Future Equestrian Star
A year ago, 17-year-old Ukrainian Anastasiya Yershova became one of Ukraine's top ten horse riders. Now she is preparing to represent Ukraine in the Netherlands. Our journalists visited Anastasia and her horses to see how their preparations are going
At the age of 5, Anastasia started going to the equestrian club in her native city of Odesa. Now, she trains in Kyiv under the guidance of her French mentor Gregory Roben. Yershova dreams of winning the European Championship for adults, as well as the Olympic Games.
“I find it interesting to achieve more and more year by year, representing Ukraine in the international arena. So that everyone knows that it is Ukraine and that everyone is tensed when I go to the field,” Yershova said.
Now Yershova has five horses. That is why she goes to a stable at 8 a.m. and stays there all her day long. Yershova’s favorite horse is 14-year-old Osman. His father is a German Westphalian, and mother is a Ukrainian Riding Horse. Yershova said she trusts Osman with all her heart.
“He’s a champion horse. He used to jump a lot (at the competitions). We’ve been working together for three years now and took part in two European Championships. Now, we are preparing for the third one. We won the main prize at the Ukrainian championship, and also received awards at a range of competitions abroad,” Yershova said.
Yershova calls her horses friends. She cares about them, knows their tastes and habits. Some of them like sugar or apples, while others – carrots, bananas, or mangoes. At the competitions, she completely trusts her friends, and this understanding between them is mutual. Her horses, just like Yershova herself, also feel a special responsibility on the eve of competitions.
“When we start moving along the route, I feel that my horses are completely different. The way they behave during a competition differs from how they do it during a workout, or training,” Yershova said.
In a week, Yershova and Osman will start competing for the medals of the European Junior Championships in Holland.