• Fran Cleland

Horse riding in the blood for teenage showjumping star

JOEL Lamb just had to ride.


With top-class showjumpers and horse breeders Andrew and Ally Lamb as parents, and grandparents with strong horse backgrounds, it would seem inevitable that he would take up the sport.

ABOVE: Joel Lamb, aged five, on Pee Wee

And yes, he has. At 14 is one of the leading young riders in Australia, but his mother, Ally, who often finds herself competing against her son in competitions says it’s not the only passion the young man has.


He plays football, likes swimming, rides bikes and helps out on the family farm. At school in Year Eight, he is thinking ahead to having a trade when school finishes, but the horses remain his passion.


At the recent Victorian Show Jumping championships, Joel won the children’s final and was runner up for the overall title to Tanner Robinson.


At home, he has his eye on the potential of several of the young horses bred by his parents.

“I think he’s a well-rounded boy,” Ally said.


“He really enjoys the social side of the shows and has some wonderful friends. “Joel didn’t ride a lot when he was younger, just a little bit here and there, and has more recently decided himself he would like to be more serious about his riding and has had some success at the Australian and Victorian championships.”


The young rider has a busy schedule.


“He is riding before and after school while still doing his football,” Ally said.


“With three horses in work, and winter on the way, he works them before school and after arriving home from school about 4.15, and after finishing with them, there’s dinner, and homework.”


ABOVE: Joel Lamb navigating a course on Emcee Holly Go Lightly.

It is little wonder that Joel is a talented rider. It’s not only his parents who compete at top level. On both sides, Joel’s grandparents have been knowledgeable horsemen and women and also enjoy watching him starting out.


The grandparents on Ally’s side, John and Jo White have a long and distinguished history with horses.


John started work in racing stables and progressed through to become a jockey, then a trainer, with associations with trainers Brian Courtney and Angus Armanasco.


Later he worked with Thoroughbred breeding and stallion management, which led to success with many great horses winning listed and group races.


Jo started riding at five and as a teenager did lots of stock work and training horses for club riders.

When her children started riding, they all went to pony club. Jo studied all certificates for teaching at Pony Club, while continuing to enjoy riding with children and friends.


Jo's mother rode ponies to school and also in that era drove an eight-horse harvesting team.


Andrew’s family has a similar story. His father John, like most country kids of that time, rode five miles to school bareback. As a child his mother, Margaret, badly wanted a pony but didn’t get one so made sure all three of her children got to ride. Both have also ridden at EA level, John jumping and Margaret in dressage. They have also bred horses, some of which are still jumping now.