SHOWSTOPPING SHOWJUMPER, OSCAR NCUBE, TAKES IT IN HIS STRIDE
Meet top achiever, Oscar Ncube: accomplished showjumper, stable owner, horse trainer, and riding coach. Oscar breaks down barriers in his horse riding community and introduces kids of colour to the sport.
Oscar Ncube’s interest in horses began as a 7-year-old when his mother’s employer, Linda Rowe, introduced him to her ponies and horses on the property where he used to play. Fast forward to today and Oscar is a well-respected competitive equestrian athlete, trainer, and co-owner of his own stable, LinRowe Stables.
“It’s not actually a hobby; it’s something I love,” says Oscar, “I want to compete in the highest levels of show jumping.”
Oscar has achieved incredible milestones in his career. He was part of the first equestrian show-jumping team in the 2007 All-Africa Games and was the first black rider to compete in the 1.6m South African Derby.
Noticing the lack of diversity within the community, Oscar has made it his personal mission to make the sport more accessible to black South Africa. He explains, “I personally believe that the lack of people of colour in this sport is because it’s not been exposed enough. It needs people like me to develop it and make this sport more accessible. I’m starting by doing a developmental programme, especially targeting kids that want to do the sport but can’t afford it.”
Oscar assures interested potential-showjumpers that you don’t need a horse to participate in the sport. You can simply go to a riding school and try it out before making any long-term commitments. There are 33 horses at LinRowe Stables, but Oscar and his fiancée, Catherine MacFarlane, own 10 between them. Oscar shares how he invests precious time and care into each horse, building relationships with them and nurturing them to have bright futures in show jumping.
Oscar and Catherine have been together for seven years, initially meeting at a show whilst warming up. Together the couple have two children: 2-year-old Seanna and 6-month-old Kobe. Not only are they engaged, but Catherine is also his business partner and student.
Catherine lovingly shares, “Oscar’s been absolutely incredible in my own riding. As a coach, he’s gotten me to achieve the most incredible things. I’m very lucky since there’s a lot of thing to love about him.” She adds, “Creating his own development programme is not just important, but a passion of his. You can see the fire light up in his eyes. He wants to see people grow and excel since he faced a lot of struggles when he first started riding.”
Oscar began mentoring while still an apprentice, and remains passionate about imparting a love and respect for horses in young riders like Kaylin Lindemann.
Kaylin looks up to her mentor and trainer, saying, “Oscar’s taught me so much. He picks up on everything and he’s taken my riding to a whole new level. I want to be like Oscar: to ride like him and to have horsemanship like him – that’s always been my dream. And, with Oscar, I feel like it’s very possible. He’s always in it for us.”
With hopes and dreams of reaching the very heights of his sport in World Cup Qualifiers, Grand Prixes and darbies, there’s just no stopping Oscar. He plans to continue developing young kids of colour to achieve these same heights as well.
Fuelled by a commitment to opening doors for others in his world, Oscar Ncube puts his success down to his work ethic and a deep respect for his horses. With achievers like him, the future of the sport is in good hands.