Horses a life-long passion for Capel resident

Headshot of Nicolette Barbas
Nicolette BarbasSouth Western Times
Kaeleigh Brown with her horse Edward.
Camera IconKaeleigh Brown with her horse Edward. Credit: Nicolette Barbas

Kaeleigh Brown was four-years-old when she first started competing in horse riding.

Born and raised in Capel, Kaeligh has competed in competitions across the country over the years with her beloved horse, Edward, and said it was all thanks to her aunty.

“My aunty is a paralympian horse rider,” Kaeleigh explained.

“As soon as I was born, her first niece, she stuck me on a horse and said “this kid is going to be a rider”.

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“I’ve been involved with horses ever since I can remember.

“Edward was actually my aunty’s horse, but because she’s paraplegic, she’s unable to do jumping and when I started looking at getting my own horse, she gave me Edward.

“Having a connection with your horse is so important.”

Kaeleigh says she has competed in “too many competitions to count”.

“In 2006, 2011 and 2013 I competed for WA,” she said.

“All of those competitions I placed in the top 10 and they have been my biggest highlights.

“I have had a few falls in the past which have resulted in concussions and broken bones and haven’t been great for my confidence, so I only jump small heights now.”

The 21-year-old recently won the Volunteer South West Youth Volunteer of the Year award.

“Majority of my volunteer work is with Capel Horse and Pony Club,” she said. “I’ve been riding with the club since I was about five years old. My mum used to ride in pony club, my aunty used to ride in pony club, so it was sort of like the natural progression of things for me to ride in the club.

“For a while my mum was the president of the club and I had all of these great ideas of what we could achieve and when I turned 18 I thought, I might as well join the committee.”

Kaeleigh is now the events chair for Capel.

“We hold three to four events in the year, one being a State renowned competition,” she said.

“Since being a part of the club I have made many older friends that I look up to.

“We had our AGM recently and I was appointed the vice-president for Capel and also the State dressage coordinator which is pretty cool.

“The experience and getting to know new people is why I volunteer.

“Putting on an event and seeing my ideas come to life, as stressful as it is, it is so rewarding.

“I hope to see more young people volunteer in the future, as a younger generation we need to step up.”

Studying sports, recreation and events management in Joondalup, Kaeleigh is set to finish her course in the next 18 months.

“My ultimate goal is to be on an international sporting committee,” she said.

“I would like to do it with horses, but because my degree is so open-ended, I can go down pretty much any path.

“Horse riding will always be my thing, it’s something that, if you can put your heart and soul into it, will benefit you greatly.”

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