She met Thailand royalty, won a gold medal and did it all while representing Australia.
Sophie Hatch from Frensham, recently won the CSIJ-B Princess Cup in Thailand.
From a young age, the love and dedication for horse riding was instilled in Hatch.
“I started riding when I was really young, she said. “I got invited to a pony party and my love for horses and riding began from there.”
Hatch’s success in the sport didn’t happen overnight. Many hours went into honing her craft and she is now reaping the rewards from her hard work.
“I rode for a few years before I made it to the Princess cup,” Hatch said.
“I worked at my craft and tweaked out the little things that held me back. I really enjoy putting in the hard work and it’s now showing signs of success.”
The excitement along with the love for her country made Hatch’s win incredibly special.
“I felt very proud when I won the cup,” she said. “It was really exciting and I felt honored to be there representing Australia.”
Hatch had never ridden the horse she won the Princess Cup with, Royal De Moens, before the event, but the connection with the stallion happened almost immediately.
During the competition, out of three combinations they were the only ones to ride double clear and very quickly made history together.
“When you sit on a horse you get an immediate feeling from them,” Hatch said.
“You see how they act, you give them a little test out and try out their buttons.”
The princess of Thailand watched the competition from the sidelines and Hatch got to meet her after the victory. “I was very nervous on meeting the Princess of Thailand,” she said.
“We had some quick curtsying lessons and I had to practice that a few times. It’s pretty hard getting the hang of that, but it was really fun and an honour to meet her.”
With such a great accomplishment under her belt at a young age, Hatch said she would continue to enjoy riding.
“I’m going to keep working on my riding,” she said. “I’m just going to continue to enjoy myself and see where things go.”