Young Rider Laura Munt is certainly making her mark in America. The twenty-year-old from Dungowan is jumping to new heights after recently moving to Ocala, Florida to work for High Performance Green Squad rider Rowan Willis.
Munt's most recent event was the Palm Beach Masters Series. She is already off to a flying start after she jumped in the North Star Tour Welcome two-phase competition in the US, placing an impressive seventh from a field of 45 starters.
She competed against riders from America, Canada, Brazil, UK, Denmark, Chile, Ireland, Israel, Argentina and Mexico, holding her own against an impressive field which included riders such as Rodrigo Pessoa and Jessica Springsteen.
Munt rode Wellington Grandorie in the class, owned by Rowan Willis, and produced a clear round with a time of 32.49, seeing her finish less than six seconds behind the winner.
Munt started riding at a young age and can't remember a time when horses weren't her passion. Munt's father, Barry, was a World Cup jumper who also competed in Tampa during his career, making these particular shows in the United States extra special.
"It is pretty amazing," says Munt of her experience competing at Palm Beach. "I didn't really think I would ever do this, there just isn't words."
However it hasn't always been the call of the colourful fences that lured Munt into the arena. She started out eventing and even worked for High Performance Next Squad rider Jessica Rae where she groomed at the 2019 Oceania Championships in New Zealand.
When her employer relocated last year Munt saw it as an opportunity to take the leap and chase her jumping dreams, learning the ropes in America.
"I almost expected it to be this entire other world, which in some ways it is, but when you are working hard every day and doing all the behind the scenes things it is just the same, just a lot more people."
Since starting with Rowan Willis, Munt has travelled across the globe and groomed at shows in Canada, Switzerland and the UK.
"Geneva was amazing, that whole trip, we did Geneva and then we went to Liverpool. It was good fun, I really liked that. I have been very lucky to see so many of the top riders and top shows over here (the US) and then to go over there (Europe) and see their top riders and top shows, it doesn't really get any better."
The entire journey so far has been an exhilarating learning experience for Munt, one that she clearly enjoys and thrives on.
"I feel like the main thing I have taken away is ring experience.
"When I came here the biggest thing I noticed was the time, when I first did my first show I had like eight time faults. Rowan has really got me riding forward and I can see a better distance because I have had much more experience in the ring."
Article courtesy of Australian Community Media and The Northern Daily Leader