Tarishka Bakus is one of the top Equestrian riders at the age of 20 and she has much bigger dreams for her future. Tarishka started riding at the very young age of 3, when she rode ponies at her pre-school and there was no stopping this incredible rider ever since.

Tarishka gets a lot of support from her family and friends. The most important supporter is her partner in crime. Unfortunately, Tarishka does not have her own horse at the moment but she does compete with a very capable horse. This young woman presents as goal-driven, and with the help of her team mate, she achieves the goals that she sets for herself and the team.

One of her ultimate goals is to compete at the World Equestrian Games as well as the Olympic Games. She also wants to open her own stable yard. Tarishka is currently working on improving her jumping skills and she is trying to attend more shows. She will perform in Mauritius in September with her show jumping.

Tarishka is hard working, dedicated and very passionate about horse-riding and this is why she loves what she does. She plans on always being active in the Equestrian community, but she wants to work on completing her studies in business management, in order to follow her dream and become a successful business woman. We can all guess what business this lady will go into…

The talented Tarishka makes sure she gets experience in all fields. She is the co-founder of One Body Movement, that aims to change young people’s lives through motivation from sports men and women. She also has a few hidden talents that not many know of. If she is not on the back of a horse jumping over obstacles, she is in the kitchen, busy trying out new recipes to satisfy her sweet tooth.

Tarishka Bakus spoke to gsport about her experiences as a young equestrian rider in the world of sport.

How does it feel to be such a good rider at such a young age? 

Honestly, I am humbled by the thought! I am so lucky to have some really great instructors who have helped me developed into the rider I am today!

How did you get into riding? 

I started riding at 3 years old in Karen Portman’s Pony tots. Every Friday she would bring her ponies to the school and we would get a ride. I was friends with her son at the time and one afternoon I told my mom that one ride a week wasn’t enough. I started lessons at Capriole Stables with Karen. She got my basics in place and introduced me to Pony Club, Training shows and in Primary school I started riding in the Inter Schools League!

Who are your biggest supporters? 

Without a doubt my family! No matter what, I always have my parents and little sister at all my shows and events. I have a super strong support system, from the people I work with, to clients, friends I have made over the years and competitors from all around the country!

Do you compete with your own horse? 

Unfortunately, I don’t have my own horse at the moment, however I have been lucky enough to be given a ride on many great horses in my life. Some have taken me up the grades, some have helped me achieve my greatest accolades and some have taught me unforgettable lessons! All of which I am thankful for!

What discipline do you compete in and why? 

I compete in Show Jumping and Equitation. I love the idea of Show jumping! It challenges your skill, precision and technique. My horses love the thrill of the jump off – which is based on speed. I love competing in Equitation as well, because it is based on how well the horse and rider combination have executed the test given! 

What is your favourite aspect of the sport and why? 

I love being able to work hard as a team mate alongside my horse. Putting in all the hard work in the week, sometimes falling – but always getting up again. I love being able to allow my horse the satisfaction of knowing they did well. 

I am very competitive and I always have a goal in mind. Be it big or small! The best part of the sport is creating an unbreakable bond with your horse and achieving the goal you set out for yourself, together. 

Being involved with horses on a daily basis exposes you to more than just the physical aspect of the sport. In caring for my horses, I am able to get to know their individual personalities. I am able to pick up on their emotions, quirks and their characters. Horses are able to speak to us through their emotions and if you allow yourself to listen, you’ll experience something so indescribably magical.   

What is your greatest ambition for your riding? 

I would love to ride in the World Equestrian Games and the Olympics one day. I have plans to compete overseas as well and one day I would like to have my own private stable yard!

Who are the women that you look up to in Equestrian sport? 

My biggest role model is Alexa Stais. She is a South African Show Jumper – now based in Germany, and she is one of the riders chosen to represent SA at the World Equestrian Games 2018. Not only is she an incredible rider, but she is completely down to earth! 

What current events are you working towards now? 

Currently I am working towards getting my current horse jumping up the grades and going to more shows. Our partnership is still very new, but we have clicked so well and she is going great. I see a promising future for us together! I am also planning to go competing in show jumping in Mauritius in September!

What is the key to your success? 

Hard work, dedication and passion! I started riding because I love it – Not because of the winning ribbons! I try not to lose sight of the essence. 

Why did you decide to start One Body Movement? 

I am the co – founder of the One Body Movement. My cousin started the movement and I felt like this is one movement that we needed to expand! We decided to educate young under privileged children using sport to show how it can create so many wonderful opportunities and bring a community together! I have a deep love for children and our One Body Movement’s Sport Day’s were definitely some of the highlights my sport has given me!  

What is your aim with One Body Movement? 

Our aim is to create a platform where all sportsmen and women are able to come and talk about their success and failures. We want Sportsmen and women to come tell their story and to get involved in our community and inspire the young minds before us!   

You are still young. What do you plan to do in the future? 

I will always be active in the Equestrian community with riding, competing and coaching – however I have plans to furthest my studies in business management and start my own business! I have always wanted to be a young business woman – And I finally know where to start!

What do you like to do in your free time away from riding? 

If I’m not with the horses, I must be in the kitchen! I love baking and cooking and coming up with new recipes! I have a huge sweet tooth so I’m always playing around with something sweet for my Friends and family!

Do you have any social media platforms? 

Yes – Currently I have 2 Platforms that I stay active one. 1 is my Facebook page (Tarishka Bakus – Equestrian Athlete) and the other one is my Instagram account (@Tarishka98_Equestrian)


Photo 1 caption: Top SA equestrian Tarishka Bakus says: “I would love to ride in the World Equestrian Games and the Olympics one day. I have plans to compete overseas as well and one day I would like to have my own private stable yard!” Photo: Supplied

Photo 2 caption: When she is not flying through the air on her horse, Tarishka Bakus is often found in the kitchen, where she loves baking and cooking and coming up with new recipes! Photo: Imagine Photography


With editing by gsport