“Don’t give up on your dream no matter how long it takes to accomplish”
13-year-old Darcey Eyb will soon embark on a trip of a lifetime to China with 10 other elite horse riders aged 13-14 years from around Australia.
Selected through her local pony club- ‘Cudal Pony Club’, Darcey is one of three students to be picked in NSW.
The team of 10 will be treated to 10 days of sightseeing, cultural activities, show jumping, gymkhana games and inspiring the young members of China Pony Club at Caballero (Wuxi) Equestrian Academy.
Darcey explained, “I was chosen through an application process which Mum helped me write. I’m really looking forward to riding over there, it will be all indoors and with people I have never met before, I’ve also been learning how to speak Chinese, it’s a bit hard.”
The role of the students is to be ambassadors for Pony Club Australia, because they are elite riders, the Chinese government has seen Equestrian as a sport they would like to develop, our Australian ambassadors are there to show what an elite athlete looks like.
The key the Chinese Academy are looking at is students who show they are multi-disciplinary, this means children need to excel in show jumping, dressage, mounted games, cross country, showing, sporting and show they can compete at a state worthy level in all of those disciplines.
Darcey mentioned her favourite events were between dressage and jumping, “I’ve learnt a lot of things that I haven’t been able to do before. My dream is to ride in the Olympics, competing in either of those categories. I train three hours a day and have 17 horses, three of those in full work.”
“Mum and Sue Walker have been my coaches, Darcey added, “I’d like to say thank you to them, Mum especially. Though there have been a lot of people who have helped me out over the years.”
Darcey has won her share of National and State titles and it’s no wonder after she mentioned she has been on a horse since the day she could crawl, then joining pony club at two years old.
Darcey’s Mum, Sarah Eyb laughed, “I was the chief instructor, we had to do something to entertain her, so we got her a Shetland pony and she crawled around all over him.
Sarah added, “We are really honoured, really excited and a little bit scared, it’s a big responsibility representing your country at her age, she gets her Australian team uniform soon so it’s becoming real. It’s something when I grew up here I could never have imaged going through Pony Club to represent my country, it’s fairly mind blowing, my Dad and I are both going to watch her and support the team.”
“I sat with Darcey when she won the Premier’s Award for sport through her Equestrian and we thought wow that’s pretty exciting, now to be going to China is pretty mind-blowing.”
“Cudal Pony Club have been very generous running a fundraiser raffle for Darcey, to help support the cost of going.”
Darcey added, “there’s a quote that I like- Don’t give up on your dream no matter how long it takes to accomplish.”
If you would like to help out in sending Darcey on her way, get in contact with President John Ford on the Cudal Pony Club Facebook page. Congratulations Darcey, we wish you all the best!