NEWS > Interschool
Posted by Equestrian Australia on 20/09/2017.
Photo courtesy of Matilda Seppelt

Meet the NSW Interschool Captain

NSW Captain Matilda Seppelt will be competing at the Marcus Oldham Australian Interschool Championships for the last time this year as she is about to complete her final year at school.

Matilda is what could be considered a veteran of this competition and hopes that the invaluable experience she has gathered might enable her to represent Australia at the Oceania Championships one day.

How exciting is it to be named as a team captain?

 It is very exciting and I hope that I am able to do a good job in that role.

Have you ever captained a national interschools team before and what is your past competition experience and success with National Interschools?

I haven’t ever been a captain for the NSW team, however I have competed at this event five times previously. My first National Interschools was at Werribee in 2011 when I was in year six. I have competed every year since then except 2014 when it was held in Perth, because I was in France with my family watching the World Equestrian Games.

Tell us about your team and its members and some of their strengths.

The NSW Team has 71 riders and 84 horses travelling to Toowoomba this year. The team has many riders who have a lot of experience at this level, having competed at nationals multiple times previously, as well as some first-timers who have never been before. Many of our riders are competing in multiple disciplines or on multiple horses. We have a very strong Eventing team, made up of many experienced riders, ranging from year 7 to year 12, who have not only placed at our State Interschool Championships but have also placed well at open competitions. The same can be said of the Combined Training team, made up of both Primary and Secondary riders who are all experienced in this discipline. Our Showhorse team has many riders from both Primary and Secondary schools who have experience competing at many Royal shows. I’m also expecting great things from our Dressage and Showjumping teams. I hope that all of our riders can do their best while competing and have a great time with the team.

Explain a bit about the preparation for this event.

 The preparation required for an event like this is huge for anyone, although as both my brother and sister are competing as well things might be particularly frantic in our household. Everything from training and fitness of horses to transport, accommodation and meals for each day have to be planned, and are all important aspects for both the riders and their horses. I personally would like to thank my parents who are incredibly supportive of both me and my siblings and I know just how much they do for us. I extend this appreciation to all the parents of team members, they often have a wealth of knowledge and experience with horses and help coach their own children and others. Often there is so much attention on the rider that people forget how much the support crew does both at the event and behind the scenes in the lead up to an event like this.

Interschools has become a huge event now hasn’t it?

It has always been a big event, and some of the best young riders in Australia all come to this competition to represent their states. It’s a great way of meeting people and making friends from different parts of Australia. It has a unique atmosphere and camaraderie for the riders, it is also a fantastic opportunity to become better acquainted with administrators, volunteers and officials and develop an understanding of how higher level competitions are conducted.

What does it mean to be involved?

It means a lot to me as this will be my last time. There are some riders in the NSW team who have been on the team with me for some years, which is quite special. For any rider who gets to represent their state, it means that they have worked hard and achieved a level of competency that allows them to compete against the equivalent from other states, all with the potential to be among the best young riders in Australia.

What are your aspirations for the longer term future, do you hope to one day represent Australia at the elite level?

With horses I have learnt to take one day at a time, my horse is a younger horse that I have been bringing on. Next year I plan to start competing at One Star level with her and if she has the ability to go further, then one day I may potentially compete at the elite level. Currently, my long term goal would be to compete in the Trans-Tasman and this would be a dream come true for me!

2017 Marcus Oldham Australian Interschool Championships

  • Dates | Tuesday 26th to Friday 29th Sept 2017
  • Toowoomba Showgrounds, Queensland 
  • Open to the Public | Everyone Welcome
  • Trading Hours 9am to 9pm Daily

More about the Interschool Championships 

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