Equestrian Lauren Rowe nominated for WA Surge Fitness Sports Award

A bond like no other: 16-year-old equestrian Lauren Rowe has been recognised for her dedication to Dressage - alongside her German Riding Pony, Cadillac. Picture: Pip Waller

A bond like no other: 16-year-old equestrian Lauren Rowe has been recognised for her dedication to Dressage - alongside her German Riding Pony, Cadillac. Picture: Pip Waller

IT was a warm February morning in 2018 when Lauren Rowe prepared to get her horse, Joe, ready for the day.

She awoke for a 4.30am start like she always did, and had made her way to the paddock on the Capel property where she lived with her parents.

But something wasn't right.

Joe, Rowe's horse whom she had only been riding for 10 months, had tragically got himself trapped in a fence and was unable to move.

After efforts of the Rowe family, their neighbours and the family vet, Joe was able to be freed and raced to the veterinarian.

But there was nothing the vets could do.

Rowe said in the 10 months she had Joe, they had achieved a lot.

"The weekend before we lost him, we won a personal best in a competition - we were going from strength to strength," Rowe said.

"He was 15 when he died and he still had so much to teach me.

"People just don't understand that horses are part of your family - you walk out in the morning and they all call for you, and you turn your lights off at night and they all call out. They're just family."

At just 16 years old, Rowe has competed in both regional and national Dressage competitions throughout Australia, a form of horse riding performed in competition.

Rowe shared with the Mail the importance of the bond that a rider must have with their horse - in order to succeed like Rowe had, in Dressage.

"I remember when I rode Joe and it was like we instantly clicked," Rowe said.

"I just got on and it was like nothing could stop us.

"And from there we just kept growing and growing together."

Rowe put her success down to the support of her mother, Lisa, her coach, Colin Chantler and of course, the strong bond with every horse she had ridden, including Joe.

"The bond you have with your horse is just something that I can't describe - everything that you need is in that," Rowe said.

"If the horse knows you're having an off day, they can feel it. And if they're having an off day, you can feel it.

"And some people don't understand that and they try and force the horse - but when you have that one connection and respect for each other - you achieve great things."

A few months after Joe died, Rowe began riding Cadillac, a German Riding Pony.

As a member of the Busselton Pony Club, the Equestrian Western Australia Rising Star Squad and Junior High Performance Dressage, and the Pony Club of Western Australia, High Performance Dressage, Rowe and Cadillac have a myriad of achievements behind them.

Some people don't understand the bond they need to have with their horse so they try and force it...

Equestrian Lauren Rowe

They took out the medium 4A test at the 2021 Virtual Pony Club Australia Awards and the award Rowe is "most proud of" - the Elementary Championships at the Pony Club Nationals in 2019.

Rowe, who has completed online schooling until this year, said her dedication for Dressage came from the love she had for horses.

"What I love most about Dressage is what we can achieve together - the whole idea of Dressage is the movements you can make together and the harmony between the horse and the rider.

"I'm dedicated also because of the support I have from my mum and dad, my friends, my coach Colin and of course, Cad. If I didn't have them, I couldn't tell you what I'd be doing or where I would be. They're just everything."

Rowe has been nominated for the Surge Fitness Sports Award in the 2022 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards, with winners to be announced in late 2022. Rowe can next be seen competing at the Interschool Championships in April and then the Equestrian Western Australia Dressage Championships in October. She plans to attend Manea Senior College this year in the hopes of becoming a primary school teacher and a riding coach.