Botswana will make their debut at the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) youth show jumping competition taking place in Algeria this weekend, where Morgan Irish is representing the country.
The competition attracted 28 runners from 28 countries across the continent. Morgan’s manager, Sean Irish, told Mmegi Sport that horse riding is not a familiar sport in Botswana and the intention is for his daughter to change that mindset by competing. “We arrived in Algiers for the Africa Cup of Nations and we hope only for the best. She competes in the show jumping category. She did not travel with her horse and the one she was to ride was borrowed from the organizers,” he said.
The competition will take place on borrowed horses and there will be a horse draw. Irish said Morgan, 14, had to travel to Algeria before the competition to familiarize himself with different horses.
He said there was a draw for the horses and they didn’t know which horse she would be using on competition day. Irish said that since their arrival Morgan has done well in training putting in clear rounds.
Morgan developed a love for horseback riding at the age of four and has never looked back. With the support of her family, especially her father, who is her biggest cheerleader, she has grown and thrived. Most of her riding is based in South Africa as the sport is not yet developed in Botswana, but that has never deterred her from pursuing her dreams. Morgan is sponsored by Nashua. Irish explained that as part of the requirements, the Botswana National Sport Commission has approved his entry into the competition, which is a requirement of the FEI, the world body for equestrian sport.