May 8 2015
vincent moemise - news

Moemise has no fear

This Easter week­end will mark the first ma­jor step to­wards what Vin­cent Moemise hopes will be a suc­cess­ful ca­reer in an un­likely sport for a young black man.

But Moemise is no or­di­nary young black man – the 23-year-old hav­ing been adopted by white par­ents at the ten­der of age of eight.

No sur­prise then that he has taken to showjump­ing, al­though he read­ily ad­mits to his ini­tial fear of horses.

“I was very scared of horses when I first moved in with my par­ents,” said the lad who will be mak­ing his de­but in the pop­u­lar Nis­san Easter Fes­ti­val which runs un­til Mon­day at Kyalami Eques­trian Park. “I mean here was I a young kid from the town­ship sud­denly liv­ing in a house that had sta­bles. And one day I got on my mom’s horse and fell so badly that I wanted noth­ing to do with horses for two weeks. But then my mom bought me a pony when I was nine; it was the first present I ever got in my life and I fell in love with horses from then on.”

“I was very scared of horses when I first moved in with my par­ents,” said the lad who will be mak­ing his de­but in the pop­u­lar Nis­san Easter Fes­ti­val which runs un­til Mon­day at Kyalami Eques­trian Park. “I mean here was I a young kid from the town­ship sud­denly liv­ing in a house that had sta­bles. And one day I got on my mom’s horse and fell so badly that I wanted noth­ing to do with horses for two weeks. But then my mom bought me a pony when I was nine; it was the first present I ever got in my life and I fell in love with horses from then on.”

Now hav­ing earned his spurs via the ju­nior ranks where he par­tic­i­pated in Dres­sage events, Vin­cent has been com­pet­ing at the Open Level since 2012 and has taken on the sport on a full­time ba­sis un­der the tute­lage of the coun­try’s most ac­com­plished rider – Barry Tay­lor.

“I’ve al­ways been a big fan of Barry and it is a huge priv­i­lege to be work­ing with him. I re­mem­ber the first time I saw a showjump­ing event on the TV Barry was par­tic­i­pat­ing and I took an im­me­di­ate lik­ing to him. And year af­ter year I used to al­ways bet that he would win.”

Now the roles have been re­versed, with Tay­lor bet­ting on the young man to go places on the sport.

“Two years ago, Vin­cent started in our de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme as a novice rider (1 me­tre). He is now com­pet­ing at the 1.30m/1.45m level which is a ma­jor achieve­ment in it­self. He def­i­nitely has the tal­ent to go far and all he needs to do is step things up a bit and work much harder on it,” Tay­lor said.

“Two years ago, Vin­cent started in our de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme as a novice rider (1 me­tre). He is now com­pet­ing at the 1.30m/1.45m level which is a ma­jor achieve­ment in it­self. He def­i­nitely has the tal­ent to go far and all he needs to do is step things up a bit and work much harder on it,” Tay­lor said.

Moemise has his sights on rep­re­sent­ing South Africa at the Olympics some day.

“I think the 2016 Olympics are too close but I’ll def­i­nitely like to be at the next ones. And to get there I know I need to do well here at home. So my aim is to get to the top level like par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Derby.”

First though, there is the Nis­san Easter Fes­ti­val that will serve as a big step to­wards ac­com­plish­ing his goals. “Though it is my first time go­ing to the Easter event, I feel like I’m go­ing to be com­pet­i­tive. I ac­tu­ally be­lieve I can win my class be­cause Barry has el­e­vated me to a place where I am very con­fi­dent in my abil­i­ties.”

The men­tor agrees: “I think in the 1.30m class, Vin­cent should be very com­pet­i­tive and suc­cess­ful.”

To think he used to be scared of horses.