• Fran Cleland

From Darwin to NZ and back, Miya brings her dream horse home


ABOVE: Miya Fleming and Eon have competed together in New Zealand and Australia.

FOR a young woman, 21-year-old Miya Fleming is well travelled.


Born and raised in Darwin she started riding when she was 11 and from the start liked to try all types of disciplines.


Like many Darwin riders who don’t just focus on one sport, Miya competed in barrel racing, mounted games, showing, dressage and jumping.


“Darwin has always given kids a very versatile range of disciplines which I’m now grateful for,” she said.


Miya and her family moved to New Zealand in 2015 where she found a love for eventing and like many talented young riders, developed Olympic dreams.


In 2018, aged 17, she was offered the opportunity to head to England and work for NZ Olympic eventers Tim and Jonelle Price. It was a great learning experience and since then she has been based with Clarke Johnstone (NZ), Megan Jones (Adelaide) and Tim Boland (NSW).


Returning to New Zealand, she found her current mount, Eon, a Hanoverian.


ABOVE: Miya Fleming and Eon have competed up to two-star level in eventing.

As a four and five-year-old he was showing all-round talent winning the New Zealand young event horse championships, as well as show hunter and show jumping championships.


His previous owner, Lynette Tayler, competed at three-star level in eventing and showjumping up to to 1.40m.


Miya’s family purchased Eon is 2019 and the pair starred at two-star level in eventing and 1.30m in showjumping, so much so that they were shortlisted on the New Zealand Eventing Talent ID Squad.


Then in 2020 Eon tore the medial meniscus in his stifle needing stem cell surgery. It was a long two-year recovery time, for both the horse and his devastated rider.


In mid-2020 the family moved to NSW and Miya based herself at Limitless Lodge at Wyong Creek where she evented a young team of horses before being injured herself on a racehorse in pre-training.


Her life took another turn when she flew up to stay with family in Darwin in early 2021 and met her now partner, so she stayed.


“Eon came up to Darwin mid-2021 and started his ridden rehab,” Miya said.


“It took months to get him fit and strong but it has been all worth it.


“It has been his first season back and it’s been a real success, only having one rail down all season and winning most classes up to 1.15m.”


A childhood dream from a young age was to win a prestigious show class at the Royal Darwin Show and her favourite horse, now aged 15, gave her that chance this week.


ABOVE: Dream achieved - a supreme ridden show hunter at Darwin Royal Show.

“He’s a very versatile horse who has the looks to match and we won supreme champion hunter of the show and then went on to have the only clear round to win the 1.10m showjumping,” Miya said.

The travel lust is still there and over the next six months Miya is looking at heading back down to NSW and basing herself with another elite rider.


“I am looking at getting another young horse or two, but Eon will come with me of course, as he is getting older I don’t want to waste his prime years,” she said.


“Whether we get back into eventing or focus on pure showjumping , I’m not quite sure at this stage but I do know that we both still have many successful years to come.


“Eon will be with me when he retires and onwards, he is my forever horse, no one will ever replace him.”