In the June issue of our magazine, Heath Ryan identified young West Australian rider Kenya Wilson as a rider to watch, citing her impressive win at Brigadoon CCI4*L earlier this year with her horse, Sandros Salute MW (Equestrian Life, June 2022). Of course, the win at Brigadoon was no overnight fluke; Kenya has been steadily building impressive results on the WA eventing circuit for many years and actually won the Capel CCI4*S with Sandros at the end of last year, among other placings.
However, for many in the eastern states Kenya was relatively unknown. This all changed at Melbourne International Three-Day Event (MI3DE) at Werribee in June, when she and her equine partner finished fifth on 36.4 in the CCI4*L against the nation’s best. As Heath noted in his July column (Equestrian Life, July 2022), Kenya was, in hindsight, perhaps unlucky to not have been placed on one of the two Australian Oceania Championship teams at MI3DE.
Speaking about her brilliant run at Werribee – where Sandros Salute MW posted his best CCI4* dressage score to date and added just 1.2 cross country time faults and 0.8 jumping time faults to their overall total – Kenya says she could not be happier.
“We have been working hard on our dressage and I believe we can still achieve better, however I was extremely happy with our result – even as my hair bun came out just before I entered the arena! Sandros is an incredible cross country horse; he felt super-confident and gave me a great ride on the day. Again, I was very happy with our show jumping. I can picture the exact moment I could have made up the two seconds, but for Sandros to jump clear after a big cross country course the previous day was fantastic. This horse just tries his heart out!”
THE DRESSAGE HORSE WHO WANTED TO JUMP
“As a little girl I loved the idea of riding ponies,” explains Kenya of where her love of horses began. “My mum took me for my first riding experience at three years old, and I started having lessons when I turned four at the local riding school.”
Her connection with eventing began – like many – at Pony Club when she was aged 11 with her pony named pony Huckleberry. Five years later, she contested her first FEI event and has steadily moved up the grades ever since. Now at just 26 years of age, she’s reached four-star level with the talented Sandros – and as evidenced at MI3DE, she’s not merely making up the numbers.