Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Pony express takes Ham to Germany

Bamawm resident Javais Ham will work under Australian Olympian Hayley Beresford.

GEORDIE COWAN January 1, 2014 4:55am

Javais Ham i going to Germany to work with an Australian dressage rider, Hayley Beresford. She is pictured here with Mr Circles.

Bamawm’s Javais Ham has loved horses all her life — and now it will be her focus every day.

She will spend the next four years in Germany training with and working under Australian Olympian Hayley Beresford.

The 19-year-old spent three months as a working student there earlier this year thanks to a recommendation from her trainer, Ben Terry, and she did so well Beresford asked her to come back.

‘‘I am mainly working in the stable for her and get all the horses ready for her,’’ Ham said.

‘‘She rides up to 12 horses a day.’’

Ham is one of five others — mainly Australians — working with Beresford, hoping to gain experience from the Olympian within the hotbed of European competition.

During her three-month stay, she travelled to Poland with Beresford and another rider, grooming for both of them.

‘‘I’d never been to a big show like that and it was really cool,’’ she said.

‘‘She (Beresford) was really good with everything — taught me heaps about grooming, so that was fun.’’

While her duties are long and quite intense, often extending for 12 hours six days a week, it is something she greatly enjoys.

‘‘It’s really rewarding,’’ she said.

‘‘We have to work hard all day, start really early and finish really late.

‘‘Riding is really fun but then getting to handle the horses that Hayley rides ... they’re just unbelievable.

‘‘Bassie is pretty much her Olympic one and Hermione is Australian and hasn’t been there long, but just watching the journey she has with them is really amazing.’’

What Ham is doing is similar to what Beresford did in her endeavour to become an international competitor.

The Western Australian sold up and relocated to Germany, spending four years breaking, training and competing horses for the stable of renowned dressage rider and trainer Isabelle Werth.

‘‘She’s really down to earth. She’s a really lovely person and is very driven with her work,’’ Ham said of Beresford.

‘‘Just working for Hayley is really good, seeing she is one of the Australian Olympic riders and then just being overseas as well, it’s just huge.

‘‘You get to see all the different horses, all the famous German horses ... and getting a feel for the competitions is really exciting.

‘‘The competition over there is a lot tougher than in Australia because they’re breeding the best horses in the world.

‘‘She (Beresford) is competing against the best in the world and she is one of the best.’’

Ham was hopeful of competing at events — although she has ‘‘a lot of training to do’’ to get to that point — in the pursuit of achieving her ultimate goal.

‘‘I really want to compete internationally,’’ she said.

‘‘Even the big shows in Australia, they’re not as exciting as the small ones over there.

‘‘In Germany, that’s like their sport, is horses.

‘‘We went to a stallion show there and the stadium was just filled with people.

‘‘I was just like, ‘this is incredible. I can’t believe there’s so many people and it’s just a horse show’, and the girls were like, ‘no, they follow the horses really closely over here’.

‘‘It’s a bit more exciting when lots of people care.’’

While excited by the prospect, Ham said she would miss a lot of things from home and was sure Skype would get a fair work out.

‘‘I really like home, but I really like Germany too,’’ she said.

‘‘But it will be the family and friends I will miss the most because it’s hard to catch up with people given the time difference.’’

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