There’s no getting around the fact that for generations, horseriding has been a sport of privilege.
The barriers to entry are high, and making a success of horseriding is an opportunity afforded to an elite few. South African Oscar Ncube is one of those elite few, but his journey was a little bit different to most…
Oscar was born in Alexandra, a township in Gauteng, South Africa. His Dad was born in Durban and worked in the mines, so they moved wherever his work took them.
Oscar wasn’t gracefully placed on the back of a riding school pony as a young child. In fact, his first experience on a horse was when, at the age of seven, he leapt on to the back of a pony belonging to the lady his mother worked for, Linda.
Before that, he would run around pretending to be a horse and playing horses with Linda’s son. Oscar says his mother’s former employer was ‘lovely’ and when the pony ran off and Oscar clung on, she realised that "I might have a bit of talent" and offered to teach him to ride. What she probably didn’t anticipate was that with such a simple offer she would change Oscar’s life path forever.
Since then, Oscar has gone from strength to strength. After working for WEG competitor Roger Hessen, and showjumper Erika Pretorius, Oscar is now based at Farnham Stables, one of South Africa’s top jumping yards and under the guidance of Barry Taylor and Lorette Knowles-Taylor, the opportunities have come thick and fast.
He now trains and competes as part of Team Nissan, a group of elite riders all based at Farnham. He says that without a doubt, the Farnham family have been the biggest influence on his riding career.
“There’s always something new to learn. I love a challenge and hearing new ideas from different people,” he tells us.