Australian dressage rider Nicholas Fyffe is this week’s SRN Sports Star of the Week.
Fyffe, 35, grew up in Finley and was a member of the local pony club before he left at the age of 17 to pursue his riding career. He’s been living at Stillpoint Farm, Wellington, Florida since 2010.
Competing with Fyffe is his 14 year-old Hanoverian gelding named Hitchcock.
In the 2018 Adequan Global Dressage Festival, Fyffe and Hitchcock made their debut together in January, while they also recently represented Team Australia at the Nations Cup in the USA, where the team placed third.
‘‘I was honoured to represent my country in this year’s Nations Cup in Wellington,’’ Fyffe said.
‘‘Hitchcock is a very talented horse who has proven over the last few shows that he is quite competitive.
‘‘He really stepped up to the challenge.
‘‘I love spending time with the other Australian riders because that is a rare thing over here for me to get to network with other riders from Australia.
‘‘I’m so thrilled because Australia has never received a medal in a Nations Cup before, and that is something I’m really proud of.’’
It was the fifth time Fyffe had competed for Australia in the Nations Cup.
His passion for horses came from his family’s long background training thouroughbreds.
‘‘I started riding at the age of three however I took a couple of years off from riding to focus on competitive gymnastics,’’ he said.
‘‘I got back into riding and as a teenager I was obsessed by it.
‘‘But being based in Finley there was no access to top competitions or anything to really influence me positively other than myself.’’
After leaving home Fyffe trained and worked with competitive dressage rider Heath Ryan and then travelled to Germany where he spent 10 months training under world class dressage rider Martina Hannover.
He would eventually return to Australia to set up his own training business in Sydney for six years, before moving to the USA, making the move due to the higher level of competition with more opportunities to compete in Grand Prix.
Fyffe contributed to the Australian team’s gold medal in the 2007 Tri Nations Cup in Johannesburg, South Africa, and he has ridden in five consecutive Nations Cup teams in Wellington, Florida.
He has qualified multiple horses for the World Young Horse Championships and has shown six horses to Grand Prix.