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Grace Thomson

New to Hagley: Grace Thomson

Rowan Milburn —

Meet Grace, one of Hagley’s new students for 2017. Committed, passionate and highly motivated!! These are character traits I see in Grace after spending half a day with her at the Interschool Show Jumping Championships and then interviewing her later in the week.

I can’t help but like Grace. This is a young lady who goes about life with a purpose and a spring in her step.

Grace is into horses...ok, that is a huge understatement, I’ll try again...

Grace’s life revolves around horses. She is a working pupil at the Dressage Academy NZ which makes up a big part of her week and was the motivation for her enrolling at Hagley. As Grace is committed to both this work and her studies she was able to accommodate both through the individualised and flexible learning opportunities that Hagley can provide. She is studying three subjects through Hagley: Biology, English and Maths, and doing Agricultural Studies through correspondence.

I was keen to find out how all this started. So...Grace started riding when she was five, she started saving her pocket money to pay for the lessons. She continued this until about 10 years of age. Grace then bought herself a pony to compete on for $2000 and four weeks later sold it for $4000. This gave Grace a taste for business and she has continued buying, training and selling horses ever since. I can’t help but be impressed!

She has managed to keep a horse for herself to ride and compete on and when she isn’t buying and selling ponies Grace is riding horses for other people, giving lessons, working at the Dressage Academy or studying for her classes.

Grace is also very good at what she does. She was reluctant to talk about her accomplishments but I dragged out of her that she is the current South Island Premier Young Rider (two years running) and has multiple championships and supreme awards on both clients' and her own horses over the last five years.

Although what the future holds for Grace is unclear, it is obvious that horses will play a big part in it.

Grace has found Hagley welcoming and the people friendly. She is also grateful the school could accommodate her work and other commitments. Grace has some advice for new students to Hagley which is essentially to put yourself out there, talk to people, make an effort; otherwise you will always be waiting for someone to approach you.

Grace and her team represented Hagley last week at the Canterbury Schools Show Jumping event. The plan for 2017 is for Hagley to compete at as many events as possible with the next event being Dressage on 5th April. If you are interested and have some experience, please see Mikey our Hagley Sports Co-ordinator to register your interest.

Meeting Grace is both inspiring and interesting, and meeting such awesome young people remains the highlight of my job.

Rowan Milburn – Deputy Principal (Student Wellbeing)