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Newly-crowned Dressage Young Rider of the Year Molly Lumb figures she's got the perfect team around her.

The 16-year-old from Taranaki, who in October bought Vanessa Way's KH Arvan, thought she was in with a chance at the title, but knew it was going to be hard work.

“I really had to ride and work hard for it,” she said.

Lumb and Arvan opened their HOY campaign with a 67%, followed by 68% yesterday and finished with 65% in the musical freestyle today.

“I had been making a few rookie mistakes earlier, but on the second day it all came together,” said Lumb. “It is all about learning to ride that level.”

She has good input – as well as being a working pupil to international representative Way, she has the support of Way's husband Brooke Hughes, and her parents Nicky and Stephen.

Lumb has been riding Arvan for 10 months. Initially the plan was to compete at level 5, but she quickly won the advanced championship at Taranaki and when she got reserve in level 5 at the Wellington Champs, Way suggested she try a CDI Young Rider.

She did her first one at nationals and finished reserve, followed by today's massive effort.

“I came here to do my best, and have been working really hard towards this show.”

Lumb lives just 500m from Way, and, by her own admission, spends all her spare time helping her.

“She is an inspiration. I had one lesson from her and just never looked back – she has been my coach ever since.”

Lumb started riding as a six-year-old, with her first competition at a Pony Club Ribbon Day at 11. Last season she competed at level 3 with her youngster Ferro. When Way offered her 16-year-old Arvan the family made the decision to sell Ferro.

“I just cried and cried,” said Lumb. “I had been riding Arvan while she was overseas and when she got back she decided I was good enough to compete on him. It is like one of those opportunities you read about . . . just amazing!”






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