 2013. “We don't often try the horses out before the Callaho Auction, but in 2013 we went to try the horses and Winston was the only one I was interested in. We bought his brother, Fabriccio, 2 years before and we loved working with him, which made me want Winston even more,” explains Nichola. “The day of the auction arrived and I'd never been so cold before. Just before Lot no: 9 – Winston - was meant to make his way into the arena, a huge gust of wind blew through the outdoor arena and spooked the horses warming up there. Winston's rider turned him to stop, he lost his footing and slipped. His rider had to be airlifted to hospital. When Winston finally made it to the indoor arena with a new rider and a handler on the ground, not surprisingly there weren't many bids on him and we were able to get him!”
At the beginning of the year, Nichola and Winston competed in their first Inter A (Medium Tour) test. “It's a very special feeling that you get when you compete a horse you've trained yourself to that level, you get to know them so well and they trust you when they're faced with something challenging,” beams Nichola. “I'm really excited at the thought of being able to compete in those beautiful arenas overseas, where I will get the chance to compete against my idols! I can’t wait to learn all there is to know about riding at that level as well as the training and management of the dressage horses overseas.”
To raise some of the funds needed to make Nichola and Winston’s dreams come true, Nichola, along with her family and friends will be hosting a special day at the races at Kenilworth Race Course on Saturday 03 November. “This will be so much more than just a day at the races, no punches have been pulled, and there will be entertainment for the whole family, horsey and non-horsey orientated, as well as fun events between the races to keep you on your toes.
To book your tickets for this special race day please contact Linda Mohr on 082 785 2511 or Linda Hennings on 083 743 7203.
Facebook page - @NicholaMohrDressage