Real Life

Girl denied horse, trains a dairy cow to showjump instead

Apparently, Lilac the heifer doesn’t like cantering or going up and down hills, but she sure does enjoy long river swims and jumping!

By Ellie McDonald

To say that Kiwi teen Hannah Simpson is loaded with perseverance, patience and determination is an understatement.

At age 11, Hannah was told she couldn’t have a horse because it would be too financially taxing on her family, so she jumped on the next best thing: a six-month-old Swiss brown dairy cow named Lilac.

Seven years later and now-18-year-old Hannah and seven-year-old Lilac are thick as thieves, with the conscientious teenager and her cow regularly riding on the outskirts of New Zealand’s South Island’s town of Invercargill.

“Lilac was always jumping out of the cow shed when she was young so I think she likes it, too,” Hannah says, according to The Guardian Australia.

“We started her off with stepping over logs and it just got bigger and bigger.”

As Hannah explains, Lilac can now jump up to 1.4metres high. But while the two have a uniquely inseparable bond, it wasn’t always the case.

Hannah says Lilac has bucked her off “countless times” since she mounted the cow, but that doesn’t matter to Hannah.

“[Lilac] is more special than a horse, more rare,” Hannah explains.

From the incredible showjumping footage we’ve seen, we’d have to agree…

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