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Interviews

In Brief: Tahlia Franke (18) from Australia

Name

Tahlia Franke

Age

18

From

Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia

Endurance World Tahlia Franke. Crossing a river.Biography of Tahlia Franke

I grew up in a very ‘non horsey’ family however started riding at 12 years old. A year later I started competing in endurance and haven’t stopped since. In that time I have also tried a few shows and have spent time training Arabian race horses including riding as a jockey on race days and getting a couple wins.

Notable achievements / palmares

I have 2 Quilty buckles including 2nd JNR in the 2015 50th anniversary.
I have completed 2x320km Far A Way marathons in QLD, Australia including equal line honours in the 2016 event.
In 2016 I competed in the Tevis cup in America.
I won the 2017 JNR New Zealand National championships 160km event.
I have competed on 3 Queensland junior teams in interstate and international competitions and in 2015 was the highest ranked distance riding junior in Australia.

Endurance World Tahlia Franke. Friends together.When did you start riding?

I started riding at the end of 2010 when I was 12. I started endurance competition just under a year later.

Does riding run in the family of Tahlia Franke?

My family never wanted anything to do with horses so getting into riding and pursuing my love for competing was pretty hard.

Why horses?

For as long as I can remember I always had a love for horses. I was the little girl who always read horse books and asked for a pony for every occasion possible. Once I started riding I never looked back. Horses have been my best friends through some really tough times. I enjoy working with them to achieve amazing results. It’s pretty amazing to think of what they are capable of doing for us.

Why endurance?

Endurance just happened to be the sport that people competed in at the stable where I started taking lessons. I never had a huge desire to do dressage, jumping etc. I just wanted to spend as many hours possible riding the horses I loved. Endurance suited that perfectly. I love the challenge of the sport and attention to detail required to manage your horse particularly around longer events such as 160km or marathons. I love riding competitively but I also enjoy riding young horses through their qualifications and seeing how they change in their journey to become an endurance horse.

Endurance World Tahlia Franke. Fully focussed.Own horses or ride for somebody else?

My whole time spent riding and competing has been for other people. I have competed on a total of 55 different horses in National and FEI competition for various people and teams for just over 7000km of completions in 5 and a half years. However after arriving in America very recently I was given the most amazing gift, my very first horse. I have just completed my first 75mile (120km) ride on him and have a big season including Tevis planned with him.

Endurance World Tahlia Franke. At the end of the loop.Do you train horses?

Throughout school I trained a number of endurance and Arabian race horses. Since graduating school last year I have spent less than 3 weeks in Australia, the rest of my time has been spent training and competing endurance horses. I spent a season in New Zealand and now am in America. I have heaps of other countries I am hoping to spend time in training and competing.

What else do you enjoy?

At this point riding is very much my main focus. I am really enjoying traveling and making friends all over the world and experiencing different ways endurance is run in different areas. My main goal is to compete in a world championships.

Photo credit: Mackenzie Roberton, Lisa Chadwick of BootsNBloomers.com, Kevin Copalotti and Rowan Turner of Wild Spirit Photography.

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