UK-based Zimbabwean event rider Camilla Kruger updates us on her plans for Tokyo – and how emus fit into her day-to-day life!

UK-based Zimbabwean event rider Camilla Kruger updates us on her plans for Tokyo – and how emus fit into her day-to-day life!

We caught up with Haygain sponsored rider Camilla Kruger for an update on her
season so far, a sneak preview of exciting rides for the future and the back story of her association with Haygain. UK-based Zimbabwean event rider Camilla operates from Risebridge Farm in Goudhurst, Kent, at a yard she shares with Jason Webb of Your Horsemanship. 
How has the 2019 eventing season been for you so far? Have there been any particular highlights?

I’ve had a slightly slower start to the season than perhaps I had planned. The Bramham CCi4* Long was so very close to being a great result for me, however just one mistake at the second to last fence on the cross-country course cost us a top 10 finish. The highlight of the season so far has been the young horses I’m producing. They are just getting better and better and I’m so excited about what’s to come for them. I also have a catch new ride arriving next week which is very exciting. It will be a busy second half of the season for me as I chase Olympic qualification and points with my top ride Sam the Man (Biarritz) – fingers crossed!

Where will you be heading with Sam the Man on your quest for success?

I’m looking at various 4*s around Europe and we will possibly take in the Millstreet
and Boekelo long format events. I need to be ranked number 1 or 2 in my zone so I’m focused on that this season as heading to Tokyo is definitely at the top of my to do list! 

What are your favourite competitions on the eventing circuit?

For local events then South of England is brilliant, Bramham for slightly further afield and then Boekelo for international competitions. 

How many horses do you have in your yard at the moment and what does your support network look like? 

Well, the numbers certainly seem to be going up! I had planned to have a smaller yard so that I would have a little more time for teaching, but I currently have 6 in for training and competing plus the new ride arriving next week. There are then 3 more who live out, my broodmare and foal and a retired horse. I have just one full time groom (Becky Thompson) and one part-time groom (Mairin) so it’s all hands on deck to keep everything ticking over. 

Tell us a little more about the exciting young horses that you are bringing on

Three Chimneys Graffiti is a really exciting young mare. She’s very, very green and was only broken in in the second half of last year but boy does she have a great brain and buckets of ability. I’m also excited about Go Fly, who has just come back to me – I’ll keep you posted! 

What prompted you to start using Haygain products, and which ones are your favourites? 

I bought a Haygain steamer back in 2013 as my top horse Sam the Man is
very sensitive and I was looking for ways to manage his allergies. He’s particularly affected by dust and pollen, so steaming his forage seemed like a natural step. I’ve been working with Haygain since 2016 – it’s amazing to see the brand grow and it’s not often now that you meet a professional rider who doesn’t understand the benefits of steamed hay! If I had to choose a Haygain product I couldn’t live without it would be incredibly difficult! Both the hay steamer and the Flexineb nebuliser are crucial to keep Sam healthy and performing to his best ability.

Do you have a 5-year plan at the moment?

I’m totally focused on Tokyo right now, so no great plans beyond next year! Once I’ve given that my very best shot, I’ll see where I am with horsepower and get my planning hat on.  

And finally, what do you do to relax and unwind after a busy day riding or competing? 

I love gardening! It’s so rewarding, soothing and is great for giving me time to think. I also very much enjoy spending time with my other animals - I have quite a few birds including gaggle/flock/something of cheeky emus! At the very end of the day a cold glass of rose or G&T is bliss.


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