Heidemarie clinching titles galore on horseback

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RUFUS BOTHA

At the tender age of four, one of Bloemfontein’s great young sports stars, Heidemarie Edeling, had already found herself on horseback.

Her passion for equestrian sport has ever since been indicative of a world beater in the making.

Edeling’s work ethics have been recognised when she was still a pre-school youngster and it all began with her parents, Advocate Willem Edeling and Advocate Henli Edeling, who decided that horse-riding would be an excellent measure for developing their daughter physically and psychologically.

At the age of seven (2005), Edeling was crowned South African champion for the first time when she won the South African schools novice performance title. The rest of her career reads like a fairy-tale.

In 2006, she was crowned the South African Welsh breed champion and in 2007 she was voted best under 12 rider at the championships. Edeling proved that she possesses BMT (Big Match Temperament) when she defended her title at the South African Welsh breed competition and she claimed the best under 12 rider title the second year in succession.

Then came three years of pressure (2007 to 2009) for Edeling where she had to defend her South African Welsh breed under 12 title, which she did successfully. In 2008 she brought home the national CD show jumping title as well.

Edeling turned 12 (Grade 6) in 2010 and won the individual and freestyle dressage national titles at the South African pony rider championships for the first time. She added the South African pony rider elementary (medium class) to her impressive résumé at the (SANEF) dressage meeting the same year.

At the 2010 FEI world dressage challenge against Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Chile, Edeling won the elementary level division and was ranked the number one pony rider in South Africa. She received a prestigious award from the MEC of the Free State department of sports, arts and culture, Mr Dan Khotule, as recognition for flaunting the Free State flag sky high with her outstanding accomplishments.
During 2011, 2012 and 2013 her performance ranked the best in her division in the country – too many to mention. However, 2014 was a year which will long be remembered.

Edeling won the national pony rider individual dressage national title, as well as the reserve free style dressage championship. This must go down as the best performance in the history of South African dressage horse-riding as she clinched the national pony rider individual title for the fifth year in succession.

Even more special – a good friend, Kate Chaplin, requested Edeling to ride her (Kate’s) pony only 12 days before the championships. Although she knew that 12 days were close to impossible to win the confidence and getting into sincronisation with a new pony, she still agreed and like a true champion she won the titles with Kate’s pony.

Edeling will henceforth take part in the junior division and although she is still in the pony division until year end, she has already taken part in the junior section at the nationals, and yes, she won the individual dressage division as well as the free style title. She will defend her junior national South African titles in December.