SERENA Ireland has been surrounded by horses her entire life.
She inherited the passion from her mother, and the pair have been riding together since she was a baby.
Serena got her first Shetland pony at age three, developing her love of horses before beginning dressage competitions around the age of 10.
Serena trained her first pony ‘He’s A Rockstar’ from the lowest level of dressage, before riding in her first Grand Prix with him when she was just 17.
This is a significant achievement to reach the highest level of dressage at such a young age, especially on a horse you have trained yourself.
Just prior to finishing her High School Certificate, the opportunity to to be a working student at Hof Börnsen, a German equestrian training academy, arose through Serena’s longtime coach and friend Liz Mudd.
She made the brave decision to follow her dream, and travelled to Germany in December 2015, just six weeks after her final year 12 exam.
Serena told News Of The Area, “I’ve been based at Hof Börnsen since December 2015 and I am now pursuing my dream of becoming a professional rider and an international dressage competitor for Australia.”
“I’ve had the opportunity to compete this season with two incredible horses, Dauphin’s Dream and Franklyn 11, and it has been a very successful season so far, including winning in Vierlanden which was only my third competition with Dauphin’s Dream,” she said.
“My goal is to continue competing this season and consolidating my training in order to be able to qualify for the Future Champions event next year, which is a major international competition for young riders held each year in Germany where I hope to represent Australia.”
Serena is living proof that although it takes a lot of bravery to follow your dreams, the outcome can be wonderful.
By Rachael VAUGHAN