Jamaica’s eventing prospect Lydia Heywood, admits she does not conform to stereotypes at all. Lydia, who is daughter to a British mother and Jamaican father does not look like most of her fellow competitors;
I am the only Caribbean representing their country in my sport of eventing, I will continue to grow and I believe having successes in our national colours will assist me to balance diversity in the equestrian world’ Says Lydia.
Lydia is an up and coming athlete, who not only looks to conquer the UK, but also the world of equestrian sport. Following a recent visit to Jamaica which was courtesy of Mr Samuda, President of Jamaica Olympic Association, her origins, charm, and skill secured her a place on Team Jamaica, as their only International Event Rider.
Growing a string of competition horses is vital in Lydia’s plan for the future. Lydia’s current position lacks the ability to purchase an experienced horse due to lack of funds. Luckily, Lydia has been involved in producing young horses since the age of 13. She has the skill set and tenacity to break in horses, harness their talent and get wins on the circuit.
Early in 2019, Lydia and her mother Claire invested in two young Irish horses which displayed enormous potential, yet lacked in experience. July 6th, Tullaher Lottie who is a talented and affectionate 16.1 by OBOS QUALITY 004 qualified for Osberton 4-Year-Old Championship; at her first BE event! The upkeep of additional horses is certainly a strain on funds but results like these confirm Lydia’s processes are professional and well thought out.
As a young sportswoman, with a focus on obtaining Olympic accolades, coaching is pivotal to Lydia’s progression, which all comes at a cost. Corporate affiliations is what’s needed now to become a world class rider and win Jamaica’s first equestrian medal.
The Jamaica Olympic Association are supplying an increasing number of untraditional sports in Jamaica with the tools to grow and succeed and I truly hope they extend their commitment to equestrian in the near future.” says Lydia
Personal success and growth is of course of important to Lydia, especially when she is committing every moment outside of her part-time job, which helps to fund her journey, to training and competing.
Also close Lydia’s heart is making horse-related activity accessible to all. She has given talks at Urban Equestrian and regularly visits the Ebony Horse Club in Brixton. Both of these organisations facilitate those who may not normally be exposed to it equestrianism and gain life skills that can be used to gain employed in the industry.
In London, the Ebony Horse Club team work with children from disadvantaged communities (mostly of ethnic origin), introducing them to riding and horse care. Lydia’s role is important as when she attends, she represents an attainable future for the youth.
Training from her Gloucestershire base, Lydia’s feet are firmly on the ground. It is a fiercely competitive sport. The future for Lydia is not only to compete in the Olympics, but also to secure the backing of sponsors that are excited by the journey and shares her vision.
For more information on Lydia Heywood please visit www.facebook.com/LydiaHeywoodEquestrian