Amateur Hour: Victoria Watters

Jan 18, 2019 - 12:22 PM

Meet this week’s athlete: Victoria Watters! 


Victoria and Rio ©Madison Ibach/ESP


How did you get involved in the sport?

I had a backyard pony when I was a kid and did a lot of trail riding and pony club. It just snowballed from there! My parents spontaneously bought a pony at an auction when I was two-years-old and I’ve consistently ridden since then.

Horses have meant so much to me. I lost my eyesight due to a brain tumor when I was 14, and the horses were always there before and after. My parents let me keep trying to see what I could do after I lost my eyesight, and I was able to learn how to adapt and continue my passion for horses.


What do you show in?

I show my horse, Beckham, in the older Adult Hunters.


Can you tell us a bit about your horses?

I’ve had amazing horses over the years. Most of them have had eyesight names, like Twenty Twenty, Eye Remember Rio, See For Yourself, Out Of Sight, and so on. Rio, was my “peanut butter and jelly” match. Ken Smith called me one day and said, “come try this horse.” My children were young, so I told him I didn’t need another horse. He said, “Tory, I could sell this horse to anyone in my barn, but this is your horse.” To this day, I constantly thank him. I won everything I could in the adult hunters on Rio. He’s now retired, but I still brought him down here to trail ride and relive his glory days!

I had another wonderful mare, See For Yourself. When we retired her, we decided to use her as a broodmare to do something while the kids were young. Three of her four babies are here on the showgrounds in Wellington! Beckham, the one I’m showing in the adult hunters is hers, along with one named “Posh” that my son rides in the adult jumpers. Then we also have Sporty who’s an eight-year-old jumper! They’re all spice girl names. Their mother’s barn name was “Ginger,” so the babies all started being named after spice girls. We had to stop, though, because the next name would’ve been “Scary,” and I couldn’t name a baby that!


Victoria and Rio ©Madison Ibach/ESP


What do you work on throughout the week?

Staying fit! That’s really important. Beckham has to keep moving forward. He can have a light day now and then, but he really has to stay fit.


What exercises work well for you and your horse?

We do a lot of power trotting. I think trotting is really essential, which goes back to always moving forward and staying fit. 

What’s something someone may not know about your horse?

He’s very forgiving. I have poor vision, so I make a lot of mistakes and it doesn’t phase him.


Beckham and Victoria ©Anne Gittins Photography


What motivates you?

The passion for the horses. I love the sport, I love the horses, and I love the challenge. Every time I go in the ring,  whether it’s 2’6″ or 3’6″, every course is a challenge.


How have horses impacted your life?

When I’m on a horse, I feel at home. I don’t feel handicapped. It’s a level playing field.


What advice would you give to another amateur who’s competing at WEF for the first time?

Have fun! It’s all about having fun. Especially if you’re an amateur because we’re not going to the Olympics so don’t put pressure on yourself.


Thanks for talking with us, Victoria. Good luck competing this season! 


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