Tamieka Lupinski has spent her life riding horses – and she loves it so much she wants to help others develop their skills in the saddle.
One day she hopes to run her own equine teaching centre where she can encourage the next generation of young riders.
But right now she is developing a five-year-old horse into a star, competing on another mount, and working at NRMA Insurance branches in the Hunter to pay the bills.
When she took the Mercury’s call she had just arrived at the 2019 State Showriding and Dressage Championships at Murwillumbah Showground and was gearing up for a week of competition.
So what prompted the 20-year-old from Vacy to enter the 2019 Maitland Showgirl and Miss Maitland competition?
All the pony club zones come together in one place to compete against each other and have a good time and enjoy a week of riding. I’m competing with a horse that’s being semi-retired at the end of the year because he’s 20 this year,she said.
“I’ve been watching the showgirls for the past couple of years and thinking about what they do for the show and how they help in the community,” she said.
“I’m really good friends with [2014 winner] Alexis Adams and I saw her take on the role a couple of years ago so I thought I would enter because it would be a good experience.
“I’d love to gain more public speaking skills as well as build up my confidence and gain general skills that I could use day to day as well.
I’m hoping to get more confidence out of it and learn more about what’s happening in the community so I can get more of an understanding and hopefully help out with things in the future.
“It’s taken the nerves away a little bit being good friends with some of the girls who have entered.”
Ms Lupinski is also looking forward to meeting the other entrants and making new friends.
The former Dungog High School student has seven horses and two of them are in full competition. She focuses on show riding.