Show Circuit Magazine - April/May 2020

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All roads led to the Hawke’s Bay showgrounds in March, as the top combinations in our sport, across multiple disciplines, descended on Hastings for the 2020 Land Rover Horse of the Year Show. For many, it is the culmination of the season, the pinnacle event where dreams can come true. For others, it may simply be a goal to qualify and compete at their first ever HOY, and a ribbon is a bonus. To all those who competed, we hope you ticked your goals off your list and soaked up the atmosphere. To those who attended as spectators, we hope you enjoyed the exceptional standard of competition – and picked up a bargain or two! This issue brings you comprehensive coverage from HOY, from showing to show jumping, dressage and Show Hunter, you’ll find stories and photos with all the action on the pages inside the magazine. Of course, the one everyone wants to win is the prestigious Olympic Cup, the showcase event, held in the premier arena on Sunday afternoon. This year an elated Brooke Edgecombe held the trophy high, jumping three clear rounds to seal the win with her lovely and ultra-consistent mare, LT Holst Andrea. Now, both she and husband, Oliver, will have their names etched on the Olympic Cup trophy – no mean feat. We also bring you features on the Dressage Horse of the Year winner, Melissa Galloway, who has been impressing across the ditch, Norwood Gold Cup Winner Lisa Coupe, Pony of the Year and Junior Rider of the Year winner Samantha Carrington, Lady Rider of the year winner Rachel Malcolm, Gee Whizz Memorial Equestrian Turnout class winner Dani Simpson, and the Show Hunter Horse of the Year, taken out by Walton’s Abby Robinson. You’ll find our extensive photo essay, along with overviews from the main disciplines, including show jumping, dressage, eventing, showing, Show Hunter, and pleasure. Aside from our HOY coverage you can read about talented young rider, Jesse Linton, who aspires to buy land and turn it into an equine property, as well as eventually competing at World Cup level, and dressage competitor, coach and mentor, Diane Wallace. Despite decades spent in pursuit of her love of equestrian sports, Diane’s enthusiasm has not dimmed. In our clinic with Andrea Raves, she explains straightness and lateral work. In the special feature Trainers talk Training, four top trainers, Jock Paget, Vanessa Way, Lucy Olphert and Sheena Ross, share their insights on what it takes to be a top-notch coach, who inspires them and give some inside tips on improving your riding. Our front cover features Lisa Coupe, who took out the Norwood Gold Cup riding Lotte. Having returned to New Zealand after a successful stint overseas, Lisa talks about how she is starting again and what it means to be back in the country. As usual, there’s human health, a tasty recipe and horse management articles, including pasture management and retiring horses – when to say when for your fourlegged friend? There’s something for everyone is this month’s issue, so settle in and enjoy the read.

Sheryll Davies, Publisher

WAIATA PUBLISHING LTD PO Box 1245, Pukekohe, Auckland 2340


Rebecca Harper

SENIOR WRITER Cheyenne Nicholson


Ashleigh Kendall Diana Dobson Megan Gundesen Pip Hume Nicola Smith

SUB EDITING Kerry Sutherland Lisa Potter


Sheryll Davies

PHOTOGRAPHERS Amy-Sue Alston Photography Avedon Animal Portraits Caitlin Benzie Photography Chrissy Taylor Cornege Photography Dark Horse Photography Libby Law Photography Mayson Downie Photography Michelle Clarke Photography Stephen Mowbray Photography


Sheryll Davies




COVER IMAGE LISA COUPE & LOTTE Norwood Gold Cup winner, co-owned by Rosie Commons and Kathryn Roberts IMAGE Christine Cornege


Our magazine is published bi-monthly. Articles reflect the personal opinion of the author and not necessarily the view of Waiata Publishing Ltd. This publication cannot be reproduced in whole or in part in any way without the publisher’s express written permission. All contributions are submitted at the sender’s risk. Waiata Publishing Ltd accepts no responsibility for loss or damage.

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OUR PEOPLE 16 20 26 30 34 38 42 68 82 88 94

Lisa Coupe | Seeking the Right Balance Melissa Galloway | Unstoppable Brooke Edgecombe| It's In The Genes Samantha Carrington| Two In The Bag Danielle Simpson | All Marks Count Rachel Malcolm | A New Perspective Abby Robinson | The Pursuit of Excellence Jesse Linton | Looks to the Future Jeremy Whale | Remarkably Good Corey Miln & Greg Smith | New Directions Diane Wallace | Still on Top

TRAINING 100 Andrea Raves | Straightness & Lateral work

IN EACH ISSUE 108 Insider's Shopping Guide 129 Subscribe

FEATURES 74 Trainers Talk Training 112 Retiring Horses 120 Pasture Management 129 Stretches for Riders

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Seeking the Right Balance WORDS Diana Dobson IMAGES Cornege Photography


ast year was a big year of change for Norwood Gold Cup winner Lisa Coupe in so many ways, and she has a tattoo to remind her of it. The 34-year-old mum of Finn is the first to say it all made her stronger and has played a part in who she is today. After 18 months based offshore and competing at some of the world’s biggest shows, she came home to Cambridge to start over on her own, with her five-year-old son. When she arrived home, she got a tattoo – a rune on her arm that says “where there is a will there is a way”. It sums up Lisa Coupe rather well. Don’t be fooled by her disarming smile and laid back words – this is a woman who turns up to win.

Something to prove

Her victory with Lotte in the Norwood Gold Cup was no accident. They may have been “rank underdogs”, but the goal was the cup. “I have always said she is one of the best horses I have sat on in New Zealand and now she has proven that,” says Lisa. “There is a very exciting future ahead of her, that is for sure.” As there is for her too – she hopes. “It’s about finding the ride, teach and life balance really,” she says. “Making enough money not to be homeless and a nice business that has the right balance.” Lisa knew that making a comeback would be tough, but then she’s never been one to shy away from a challenge. For years she was known for her ability to take ‘problem’ horses and turn them into winners. Lotte hadn’t even jumped a clear round until the opening day of the Horse of the Year Show. “When you are training, you change and do things up until a certain point, and then you just have to go in thinking you are riding a unicorn. Everything just came together at the right time.” She did everything she needed to up until Takapoto Estate Show Jumping, and from then it was just a matter of keeping the pony happy. “I am so happy to be home,” she says. “This is where I belong.” It wasn’t an easy move, stepping away from her marriage and opting to raise Finn on the other side of the world, but she and former husband Sean Cubitt keep in touch. Finn talks to him daily and does his big trips to Ireland. And it is Sean who Lisa shows her rounds to and talks about how and where she could improve. She talks a lot to Ana and Tors Rattray and studies videos of her

“I love everything about being back in New Zealand, and a huge part of that was to give Finn a Kiwi upbringing.”


rounds to see where she can do things better. “It was a real adjustment to come home. It probably took me six months before I could be comfortable at shows – it just felt weird coming back to it.” For a while Lisa questioned whether it was jumping that she actually wanted to do. “I was wondering if I wanted to do something other than just horses,” she says. “I was teetering on the edge – here I was going to be starting from scratch again.” But she did box on and has already carved out her own niche, with a strong focus on training around the country and riding. Her Norwood Gold Cup winner Lotte came to her because she was teaching Rosie Commons, who co-owns the horse with her mother,

“She is so talented, and while it takes a lot for it all to come together - it did just that today.” 18

Kathryn Roberts. They bred Lotte who is a Warmblood mare (Corofino II / Voltaire II) and always believed she was something rather special.

Experience is everything

Her time offshore has taught her so much. In just three weeks at Vilamoura in Portugal, she jumped 122 rounds on 14 horses. “It teaches you a lot. The more you train, the more it becomes second nature, so there aren’t the nerves in the ring, you just do what you have to,” she says. “I am so much more relaxed now – there is nothing here that can be scarier than some of those classes and shows (in Europe).” It packed a lot of experience into a very short time, and she learnt a lot. Lisa is not yet done with the sport at an international level, but for now, her focus is Finn and being settled in her Cambridge home – not far from her very supportive parents. “I would still like to re-establish myself here and compete at the top level, get some owners on board and do it all really well. It is what I like to do.” Catch rides have become a bit of a speciality, including with her last Lady Rider win aboard Matawai Sentana in 2018. She only teamed up with Lotte in November and had done half a dozen shows with the mare before HOY. Lisa knew it would be a big step up for Lotte, but then, she had a feeling about the day. “She is so talented, and while it takes a lot for it all to come together - it did just that today.” Lisa figures 2020 is her 20th Horse of the Year Show, having missed just a few since 1997. “I have had a lot of attempts at trying to win titles,” she says. “Every one you win is so special.”

History on repeat

She can claim two Lady Rider of the Year titles, the five and six-yearolds, Premier Stakes, Silver Fern Stakes and Young Rider, but her Norwood Gold Cup victory was a first. She’s also gone oh-so-close so many times and created a few rather memorable moments – like when the Lady Rider crown was hers for the taking, but Forest II decided just to do a drive-by on the last fence. Or she has had gear failures at the worst possible times. But if there is one thing Lisa Coupe is known for, it is her ability to always have a smile on her face. When the chips are down, this is one tough cookie, and she is thriving being back home. “I love everything about being back in New Zealand, and a huge part of that was to give Finn a Kiwi upbringing,” she says. She is doing that and more. Rebuilding herself, her life and once again rising to the top of the New Zealand showjumping scene. C


RIDER spotlight


unstoppable WORDS - Ashleigh Kendall IMAGES - Dressage by the Sea, Willinga Park - Stephen Mowbray Land Rover Horse of the Year- Caitlin Benzie


elissa moved on to her first pony when she was 10. “He was fullsize, and I was tiny! I wore my mum’s clothes and gear when we went out, and it looked ridiculous!”, she laughs. “Slowly, but surely, we got more competitive and got into some A&P shows and that sort of thing.” Next, she moved on to the fabulous Kirkwood Annabel when she was about 12. “She had only jumped, and then we purchased her and did some showing. I started competing in dressage on her because she was good at dressage, and we won a lot together in the pony classes. One of our highlights was winning in the showing classes at Christchurch A&P, and I remember thinking that was cool. I think I was encouraged into dressage, though, because she was so good at it, and I enjoyed doing well.” Small but formidable, the duo went on to enjoy more success, their biggest being winning the National Young Rider Champs in Ashburton, where they won the Level 2 title. “It was the first time I won a big championship; I knew I was hooked and that dressage was what I wanted to do.” Melissa recalls being in absolute awe of Andreas Helgstrad and the incredible Blue Hors Matine. “A friend emailed us the famous video of them doing their test at WEG 2006, and it was back when there was only dial-up internet, so it took a few days to download the video. But when it finally did, I think I watched that video of him about 1,000 times! I


just knew that dressage was my dream and what I wanted to do with my life,” she reminisces. “My aunty also knew I loved horses and gifted me the DVD ‘Dancing with Bonfire.’ Between Matine and Bonfire, I was obsessed!”


At 16, Melissa was looking for her first hack. Janelle Sangster-Ward was helping Melissa a lot by then, and she knew of a young horse in Australia called Don’s Party, who she thought would be a good match for the eager teen. “He was only five at the time, which, on reflection, was a bit ambitious,” she admits. “I just had to learn with him; we both didn’t know anything!” Together, they navigated their way through to Level 4 and made it to Horse of the Year. That year Vanessa Way took the title with KH Arvan, and Julie Brougham came in reserve on Vom Feinstein, two of our country’s best. Melissa came behind them in fourth, and she recalls thinking what a great result that was for the ambitious young combination. During that time, Hubertus Hufendiek was the dressage trainer for New Zealand, and Melissa had the opportunity to go and have some lessons with him at his Christchurch clinic. “I was very nervous and remembered my horse was so naughty, he even kicked the wall of the arena, and I didn’t ride very well at all,” she says. “I went home from that, and I was quite disappointed but decided to train harder so I could go back to his next clinic the


“I rode Johnny and I just loved him, he was loose and athletic. He came with a lot of warnings and some routine that he needed every day but that didn’t put me off.” following year better prepared. A bunch of us ended up going out to dinner with him and I asked my mum to ask him if he would ever let me go over to his stable and work for him! Reluctantly, she did, and he was quite polite and was going to say no, but he also didn’t say yes! I jumped in and said I would literally do anything, I would pick up poo and do whatever.” Not long after, when Janelle was back in Germany at his stables, Melissa pestered her to ask him to give her a job. “He finally gave in and said I could go and groom for two weeks. I was on the next flight out of here, and I couldn’t get there quick enough!” Towards the end of the trip, Hubertus let her ride a horse that Melissa thought was simply amazing. “It turns out he was the old schoolmaster-type horse that no one else wanted to ride, but I was so excited, and he seemed surprised when I wasn’t too lousy! To my surprise, the next day, he asked me if I wanted to try and ride a young horse that had been a bit of a nightmare. I just clicked with the horse, so he let me continue riding it, much to my delight. The more he was coaching me, the more we were able to do. After those two weeks, he offered me a full-time job there!”


In a fortuitous twist, the tricky horse was by Johnson, who is the sire of her present Grand Prix superstars, Windermere Johansen W and Windermere J’Obei W. “That horse was the reason I ended up with my two because when I did finally get home after my trip, I got straight on Trade Me and found Johny and Joey!” Melissa ended up spending a year in Germany, and she had the opportunity to compete up to Prix St George level there. “While I was away, I had sold Don’s Party. I realised I hadn’t done so well with him in training and I wanted to start fresh”, she explains. “When I saw these two young Johnsons, I got home, and I rang the Woolley family who was selling them. Initially, they said, ‘No, these horses need a professional who knows what they are doing.’ I told them I had been riding one in Germany by Johnson and I think that is what eventually encouraged them to let me look at both the horses.” The horses had been on Trade Me for over a year, and Melissa recalls being warned of them because everyone was suspicious that they had been for sale for about a year, and was told not to touch them, but she gave it a chance. “I rode Johnny, and I


just loved him, he was loose and athletic. He came with a lot of warnings and some advice about the routine that he needed every day, but that didn’t put me off. Joey was 18 months old and was loose in the paddock, and after watching him, I realised he had a ripper canter. We purchased them both, and the rest is history!”


Melissa has trained with Andrea Raves since she was 13, and she still does when she can. She has also trained with Vanessa for the last five or six years. “The training is the hardest thing about living in the South Island, and if I lived closer to Vanessa, I would have lessons weekly or twice weekly! Competition-wise, it is straightforward for us to go north, as we live quite close to the ferry. “We love living in the Marlborough region, and it is such a beautiful area, so I don’t want to move from here if I stay in New Zealand. Although, I don’t have any plans set in stone and I am not totally opposed to moving overseas.” Travelling can take its toll on horses, but Melissa explains that Joey and Johnny are pretty used to it by now. “They travel so well. They are always just happy munching on hay, and the ferry crossing isn’t hard on them. We love being away with the horses, and they seem to enjoy it as well,” she explains. “I think that because they are used to travelling, Joey found it easy to travel to Australia. He arrived happy and fresh, still happy to eat, and we had no problems. It makes a huge difference to their performances when they are relaxed on arrival to the show.”

Above - Melissa and Windermere J’Obei W winners of the winners of the NZ Dressage Horse of the Year 2020 Left hand page - Melissa was pretty pleased after her first test at Dressage by the Sea at Willinga Park, Sydney. Left and below - Melissa and Windermere J’Obei W in their first CDI4* class and wowed the judges at Dressage by the Sea, Willinga Park, with a level of skill for such a young dressage horse in Grand Prix classes.


When Melissa arrived at Willinga Park in February, she had no expectations for her and Joey’s first CDI competition. In their first season at Grand Prix, the ten-year-old gelding and Melissa have won Champion at every show they have entered, with Johnny coming in with Reserve. Even so, Melissa certainly wasn’t expecting to take Australia by storm as they did. Despite competing against some of Australia’s most experienced Grand Prix riders, Melissa kept her nerve and focus. “I wasn’t put off by the big names I was competing against, but I did go into the show with no expectations. I tried not to put any pressure on myself, and there were so many firsts for me, so my expectations were realistic. I didn’t expect him to go as well as in New Zealand, so I tried hard not to overthink anything! “It was all quite overwhelming because the place is so flash and the horses are so outstanding. We had a moment when I was training in the warm-up and mum started crying because she was so overwhelmed that we were in Australia at this stunning facility! I couldn’t stop smiling, and I just had the time of my life on my trip. Even Dorothee Schneider commented that there is no place in the world like Willinga Park. It is truly an incredible place to compete.” Joey travelled over with Wendi Williamson’s horse Don Amour MH on the plane. “I am so grateful for Wendi and her team of people who took me under their wings. I was quite nervous, and they were so helpful with the


“I definitely didn’t think that was going to happen so that was just amazing! Getting a 79% from the German judge was just crazy! After that people started saying to me that he is an 80% horse and to just go for it which was really encouraging.” Left & below - Melissa and WINDERMERE J’OBEI W during the Grand Prix Special finishing with a score of 71.234. Right hand page image - Melissa and WINDERMERE J’OBEI W are crowed New Zealand’s Dressage horse of the Year 2020 at Land Rover Horse of the Year.

whole process”, she says. “That was such a huge relief to both mum and me. Wendi helped me learn what to do and what not to do, and [I] have learned what I wouldn’t do next time we go to Australia. The group that travelled was so much fun! Wendi has got to be one of the hardest-working and nicest people I know, and the Williamsons are a wonderful family and team.” Melissa reflects on getting the 75% scores, “I didn’t think that was going to happen, so that was just amazing! Receiving a 79% from the German judge was just crazy but also exhilarating! After that, people started coming up to me and saying he could be an 80% horse and to go for it, which was encouraging.”


With just over a week back in New Zealand before Horse of the Year, Melissa knew the timing between shows with the extensive travel was tight, but Joey didn’t seem to notice, once again bringing his expressive work to the oval and gaining more fans along the way. With three from three in the Grand Prix, Melissa was thrilled with her young horse, who she describes as being one in a million. In addition to Joey, Melissa was also excited to have Johnny competing in the same class. Overall, she won the title on Joey and came a close third on Johnny, missing out on reserve champion by half a point in the overall ranking. “It was an amazing week; both my horses performed so well in every test. I was disappointed with myself because I let Johnny down with a course error in the Grand Prix Special, which cost him


second place but other than that they both performed to their best and I am so spoilt to ride them every day!” Unfortunately, Melissa had planned another Australian trip to the Sydney CDI to gain some more international experience and hoped to add some Olympic qualifying scores to her results, but with the coronavirus and events being cancelled that trip is sadly no longer on the agenda. “After Bates Nationals, it is all a bit up in the air, I have a couple of options, although nothing I can mention right now. “Of course, the Olympics is on everyone’s mind, and the four New Zealand riders that competed at Willinga Park are all hoping to be selected. The qualifying standard for New Zealand dressage combinations, to achieve selection, is very high. “Naturally, it would be thrilling to attend the Olympics, but we will wait and see! Apart from that, there are a few options with, perhaps, going overseas, but I need to give it more thought,” she says. “The Olympics have always been my dream, and I literally wrote that down in primary school. The World Equestrian Games is another, and doing a World Cup final would be amazing.” Supported by her family and husband,

“Naturally, it would be thrilling to attend the Olympics, but we will wait and see! Apart from that, there are a few options with, perhaps, going overseas, but I need to give it more thought,” she says. Lachy, Melissa is also realistic in that, at some point, she will need to think about having a family. “It isn’t all about the horses and Lachy has always been amazingly supportive, but our dreams also include having a family.” C




RIDER spotlight


lready on there is husband Oliver, who won in 2007 aboard JJ Freelance, and her win makes two. “I would love to see Sophie on this trophy in the future,” she says as the two pore over the impressive list of previous winners. Sophie is perhaps more interested in pulling out the red roses to share with her cousin Pippa Best. “She’s probably got to start with the Pony of the Year though.” The two-and-half-year-old has Chele Clarkin’s Toffee and is more knowledgeable than most on the sideline, telling her mother she had the rail at the oxer the other day. “I don’t even know how she knows these things.”

HAVING SELF-BELIEF It’s a tight-knit family and Brooke is quite emotional talking about the huge team effort it takes to make their equestrian world come together. “Oliver is amazing,” she says. “He is a very hands-on dad, so it has been seamless since having her. He really couldn’t be a better dad or husband.” As she rode into the ring for the muchanticipated jump-off, it was Oliver’s last words that resonated. “He said, ‘you can


It’s in the genes WORDS Diana Dobson IMAGES

Newly-crowned Olympic Cup winner Brooke Edgecombe has a grand plan, to ensure daughter Sophie becomes the third person in their family to be etched on New Zealand’s most prestigious jumping trophy.

“It is such a weird feeling. You don’t realise how much pressure you put on yourself.” 27

IT’S IN THE FAMILY She and her older sister Kim (Best) grew up in Otaki on the Kapiti Coast. Three years younger than Kim, Brooke always wanted to follow her older sister’s footsteps. Both women have been very successful with numerous horses and particularly in their ability to produce youngstock. Brook has represented New Zealand on young rider and pony teams and competed in the Global Amateur Tour competition in Brazil in 2018. Over the years Brooke has dabbled in all sorts of careers – from being a radio breakfast show host to administration work in the UK, saddlery shops and party hire. Her Bachelor’s degree in marketing and human resource management has sat idle. She has her owner/trainer licence and every now and then has a racehorse in work, but picks and chooses when and where. “I haven’t had a successful one yet, but I am sure the time will come.” Andrea gets a little track work to mix up her routine, but Brooke says she prefers to wait until the racehorses have done their workouts.


BLACK & WHITE IMAGE Christine Cornege Photography

do it’, and I thought, ‘I can’. And I thought, ‘I can’. It is amazing, and it is what everyone dreams of. At the back of your mind, you always hope you can do it, but with a class like this all the stars have to line up, and it did today. The biggest thing is that I never really thought I could, but today I did.” She admitted to feeling oddly relieved once the class was over. “It is such a weird feeling. You don’t realise how much pressure you put on yourself.” HOY week had been a little flat for Oliver and Brooke. “We had four faults here, four faults there but I woke up this morning and thought if I pulled this off today, it would make the whole week amazing.” How right she was. And it was actually lucky that Andrea even made the start line of the Olympic Cup after getting caught up in her pipe yards couple of nights before the big jump. “It wasn’t ideal,” says Brooke.

“At the back of your mind, you always hope you can do it, but with a class like this all the stars have to line up, and it did today”

MEDIOCRE YOUNGSTER Andrea, who is by Casall out of Palaune, was imported from Germany by Ewen Mackintosh. “She was mediocre as a young horse,” says Brooke. Oliver took the ride but was less than impressed, and the mare was moved on to be sold, however, ended up back at the Edgecombe’s where Brooke “reluctantly” took the ride. “She isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.” It wasn’t until her seven-year-old year that the penny dropped, and now at 11, she has gone from strength to strength. “Ewen is the most amazing owner,” says Brooke. “He is the best anyone could ask for. He is importing and breeding some of the most amazing horses for New Zealand.” He sends his young horses to Oliver and Brooke to be broken in. It’s a partnership that has been running for nearly a decade

and just like the horses, continues to go from strength to strength. “We leave Ewen to the breeding side of things. He is totally immersed in the sport horse industry – we trust him totally on that side, and he trusts us with the riding.” Brooke had planned to take Andrea to Australia towards the end of the New Zealand season, but the Coronavirus had changed that and she is now contemplating a spring campaign. She won’t be drawn on just how good she thinks Andrea is aside to say she was a good, competitive horse. “I do think if I took her anywhere in the world she would be competitive.”

MORE TO COME It is very much a team effort at their 1300 acre sheep and beef farm in Waipukurau, though Oliver focuses on the farm, while

Brooke concentrates on being a mum and riding. A vital member of the team is groom and nanny, Hanna Cheap, who Brooke says is “simply amazing”. Vicki Wilson had also played a considerable part in Andrea’s team and was working on the mare between rounds. Jeff McVean had been “phenomenal” too as trainer to both Brooke and Oliver. The two don’t line up against each other, but Brooke is sure it won’t be long until Oliver is back at the top-level. “Producing young horses takes time; they are like kids. I am excited about some of our young ones.” They’ve got around 10 in work, and most of them are LT Holst horses. For now, though, Brooke is relishing in being toasted as New Zealand’s latest Olympic Cup winner and is looking forward to more exciting victories with this very special mare.


RIDER spotlight

Samantha Carrington Two in the


Most riders just dream of winning a single Horse of the Year title but there’s a 16-year-old from Takapau who took that to the next level this year, winning both the Junior Rider of the Year and Pony of the Year crowns. She’s the quiet achiever who just gets on with it. The one who has horsemanship in her blood and looks well on track to make her name in the sport for years to come. WORDS Diana Dobson IMAGES Cornege Photography

As Samantha Carrington rode into her last ever Pony of the Year title class, she never dreamed she would ride out with the Somerset Fair Cup in her hand. It was an emotional and very special win for the Takapau teen on a mare she absolutely adores, and one that was celebrated by the crowds around the Premier Arena. Samantha doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t riding horses. Those who know the quietly spoken rider were not at all surprised to see her and her beloved Colours of Lansing come out on top in the Farmlands Pony of the Year, but she’s not one to either blow her own trumpet nor count her chickens before they hatch. She backed that up a day later with a stunning win in the Junior Rider of the Year. Samantha is the elder daughter of Rob Carrington and Wendy Jacobs of Double J breeding fame, so horses have always been prominent in her life. “She didn’t really have a choice when she was younger,” jokes her mum. The 16-year-old dreams of following in the footsteps of Wendy and her aunt, Robyn Jacobs, and their impressive breeding programme. She’s hugely involved already, and she and sister Kim (15) both help to handle the young stock. “We’ve also both just broken in our first horses over summer,” she says. “It is pretty cool.” Her natural talent doesn’t go unnoticed and especially with wins at Takapoto Estate Show Jumping, in the Pony of the Year


and now the Junior Rider of the Year. Last year at HOY, she and Lacey – as Colours of Lansing is known at home – had just missed the cut for the Pony of the Year title class, and she had a little heart-stopping moment before the call back list was announced. And as excited as she was with her win at HOY, it underlined a looming deadline she doesn’t want to face – the likely sale of 14-year-old Colours of Lansing to some other lucky pony rider. This is Samantha’s last year in ponies. “If we had all the money in the world we’d keep her as a broodmare,” she says between tears. “She is my best friend. It is so sad to be finishing ponies.” The chestnut mare is by Lansing and out of Colours of Monet and was actually bred to be a horse. The Carringtons bought the pony in 2015 from the Feast family who had done mini prix and 1.1m classes. Their start was less than ideal with Samantha breaking both arms in a fall at their first ‘away’ show together. “It wasn’t a huge confidence boost, and for a couple of years, we were definitely not consistent.” But that’s all a distant memory. Samantha credits her horse Double J Breeze On, on whom she won the Junior Rider of the Year title, for giving her the confidence to carry on, and with Colours of Lansing she has cemented a beautiful partnership. “We trust each other so much.” When Samantha got the pony, she was being ridden in a leather bit. “I probably competed her for half a season in

If we had all the money in the world we’d keep her as a broodmare,” she says between tears. “She is my best friend. It is so sad to be finishing ponies.” SAMANTHA CARRINGTON


The plan from right back was for mum to retire Breeze early to breed horses for us kids at this age,” says Samantha. “It really is a dream.”


a normal bit, but she would carry her head semi-high, so mum decided on a hackamore. As soon as we did that she brought her head down and jumped in a good frame.” It’s not the norm for the family, who Samantha says prefer to keep their horses in simple snaffle bits. Asking her to pick a favourite between the two steeds draws a rather pregnant pause but she then concedes that Lacey is her favourite because she is her best friend, but Bo has done everything for her. There’s also her youngster Double J Hurricane who was runner-up in the FiveYear-Old of the Year class and is a half-brother to Bo through the dam Breeze. At home Bo is a dominant little mare who is always very professional in the ring. There’s a standing joke at the farm Bo and Lacey share a paddock, and the family think there’s a fair bit of rivalry that goes on – when one wins, the other has to go one better. “I wanted to do well but I wouldn’t have been upset if I didn’t (in the junior),” says Samantha. “I was happy enough with one title, even at the start of the week I was happy with my second (in the five-year-old).” Bo is by Euro Sport Centavos out of Breeze, who was the first horse Wendy bought when she left school. “The plan from right back was for mum to retire Breeze early to breed horses for us kids at this age,” says Samantha. “It really is a dream.” Her sometime trainer Sally Clark has nothing but good to say about her young charge. “I feel so lucky to teach kids like her,” says Sally. “She is a great kid who does a fabulous job on that pony.” But the main input comes from mum Wendy. “I do get on well with my mum. She is so knowledgeable, and so is aunty Robyn.” Her mum says both her daughters have a very good eye for horses. “They are both learning the tricks of the trade and doing well,” she says. Samantha is a weekly boarder at Feilding Ag and says she’s not entirely sure what she will do on leaving school in 2021. “I will have to get a job so I can ride; it’s an expensive sport,” says Samantha. The family live on a bull and beef farm where it is a real team

Left hand page Top image - Samantha and DOUBLE J BREEZE ON, winners of the Junior Rider of the Year Lower image - (L-R) Robyn Jacobs, Kim Carrington, Samantha Carrington and Wendy Jacobs Below image this page - The Supermoth Trophy for Junior Rider of the Year

effort across all facets. It is an ideal place for Samantha to ride out on the farm once or twice a week with the rest of her time working on flatwork, which plays a big part in the preparation and training of her horses. “I just want to keep producing nice young horses,” says Samantha who is also eyeing more young rider classes aboard Bo next season. “Over the years she has had good but not top ponies. Her first was a sluggish little pig of a pony that she spent a fair amount of time falling off. But then she moved to first-year-ridden on a lovely little grey, and it was all go from there,” says Wendy. The Pony of the Year win was a dream come true for proud mum Wendy. “As anybody with horses knows, there are the ups and downs, and you have got to live and enjoy the good rounds when you can and just suck the bad days up.” Wendy is very much about keeping it real in their household. She runs a horse account, and after she had done the first round of entries early in the season, there was just $75 left in the account. “We are strategic about where we start and what we do,” she says. “It should all be very real and grounded.” She’s thought long and hard about the selling of Colours of Lansing and says with a nice little colt at home, she is keen to take some embryos from the mare and fingers are crossed there will be another superstar in the making. For now, though, the whole family is riding a high after two brilliants win by a humble young rider who will surely be one to watch for the future. C


RIDER spotlight

Dani Simpson

All marks count WORDS Rebecca Harper


“His colour is beautiful to start with. He’s a big horse, eye-catching, and he has so much presence.”

Image left - Mayson Downie Above - Avedon Animal Portraits

Style, elegance and a foot-perfect workout - hard work and an eye for detail came to the fore for Ashburton’s Dani Simpson and Trevalda Mountain Storm, as they started their Horse of the Year campaign with a win in the prestigious Gee Whizz Memorial Equestrian Turnout class.


orses are a way of life for Ashburton-based Dani, who came to Horse of the Year with some big goals in mind, and the Gee Whizz was a class she had always wanted to win. “I’ve been third and second before. It was a big one for me, and there’s something about that class – a lot of work goes into it, and schooling plays a big part. Everything has to come together.” While the majority of the points for the class come from conformation, how the horse looks, moves, as well as soundness, paces and manners and rider’s ability, saddlery and costume account for a significant amount of the overall mark. Competitors are scrutinised down to the buttons on their jackets and stitching on their saddles. “I was so happy with him, and he absolutely killed the workout. Even though he has won a lot, he is still quite green, and he gave me an amazing ride.” It was a double whammy for the Simpson team, with Dani’s lovely pony Greenmoor Euphoria, known as Richie, winning The Wonder Memorial Junior Equestrian Turnout class with Lucy Cochrane.

That capped off a special day for Dani, who has produced Richie herself. Despite being a pony, he has taught her that size isn’t everything. “I’ve learned that having a trainable horse with a big heart and the x-factor can compensate for other things (like size).” In April 2019, she rode him at Grand Nationals in Sydney, winning the Small Hunter Galloway, and still competes him herself at Level 6 dressage. However, she is too old to ride him in showing. Hence Lucy was taking on the ride in this discipline for the last two seasons. “I still school him and ride him at home, and Luce jumps on for shows. She’s done a lot of hard work leading up to HOY.” Lucy and Richie placed third in the Saddle Hunter Pony of the Year over 138cm & not exceeding 148cm, and also contested the Pony of the Year dressage title at HOY, something Dani has dreamed about. “It was always my dream for Richie to do Pony of the Year dressage with a kid, but we would have had to downgrade him previously to do it. They have changed the rules, and now it’s FEI Pony, open pony, so it doesn’t matter what he is graded – this was our opportunity.”


has been one to watch from a young age. As a four-year-old Zak picked up the Rising Star Saddle Hunter Horse title and was runner-up in the open Saddle Hunter title class at HOY, with Grace Thomson. Tracy stands Irish Draught stallion Ballineen Blue Mountain, who is Zak’s sire. Zak is out of Tarahills Kulzari, a mare originally bred by the South Australian police force to be a police horse.



Greenmoor Euphoria, winning The Wonder Memorial Junior Equestrian Turnout class with Lucy Cochrane. “I thought it would be awesome to get top 10, but he pulled it out of the bag and scored 72.8% in the musical – that put a bit more pressure on for the second test than I was expecting!” Dani has 13 horses at home, including her breeding stock, and her ultimate goal is to breed for herself. “I’m trying to breed a topquality dressage horse that also has the presence and conformation for the show ring. It’s hard!” She does all the work with the horses herself in her spare time, which she jokes is, not surprisingly, non-existent. Though she says, she has an amazingly supportive team around her, who make it all possible. “I couldn’t do it without my parents, Ray and Sonja, and fiancé James. He is amazing, to the point he even learned to ride and was hacking Zak around the grounds for me on Sunday – he was quite excited, it was his first time riding at HOY! I’m so lucky.” Dani is grateful to be sponsored by Hi Shine, Moore’s Riding Wear, Weatherbeeta, Stamanol and Nags to Riches. C

Images - Avedon Animal Portraits


The 26-year-old, who works fulltime as an agribusiness manager for Rabobank had sold her hack, Integrities Promise, to focus on her young horses, but found she was getting itchy feet sitting on the side-line at shows. When the opportunity arose to take the ride on Trevalda Mountain Storm, known as Zak, she jumped at it. Breed by Tracy Crossan of Trevalda Irish Sporthorses, the eyecatching gelding is ¾ Irish, ¼ Thoroughbred and Dani says he is a true hunter type. As well as the Gee Whizz, the combination won Paced and Mannered Saddle Hunter Horse of the Year and placed third in the Saddle Hunter Horse of the Year title class. “His colour is beautiful to start with. He’s a big horse, eye-catching, and he has so much presence. He doesn’t know how good he is. When he trots into the ring, he can really move. “For me, he is a true to type hunter, but he moves better than most. He’s really scopey and, with my dressage background, I like something to move. I didn’t realise quite how good he was until I got on – it’s raw power, holy smokes, talk about a hind leg on a horse. He is very, very good.” Dani has long admired Zak and jumped at the chance to take the ride on him for breeder Tracy Crossan. “I sold Integrities Promise, my really good hack, which was pretty heartbreaking. But I have lots of young ones coming on, and I work fulltime, so to have enough time to break in the young ones something had to give. This is my first HOY without him, and it was a bit heart wrenching to load up the truck without him. “I still had Richie and was doing Level 6 dressage, but when the show season started Lucy was riding him, and I was grooming. I got itchy feet and wanted to be back out in the ring! Tracy had been riding Zak herself, but she has a young family and lives quite far south and was reassessing her options with competing him. She posted about it on Facebook.” Dani wanted to be back out in the ring, but she didn’t want to ride just any horse – she knew Zak had the goods. “We don’t come to HOY until we think we have a good shot. The stars have to align, but it’s a long way and a lot of money to spend to make up the numbers. When I saw Tracy’s post, I believed he was absolutely capable of winning, if everything came together. I rang Tracy and asked if she wanted a rider for Zak and for him to go to HOY. She dropped him off the next week.” When Tracy started breeding she had one aim in mind – to breed Horse of the Year Show quality saddle hunters – and she has certainly achieved that with Zak. Owned, bred and broken in by Tracy, the stunning grey gelding

As well as the saddle hunter, Dani and Zak were third overall in the Level 2 dressage title class at HOY, doing just one qualifying show to get there, and also took out Reserve Champion Side Saddle Horse of the Year. “It’s testament to Tracy’s breeding that he can go out and do that. I threw him in the deep end a bit with the side saddle, but it’s kind of my little thing. He was amazing considering he’d only had the side-saddle on about five times. “Side-saddle is a bit different, I’m always up for a challenge, and it is quite difficult! He’s a big unit to do side saddle on too. I had put the hard work in and that’s where the dressage schooling pays off,” she says. “We come all this way (to HOY), we’ve got to do as much as we can, without burning them out.” Dani only entered Zak in the Level 2 dressage title class and was shocked to place second in the musical on the Wednesday.


New Winter collection out now

RIDER spotlight

RACHEL MALCOLM WORDS Diana Dobson IMAGES Christine Cornege

a NEW perspective on life Life has taken on a whole new meaning for Cambridge horsewoman Rachel Malcolm, who is well known for bringing on young horses but last year had her first child and says it brings a new dimension to her life.


roducing horses through to their full potential is what Rachel Malcolm just loves to do, and it is even better when they come up trumps. “It’s my passion,” says the newly crowned Lady Rider of the Year. “I love starting them and bringing them through. It is just so rewarding, and I thoroughly enjoy the whole journey.” She and husband John have just started on their own little journey with the arrival of baby Oliver in September. It’s seen her sidelined for the first half of the season as she came to grips with being a new mum and she’s loving it. “I can’t imagine life without him. Being a mum does put life into perspective.”

Support is everything

Instrumental in getting her back out riding were her team – John, a trainer and great mate Lisa Coupe, mum Jackie and sister Charlotte, as well as best friend Tash Brooks who Rachel says,


has been there every step of the way. “She has been there for ups and downs, highs and lows,” she says. “It’s so important to have someone like that on your side to cheer you on.”

The plan

Her plan for the Lady Rider was to go out and put in a “solid” round but went to the next level with the only double clear of the class. She rode her first Lady Rider at 17 aboard Kabo Benny Boy and has been trying to win it ever since, notching a sixth placing, a third and now the win. Finally, at 30, she can tick that box with victory aboard Monte Carlo MVNZ. She’s had the eight-year-old, who is by Indoctro out of Auburn Princess MVNZ since he was just two and brought him carefully through the grades. Downsizing her team last year wasn’t too hard a decision. “It was time to concentrate on the next phase of my life,” says Rachel. “I


wanted to do less horses, quality over quantity.” One of those to go was Henton Excalibur who Oliver Edgecombe is now enjoying plenty of success aboard. “I get as much pleasure seeing ones I have produced going to the next level with someone else.” He’s not the first successful horse she has produced either – Lincoln MVNZ is another she rode for three years before selling to Australia where Izabella Stone is now doing well aboard. Biarritz was another one, and there are many more. Rachel would never discount heading offshore with her own successful horse. “If I stumble across a horse of a lifetime maybe I would,” she says. And that equine could well be hiding away among some of the young stock at home. Rachel and John, who she married in 2014, have Cheltenham Stables, a 20-acre block in Cambridge where they specialize in breaking in and pre-training young Thoroughbreds. Rachel also has her showjumpers alongside the commercial arm of the business. They buy most of their horses as yearlings or two-year-olds, and Rachel says John has a good eye for what to purchase. They have just bred their first-ever sport horse, a colt by Cornet Obolensky using an embryo from Onessa MVNZ. “That is our little dabble into breeding sport horses, but I have had a good run of success with Mount View Sport Horses and Wendy and Richard Keddell.”


Rachel says they’ve got a great team at home who make it all possible. “I have surprisingly felt pleased just to be back in the saddle and out doing what I love.” Helping her do the juggle between horses and Oliver is mum Jackie and a nanny who comes in four days a week. “It means I can get out and work the racehorses and showjumpers before doing my mum life for the rest of the time. I do enjoy that.” She’s ridden “forever”. As a child, Rachel would watch the older riders, inspired at what she saw and dreaming of when she would be the one winning ribbons. And then it was her turn to inspire others. “It is always inspiring watching others,” she says. “I had a brief stint with Miranda Harrington in Holland when I was 18. She is an incredible producer of young horses, and I think that really lit the fire in my belly. Miranda is a real role model and isn’t recognised for just how talented she is.”


Dreams come true

The Lady Rider had always been a goal, albeit one that took a while to achieve. “I am just thrilled to have my name on the Merrylegs Trophy alongside all those other great riders. This is right up there for me.” While Rachel may have been just after a “solid” performance mate, Tash says she had a “good feeling” the trophy would be heading home in their truck. It’s friendships like that that Rachel says is so important to her and makes her world tick along. “It’s good to have people like Lisa and Tash to talk things over, make plans and just talk horses.” Rachel’s Lady Rider win was her third HOY title, having already claimed the Six-Year-Old in 2018 with Monte Carlo MVNZ, and the Young Rider crown aboard Kabo Benny Boy in 2009. She has ridden for New Zealand on numerous occasions including winning a team gold and individual silver at the Australia Youth Olympic Festival in 2009. In essence, Rachel couldn’t be happier. “I feel I am living the dream,” she says. “Living in Cambridge with my family and friends, and we have a neat little business. I love my life in New Zealand.”

“I have surprisingly felt pleased just to be back in the saddle and out doing what I love.”

“The minute I sat on him I just fell in love. He has been a bit of a challenge, but I love him. ”


RIDER spotlight

Pursuit of In the

Excellence WORDS Rebecca Harper IMAGES Michelle Clarke Photography

High hopes, low expectations. That’s the motto Abby Robinson lives by when it comes to horses, and Hillman Hunter delivered on her hopes at Horse of the Year, taking out the Show Hunter Horse of the Year title for the second time.


bby has been trying to win the class for a second time ever since the combination first lifted the trophy in 2017. The 27-year-old from Walton, Matamata, describes horses as her “long term hobby” and was excited to win the title, in her typically understated way. Not one to show much emotion, Abby admits doesn’t get nervous. Even heading into the callback, positioned in first place, she didn’t feel the pressure. “I’m pretty relaxed, but I think that’s the best way to be. It is what it is.” The title was one she had targeted for HOY, believing it to be an achievable goal for Hilly, as he is affectionately known at home. “It was the class I was aiming for, and I thought he had a good chance, out of everything we had entered. It’s just his rhythm – he stays the same, consistently, and he’s generally a pretty clean jumper.” Hilly is a big unit, standing at nearly 17hh, and Abby also show jumps him. The day before the Show Hunter title class he was out in the Premier Arena contesting the Pro-Amateur of the Year show jumping title. Even in the show jumping, his rhythm never changes. “He just canters around and jumps what’s in front of him.” She wasn’t filled with confidence coming into the Show Hunter title class, having had what she describes as a ‘shocker’ in her Show Hunter round the day before. “He scored about 50! I


guess he got his ‘moments’ out of his system, but I wasn’t too hopeful today. High hopes, low expectations, that’s what I always say.” Unlike show jumping, which is black and white, Show Hunter is judged by a person and can be hard to pick. “I was hopeful, but you never really know if you have done enough until they announce the winner. I was ecstatic and stoked. It’s been a goal to win it again.”

Variety the spice of life

Abby has focused more on show jumping with Hilly. “I really like show jumping and find it that tad bit more exciting, and I don’t like to do just Show Hunter. I find the horses need a bit of something different, as it can get very repetitive for them.” She enjoys giving her horses variety and often takes them to Little Valley Farm, near her parents Ohaupo property, where her horses still live. “I take them over the little cross country jumps, a few logs or the water jump. Hilly’s not a huge fan!” Her father trains trotters, and she is fortunate to have an 800m track at their property. “We’ve never quite managed to have the arena, we were always told ‘one day’ as kids, but somehow it’s never happened.” The track is great for fitness, and also when the horses first come back into work and are a bit fresh.



Currently, Hilly is the only horse she has in work, though she also has a four-yearold in the paddock. “I broke him in two years ago, but haven’t done much since – I’ve got to do an awful lot of work with him. I’m not sure what he will be. There’s a lot of work to do before I can label him anything.” Hillman Hunter is a nine-year-old gelding by Bay Indoctro out of a Picobello mare, which the Robinsons purchased from Weiti Station as a yearling, though he stayed at the station for another year to do some growing. “Mum bought him mainly as a show jumper, thinking he would jump with his breeding and type. We hoped he would be a show jumper, but he has proved himself more in the Show Hunter ring. “He’s just exactly what I need, and I’m lucky to have him. He’s a nice, easy, cruisy horse – just an absolute dude. He’s always been really laid back.” In the show jumping ring, Hilly has been very consistent at the 1.20-1.30m level and very competitive in the Pro-Am classes. As for future goals, Lady Rider of the Year is one that’s been on Abby’s radar for a while. “It’s been a goal for the last couple of seasons but every time I pussy out – maybe next year! I keep saying that every year. We’ll see.” One thing she does know is that Hilly won’t be sold. “He’s in his forever home. He’s not going anywhere. He’s very special, and he’s basically like a massive big Labrador to us, a pet.”

A long term hobby

Abby, who got married in January but hasn’t quite got round to officially changing

her surname yet, describes horses as her long term hobby. “I don’t think I’ll be giving up any time soon, but I won’t be getting any more horses any time soon either! Even having two is a struggle with work.” Her full-time day job involves working for farmer-owned co-operative LIC in the customer experience centre. “I’ve gone between working office jobs and working on Thoroughbred studs off and on for years.”

return to the Show Hunter ring until I got Hilly. I did Show Hunter on him as a young horse because he was suitable and I thought it was good for him. He was good at it, so I kept going.” Abby believes the Show Hunter is useful for teaching the horses to keep a good rhythm, and she finds it beneficial for the show jumping ring. She doesn’t train with anyone specifically but does try to attend clinics with Andrew Scott when he visits Little Valley Farm

“I was hopeful, but you never really know if you have done enough until they announce the winner. I was ecstatic and stoked. It’s been a goal to win it again.” With her dad training trotters, she’s always been around horses. “I started riding properly at about age five. I used to sit on dad’s horses, but that was the age when you could do things yourself when you were allowed a pony.” She started out doing the usual pony club things and then had a wonderful Category B Show Hunter pony, Puffing Billy, who she competed on for eight years in that ring. “Then I went show jumping and didn’t

every two months. “I find him very good, he’s very technical and explains things well.” Her parents have been the most significant influence, and supporters, when it comes to her riding. “I’m 27 and still graze my horses at home. I’m very lucky. I have to book the horse truck in, but I can usually get away with it for the weekends I need it. Sometimes I can kick dad out to the float and take the truck,” she smiles. C


EVENT coverage





At Land Rover Horse of the Year, the elite from all disciplines came to Hawke’s Bay and showed us what they had worked towards all season. The crowd held their breath, waiting for their favourite equestrian to deliver a winning performance. It was hard to tell who was having the most fun, the riders or the crowd. On the last day, the Stirrups Equestrian Olympic Cup lifted the explosive atmosphere to dizzying heights, when the best of the best showed us their talent in show jumping. It was a fitting end to a wonderful week of equestrian talent that attended this prestigious event.

WORDS Rebecca Harper, Diana Dobson, Ashleigh Kendall

IMAGES SHOW JUMPING & EVENTING - Cornege Photography DRESSAGE - Caitlin Benzie Photography SHOWING - Cate Thomas, Avedon Animal Portraits SHOW HUNTER & PLEASURE - Michelle Clarke Photography




“She’s got a lot of power and motor there,” says Melody Matheson of her showy mare Cortaflex Graffiti MH. “It’s sometimes hard to tame that power. She felt very good and was definitely ready for three rounds.” Melody Matheson

1. Melody Matheson - CORTAFLEX GRAFFITI MH, 2nd in the Stirrups Equestrian Olympic Cup 2. Brooke Edgecombe celebrates after winning the Stirrups Equestrian Olympic Cup riding LT HOLST ANDREA 3. Lisa Coupe won the Norwood Gold Cup on LOTTE, owned by The Commons family 4. Grace Percy - KIWI SPIRIT during their lap of honour after winning the Premier Stakes 1.40-1.50 class 5. Sue Reynolds - SEATTLE had a wonderful show to take the RAS Livamol Thoroughbred Show Horse of the Year, Senior Rider of the Year and on Sunday they clinched the Hack of the Year title to finish the Land Rover Horse of the Year



Words - Diana Dobson

Werner Deeg’s courses proved just the ticket for riders and spectators alike producing thrilling jump-offs across many a title class. The star of the show was the Stirrups Equestrian Olympic Cup which saw the 21-strong field cut to 10 after the opening round and then a head-to-head jump-off between Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) aboard LT Holst Andrea and Melody Matheson (Hastings) and Cortaflex Graffiti MH. The honours went the way of Brooke, who was fourth last year with Melody second and Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) aboard Windermere Cappuccino who placed third. Lisa Coupe (Cambridge) and Lotte took the honours in the Norwood Gold Cup with Nakeysha Lammers (New Plymouth) on Resolution second and Kimberley Bird (Ashburton) and Cera Cassina third. Lisa had only competed the Kathryn Roberts and Rosie Commons-owned eight-year-old mare at six shows and was rapt with the win. Robert Steele (Dannevirke) was a popular winner of the Cavallino Silver Fern Stakes aboard LT Holst Bernadette, heading home 18 other combinations for the win. Annabel Francis (Taupo) and Carado GHP were second with Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) aboard Fiber Fresh Veroana third. The Premier Stakes went the way of Grace Percy (Glenorchy) and Kiwi Spirit, who rode the only double clear of the 22-strong class with Sally Steiner (Tauranga) aboard Cartoon NZPH second and Nakeysha Lammers (New Plymouth) aboard Balboa NZPH third. Rachel Malcolm (Cambridge) bagged a lifetime dream when she won the UltraMox Lady Rider of the Year crown aboard Monte Carlo MVNZ, ahead of Nakeysha Lammers (New Plymouth) on Balboa NZPH and Drew Carson (Putaruru) with Winston V Driene. Samantha Carrington (Takapau) picked up not one but two HOY titles with her victories in the Farmlands Pony of the Year on Colours of Lansing and the Junior Rider of the Year with Double J Breeze On. In the Pony of the Year, Oamaru sisters Emma and Samantha Gillies filled the second and third spots aboard Benrose Playtime and Junior Disco. Filling the minor


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placings in the Junior Rider were Francesca Corich van der bas (Paraparaumu) aboard Cardo and Margot Curtis (West Melton) on Flirtini. Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) was hugely relieved to finally add the Bayleys Young Rider of the Year crown to her trophy cabinet. She and Fiber Fresh Delphine headed home 20 other combinations to hoist the Big Red Trophy. The Wade Equine Coaches Amateur Rider of the Year was won by Kaleigh Kent (Otane) and Double J Sponge Bob Square Pants after a thrilling three-way jump-off. Twenty-nine started the class with Kaleigh and Kelly Stewart (Rotorua) on Kinglsea Couture and Shelagh Nolan (Gisborne) with Ngahiwi Eyeza Blue filling the top three spots.


Riders made light work of the opening round of the Harrison Lane Pro-Amateur Rider of the Year class with 14 of the 29 starters going clear. However, it was there that Larina Dolman (Gisborne) and Kiwi Lansing really shone, setting a mark the others simply couldn’t match. Filling second was Kirsten Worker (Clevedon) aboard Melanie’s Choice with Vicki Prendergast (Matamata) and Selena C third. In the age group title classes, the 4CYTE Five-Year-Old went to Jesse Linton (Hastings) aboard Keltern William, the Land Rover Six-Year-Old to Jaime Tiller (Cambridge) on Casanova Xtreme, and the HB Contracting Seven-Year-Old to Vicki Wilson (Havelock North) on Carpaccio TWS.



7 8 1. Lillie Wallace - WOODLANDS PARK LIGHT O’ DAY (owned by the Aplin Family), Show Pony of the Year over 138cm not exceeding 148cm and Paced & Mannered Show Pony of the Year over 138cm & not exceeding 148cm 2. Laura Van Velthooven - MONTBELLE DONAHUE 4CYTE, Amateur Show Hunter of the Year 3. Nakeysha Lammers - RESOLUTION, 2nd in the Norwood Gold Cup 4. Billie Roach - LINDEN JUST A DREAM, Show Pony of the Year over 128cm & not exceeding 138cm 5. Amanda Berridge - GS O JAY, Medium Dressage Horse of the Year 6. Annabel Francis - CARADO GHP, 4th in the Stirrups Equestrian Olympic Cup 7. Saba Sam Area Pony Event winners, L-R; Georgia Bouzaid, Rylee Sheehan, Jaime Tiller (Team Manager), Keira Page, Tara Gower 8. Dylan Bibby - GREEDY MCCREADY, Category C Pony Show Hunter of the Year


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1. Melissa Galloway- WINDERMERE JOBÈI W Dressage Horse of the Year 2. Brooklyn Rankin - WINDSOR ENGLISH’E KISSES, Show Pony of the Year not exceeding 128cm 3. Wiremu Priest - MY GEMMA BEAR, Category A Pony Show Hunter of the Year 4. Morgan Abel-Pattinson - PIONEER NORTH EAST, Level 3 Pony of the Year 5. Rosa Buist-Brown - BELLICK ST, Junior Show Hunter of the Year 6. Peter Hill - HIGH COMMAND, Paced & Mannered Riding Horse of the Year over 148cm (pictured with judge, Daniel Park) 7. Tessa van Bruggen - FIORENZA, Advanced Medium Horse of the Year 8. Bundy Philpott - TRESCA NZPH during the Land Rover CC14*S to finish the overall winner 9. Caitlin Officer - NALA ZEPHYRS INSPIRATION, NZ Riding Pony Society Melville Black Memorial winner 10. Cherie Weck - SURSPENCE, Saddle Hunter Horse of the Year with judges Dainel Park & Joanne Shaw. Zion Memorial Trophy presented by Natacha Otto.



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Words - Diana Dobson

Debutant winners ruled in the show hunter title classes with only Laura van Velthooven going back-to-back with her victory in the 4CYTE Amateur Show Hunter of the Year. The top honours in the Open Show Hunter Horse of the Year went to the previous winner Abby Robinson and her delightfullynamed Hillman Hunter. The Walton combination last won the open title in 2017 and was second in 2018, heading into this HOY determined to reclaim the crown. Laura previously won the Amateur title aboard Sirocco Daisy

and was reliant on Montbelle Donahue to step up and fill some rather big shoes. She needn’t have worried though as they were clear winners of the title class, finishing 40.5 points ahead of their nearest competition. The win was all the more special because she’d had a tumble earlier in the show after Monty stumbled midround. She was over the moon and admitted she hadn’t expected the win. “He was tired but tried so hard and was just awesome out there.” Rosa Buist-Brown got the perfect 18th birthday present with her win in the Junior Show Hunter of the Year aboard Bellick ST. Brand new to Show Hunter, the Christchurch teen is more at home in the show jumping world, but the two are fast becoming


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1. Amanda Gray - PHOENICIAN ROCK THE TOWN, Park Hack of the Year 2. Hollie Falloon - FARLEIGH CATTERICK, Nga Tawa Category B Pony Show Hunter of the Year 3. Kaleigh Kent - DOUBLE J SPONGE BOB SQUARE PANTS rode for the win in the Wade Equine Coaches Amateur Rider Final 4. Zaria Johnston - MERIVALE PARK OPENING NIGHT during her workout to win First Ridden Pony of the Year 5. Vanessa Way - NSC PRONTO, Medium Tour Horse of the Year 6. Samantha Carrington - DOUBLE J BREEZE ON, winners of the Junior Rider of the Year 7. Mary Sheely - TO THE MAX, Riding Horse of the Year 8. Kimberley Bird - CERA CASSINA, 3rd in the Norwood Gold Cup


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a combination to watch in Show Hunter. Dylan Bibby (Onga Onga) is no stranger to Show Hunter but bagged his first discipline title aboard Greedy McCready in the Cat C Pony Show Hunter of the Year. The win on the 11-yearold skewbald came after the 15-year-old had to make the tough decision to withdraw his number one Daisy Patch from the (show jumping) Pony of the Year class. Greedy McCready is a new ride for Dylan and is owned by Pam Simmons. Hollie Falloon steered her 15-year-old Australian-bred multitalented Farleigh Catterick to victory in the Nga Tawa Cat B Pony Show Hunter of the Year. She was hugely relieved to secure her third HOY title after losing her spot during the call back in the Cat A three years ago and considering she was carrying a collar bone injury. It made the Masterton rider a little nervous, but she channelled the energy in the best way possible. Wiremu Priest (Rotorua) had his “best HOY ever”, topped off by winning the Cat A Pony Show Hunter of the Year aboard the well-performed My Gemma Bear alongside the 12 and under equitation crown and the sportsmanship award. It’s his fourth

time competing at Horse of the Year but his first-ever title in his first season on Emma Bates’ pony.

SHOWING Words - Rebecca Harper The top showing combinations in the country shone at this year’s Horse of the Year Show in Hawke’s Bay. The first significant titles were awarded on Tuesday in the Working Hunter section. Luke Dee and the evergreen Thoroughbred Untouchable, owned by Merran Hain, defended their title in the horse class. It was a thrill for Merran to see her horse in the winner’s circle. “Luke is a beautiful rider, he’s young, and I enjoy seeing a good rider out there instead of an old woman like me!” Even she couldn’t remember how many times Untouchable, now 19, had won the title. In the pony title class, 15-year-old Harriet Laing from Banks Peninsula in Canterbury and the lovely paint Triple Star Picture Puzzle made a harmonious picture. Harriet was delighted to take


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1. Amanda ‘Muzi’ Pottinger - JUST KIDDING during the Land Rover CC14*S cross-country to finish 2nd overall 2. Larina Dolman - KIWI LANSING, Harrison Lane Pro Am Final winner 3. Dani Simpson - TREVALDA MOUNTAIN STORM, The Gee Whizz Memorial Equestrian Turnout winner and Paced & Mannered Saddle Hunter Horse of the Year 4. Harriet Laing - TRIPLE STAR PICTURE PUZZLE won the Working Hunter Pony of the Year pictured with judges; Joanne Shaw & Melissa Jebson 5. Donna Edwards-Smith - DSE CLUNY during the Land Rover CCI3*-S cross-country to win the event 6. Ciel Butler - MATAWHERO LUCIANO Bayleys Young Rider Final, 6th


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7. Emma Gillies - BENROSE PLAYTIME, 2nd in Farmlands Pony of the Year 8. Nakeysha Lammers - BALBOA NZPH, 2nd in the Ultra-Mox Lady Rider of the Year 9. Vicki Wilson - CARPACCIO TWS, HB Contacting Seven Year Old Horse of the Year 10. Billie Roach - BROOKFIELDS IN YOUR DREAMS, Saddle Hunter Pony of the Year (over 138cm & not exceeding 148cm) the win in her final year on the pony before it is handed on to her sister. “It was nice to go out with a bang.” On Wednesday style and elegance were to the fore with the Gee Whizz Memorial Equestrian Turnout, won by Dani Simpson and the lovely Trevalda Mountain Storm. Dani’s pony Greenmoor Euphoria, ridden by Lucy Cochrane, also took the win in The Wonder Memorial Junior Equestrian Turnout class. It was a clean sweep for Karaka’s Gaylene Stanaway-Dreadon and KL High Fashion, who took out the trifecta of Led Youngstock Pony of the Year, three years and under, the Pony Breeders Society of New Zealand Led Show Pony of the Year and the Riding Pony Society of New Zealand Led Youngstock Show Pony of the Year.

“I’m very proud of this pony. Her breeding and her movement are pretty special.” The pony, by Royalwood Rossini out of Carlingford Park High Society, was imported from Australia in utero and is destined for a career under saddle before she heads to the broodmare paddock. The Senior Rider of the Year, 21 years and over, went to local rider Sue Reynolds on Seattle, and the combination also took out the Livamol Thoroughbred Show Horse of the Year on Wednesday. But it was the Hack of the Year title on Sunday that Sue really wanted, and she emerged victorious among a very impressive line-up of beautiful hacks with her special boy ‘one in a million’ eight-year-old Hamish, as he’s known at home. “He was a bit off after Wednesday, and we’ve had to nurse him




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1. KL HIGH FASHION who was led by Duncan Norrie to win Led Youngstock Pony of the Year, Pony Breeders Society of New Zealand Led Show Pony of the Year, Riding Pony Society of New Zealand Led Youngstock Show Pony of the Year, Supreme Performance Pony of Year, owned by Gaylene Stanaway-Dreadon 2. Billie Roach - KS B-WITCHED, Saddle Hunter Pony of the Year not exceeding 128cm. Judges; Janice McDonald & Daniel Park 3. Mindy Malone - LUGAR, Pleasure Pony of the Year 4. Margaret Hoddinott - ORIN, Pleasure Horse of the Year 5. Natasha Waddell UPTOWN CHARLIE BROWN, Paced & Mannered Park Hack of the Year 6. Charlotte Waddell - ASHTON ESTEE LAUDER, Rising Star Park Hack of the Year 7. Samantha Carrington taking her victory lap for Farmlands Pony of the Year riding COLOURS OF LANSING through. The vets have been fantastic. He perked up today – he knew. “I had to make the call this morning, I pulled him out of the box, and he had eaten and was happy, and that was enough for me to make the decision. I didn’t even work him in before the class.” Sue was thrilled to receive feedback from English judge, Daniel Park, that Seattle would be capable of winning in the UK. “That’s out of this world, and I felt so honoured to hear that. I love this horse, but we all love the horse we ride, don’t we?” On Thursday Amanda Gray and the very elegant Phonecian Rock the Town shone with a foot-perfect performance, defending their Park Hack of the Year title. The Riding Horse of the Year title went to a delighted Mary Sheely, Rotorua, and To the Max. Riding at her first-ever Horse of the Year Show, Mary was in disbelief she had won the title. “I didn’t think this would happen for me. But I thought he did an awesome workout, and he felt so light and supple. I was elated, blown away!” Max was purchased

for Mary but was campaigned by her daughter Kelly for the last two seasons. On Friday it was the turn of the saddle hunters. It was a memorable day for Cambridge’s Billie Roach, 16, who took out the Saddle Hunter Pony of the Year not exceeding 128cm on KS B-Witched and then the Saddle Hunter Pony of the Year over 138cm & not exceeding 148cm with sister Chloe’s Brookfields In Your Dreams. It is Billie’s last season on ponies, and she has ridden KS B-Witched for three seasons. “I’m pretty excited. Winnie’s one of my favourites. I’ve always really loved her, she so good to ride and there’s just something about her.” Owner Melanie Priscott, of Te Awamutu, said she was rapt for Billie. “To get the win in her last season after all the work she’s put in, and this win is for her really.” For Chloe Roach, it was an emotional win with Brookfields In Your Dreams. “I’m over the moon, Billie gave her a great ride.” The plan now is to put fiveyear-old Marmalade, as she’s known at home, in foal.




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1. Aliya Kirkwood - TAURIMU DA VINCE, Lead-Rein Pony of the Year and won the Aranui Chablis Cup 2. Wendi Williamson - DON VITO MH, Advanced 6C winner 3. Millie Harris - BELLAGIO KV, Opus Fresh Saddle Hunter Pony of the Year over 128cm & not exceeding 138cm 4. Jaime Tiller - CASANOVA XTREME (COROFINO II & JK GOOD LOOKS) in the Six Year Old class to take the win 5. Amanda Woodhams - HOT DIGGITY won the Rising Star Hack of the year and Paced & Mannered Hack of the Year 6. Nicola Urquhart - CAHONCHO, Livamol Thoroughbred Show Horse of the Year Series winner 7. Robert Steele - LT HOLST BERNADETTE, Cavallino Silver Fern Stakes winner 8. Madison Crowe - WAITANGI PINTEREST during the Land Rover CC14*S cross-country to finish in 4th overall 9. Abby Robinson - HILLMAN HUNTER, Show Hunter Horse of the Year 10. Luke Dee - UNTOUCHABLE (owned by Merran Hain) take the Working Hunter Horse of the Year title. Judges; Alan Windle & Jo Jefferson


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To top it all off, Billie and Linden Just a Dream won the Show Pony of the Year, over 128cm & not exceeding 138cm on Saturday. In the Saddle Hunter Pony of the Year over 128cm & not exceeding 138cm the title went to Millie Harris and Bellagio KV. In the horse section, it was an excellent day for Cherie Weck and Surspence, who rode off with both the Rising Star Saddle Hunter and the Saddle Hunter Horse of the Year titles. In the Lead Rein ponies it was Auckland’s Aliya Kirkwood, 8, and Taurimu Da Vince who swept the board, winning best presented, Lead Rein Pony Rider of the Year, Lead Rein Paced & Mannered Pony of the Year and the Lead Rein Pony of the Year titles. Having only had the pony since September, Aliya said it was “amazing” to win. In the First Ridden Pony of the Year title class nine-year-old Zaria Johnston, from Pukekohe, and Merivale Park Opening Night were over the moon to win. The pony, known as Nelson, has been in the family for seven years and mum says she’s been told she’s not allowed to sell him. “I was surprised and also very happy, and I almost cried,” an elated Zaria said. “He’s very special, and I like how easy he is and good looking he is.” On Saturday, the Show Pony of the Year, not exceeding 128cm went to Brooklyn Rankin and Windsor English’e Kisses. In the Show Pony of the Year, over 138cm & not exceeding 148cm it was Woodlands Park Light O’ Day, ridden by Otaki’s Lillie


2 1 3 4 1. Briar Burnett-Grant - FIBER FRESH DELPHINE NZPH, Bayleys Young Rider of the Year 2. Ben Thomson - RP RICOCHET Reserve Hack of the Year 3. Leesa Banicevich - RP COUTURE from Regent Park, Led Youngstock Show Horse of the Year, Champion 2-3yr old Sport Horse of the Year, Supreme Junior Sport Horse of the Year and Runner-up Supreme Performance Mare of the Year 4. Lucy Cochrane - GREENMOOR EUPHORIA, (owned by Danielle Simpson), Wonder Memorial Junior Equestrian Turnout winner, Paced & Mannered Saddle Hunter Pony of the Year over 138cm & not exceeding 148cm title winners 5. Laura Inkster - NIKAMA MVNZ during their round in the Premier Stakes 6. Chelsea CallaghanSISTERS II ETTA J, Small Tour Horse of the Year 7. Sally Steiner CARTOON NZPH, 2nd in the Premier Stakes 1.40-1.50m Wallace and owned by the Aplin family, who took the honours. The win was particularly sweet for the Aplins, as the pony, who now has 17 HOY titles to his name, had been out with an injury for almost 12 months and had only been in light work since December. Eleven-year-old Lillie was very excited to hear her name called out. “He did a really good workout, and I was hopeful. I love his lengthened trot. His name is Sparkle, and when he goes in the ring, he sparkles!”


PLEASURE Words - Rebecca Harper It was a memorable show for 12-year-old Mindy Malone, from Kapiti Coast, and her lovely pinto pony Lugar, winning the Pleasure Pony of the Year title and also taking home Reserve Champion Pinto Pony of the Year and Reserve Champion preliminary dressage pony. “I’m so happy, this is the thing we’ve been working towards all

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7 season, but I was very surprised to win! He’s so special, and he’s chilled but also has a spunky personality. He’s a big dude and is a very easy pony,” she said. In the horse section, Upper Hutt’s Margaret Hodditnott and Orin took the honours, something Margaret did not expect. “I’m getting to the end of my days of riding, so this is quite good,” she explained. She has had 17-year-old Orin, a half Arab stationbred, for ten years and it is a true partnership, which showed in the ring. “When I bought him, I rode him and liked his canter, and it’s like a rocking horse to ride. He’s a friendly horse – I just like his face.”

EVENTING Words - Rebecca Harper It was a battle of the Tokyo Olympics hopefuls in the CCI4*S eventing class, with Bundy Philpott and Tresca NZPH coming out on top. Pulling up from fifth after dressage to first place with a clear show jumping round, she put in a bold cross country performance, adding just .4 of a time fault, to hold on to the lead and seal the win. It was tight at the top after dressage. Clarke Johnstone and his Rio Olympics mount Balmoral Sensation led the pack, scoring 31.4. Amanda Pottinger and Just Kidding were snapping on his heels with 32.2, followed closely by Maddy Crowe and Waitangi Pinterest on 32.8.

Clarke, Amanda and Maddy all dropped a rail in the show jumping and Clarke then opted to withdraw Balmoral Sensation ahead of the cross-country. Bundy’s clear round moved her up to first place, with Amanda and Maddy still sitting in second and third respectively. Last year’s winner Amanda was typically clear and quick across country, holding on to her second place overall. Monica Oakley and Acrobat also jumped clear inside the time to finish on their dressage score and move up to third. In the CCI3*S class, Donna Edwards-Smith and DSE Cluny were victorious, moving up from sixth after dressage with a clear show jumping round and clear jumping on cross country, adding 9.2time faults. Monica Oakley and Artist finished second, and Vicky Browne-Cole aboard Cutting Edge rounded out the top three.

DRESSAGE Words - Ashleigh Kendall Incredible victories emerged at this year’s Horse of the Year Show as some of New Zealand’s most exciting dressage combinations battled it out in the Hawke’s Bay Contracting Premier Oval to decide top honours. On the back of her very successful Australian campaign, golden girl Melissa Galloway and her harmonious nine-year-old gelding, Windermere J’Obei W once again wowed the judges and spectators


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1. ROSEHILL PARK SAPPHIRE, led by Ben Thomson (owned by Nannette Cadwallader), Led Adult Horse of the Year, 4yrs and over 2. Piper Hayton - LINDEN SUMMER TRIBUTE, First Ridden Pony Rider of the Year. Pictured with judge, Melissa Jebson 3. Peita Milne - NGAHIWI WARRIOR in the Bayleys Young Rider 4. Kate Herdson - IDOL D 4th in the Bayleys Young Rider Final Opposite page - Tegan Fitzsimon - WINDERMERE CAPPUCCINO, 3rd in the Stirrups Equestrian Olympic Cup


alike with three convincing victories to win the overall title. It was a big thrill for William Millar and Raukura Satori MH to claim Reserve Champion Horse of the Year. In the Grand Prix, 27-year-old Melissa from Marlborough took home the win on 69.647%, ahead of Waikato’s William Millar on the 16-year-old gelding Raukura Satori MH on 66.848%. Melissa and 11-year-old Windermere Johansen W finished a fraction behind with 66.44% to finish third. Jody Hartstone on her newly gelded Ali Baba put in a solid effort of 65.054% to finish in fourth. Lucarne Dolley on Ardmore and Cooper Oborn on Aphrodite were hot on their heels with a close 64.293% and 64.076% respectively. The Special saw the order of the placings change slightly, however ultimately Melissa and Windermere J’Obei W reigned supreme once again winning with a super 70.186%. The following three placings were all very close and could have been anyone’s - Cooper on 66.888%, William on 66.277% and Jody coming in with 66.064%. The final battle was the crowd favourite musical freestyle. Melissa was not quite able to gain the same scores she enjoyed in Australia, but put in a stellar performance on both her horses to win with Windermere J’Obei W on 73.988% and finish third on Windermere Johansen W with a respectable 69.95%. Victoria

“Vollie really is my one in a million horse,” says Tegan Fitzsimon of Windermere Cappuccino who was honoured at the Hall of Fame Cocktail Party as Horse of the Year. “He is quirky but he always tries so hard and gives me 100%.” Tegan Fitzsimon


2 1 3 4 Wall, who has also just returned from Australia with her mare Letty Lei EDH jumped up the placings from her previous test to come second with 70.45%. Jody Hartstone, always close, finished fourth and just .1% behind Melissa with 69.85%. It was another exciting and very close battle in the Medium Tour as a very experienced field lined up to compete. Vanessa Way on NSC Pronto managed to claim the first victory in the Intermediare B by a nose, winning on 65.432, only a smidge ahead of Catherine West on Amici II who scored 65%. Cooper Oborn and the imported gelding Revelwood Showtime kept his thumb on the pulse with a third placing on 64.216%. Cooper then pulled off a super classy performance in the musical, clinching the victory on a convincing 71.5% and Vanessa second on 68.68%. Vanessa took the overall title win and Cooper settled for Reserve Champion. The competition heated up in the Small Tour. After some switches in the placings, Wellington combination Chelsea 1. Briar Burnett-Grant and Leeshelle Small share a hug after placing first and second in the Bayleys Young Rider Final 2. Meg Fleming - BEWITCHED OF FLAXMILL, Youth or Girl Rider of the Year, 17 years and under 21 years 3. Samuel Gradowski-Smith HERITAGE DON QUILLA, Medium Pony of the Year (Overall Pony of the Year) 4. Kate D’acre - ROYALTON FRONT & CENTER, Rising Star Riding Horse of the Year 5. Monica Oakley - ACROBAT, during the Land Rover CC14*S cross-country to finish in 3rd overall 6. Liv Teixeira - EB ESPERANZA during their round in Farmlands Pony of the Year


5 6 Callaghan and her small but mighty Friesian- cross mare Sisters II Etta J prevailed for the overall title, ahead of the super consistent Waikato rider Christine Weal and Schindlers Liszt, who were the bridesmaids in both title classes. Despite winning the first title class and being unbeaten all season, Gaylene Lennard and the impressive Jax Johnson failed to fire in the musical, finishing third in the class and overall. “Etta started a bit too enthusiastic for the Prix at George and the Inter 1 which cost us a mistake in our three tempis in the Inter 1,” Chelsea says. “By Saturday she had settled in and was super rideable in the warmup for the musical. Because I had placed third in the Inter 1, I felt like I had nothing to lose and no pressure for the musical so just went into it thinking let’s have fun! I love riding the musical, and Etta responds so well to the music when she knows it, so we always have a good time! She gave me an awesome feeling through the whole test, and I definitely had a big smile on my face near the end.” Wendi Williamson’s star continued to shine bright in the advanced classes as she rode two young horses, Don Vito MH to victory and Bon Jovi MH to finish third in the overall championship. Reserve Champion went to South Island’s Lorraine Ward-Smith on board her expressive mare Fernlea Diamond Day. In the Young Rider class, new combinations Brina Carpenter and Leo Donna were the title winners after a stunning victory in the musical freestyle. Lilly Jefferies from Upper Hutt and Lindisfarne Laureate finished Reserve Champion. Sam Gradowski-Smith won the Medium Pony Championship, crowning him and Heritage Don Quilla 2020 Pony of the Year to conclude a fantastic season for the pair.

Young guns stole the show in the Advanced Medium with 24-year-old Tessa van Bruggen and the fabulous nine-yearold Fiorenza taking home the overall title ahead of 17-year-old Rebecca Williamson and her seven-year-old Don Tobio. Both riders have trained their horses on from the beginning with the help of their superstar mothers, Franzi van Bruggen-Smit and Wendi Williamson. Vanessa Way and her gelding Timbermill Prequel finished third overall. “I was thrilled with Fiorenza this week. She felt amazing, and she tried her heart out. The freestyle was my favourite test,” an elated Tessa said. Backing up an amazing and very successful season, Amanda Berridge and GS O’Jay impressed the judges to take top honours in the Medium Championship ahead of Nicky Daulton and HPH Phelix Phelicious. “I was so proud of GS O’Jay he’s not the bravest horse but trusts me now and was amazing for his first time in that main arena,” Amanda says. “Consistency over several tests is usually our downfall, so it was great to win both title tests. He’s such a special horse and gets better and better.” Matthews Hanoverians dominated in the Elementary Horse of the Year Championship with the stunning Santana MH and Cindy Wiffin claiming the title and Molly Lumb and Griffindor MH in Reserve. The imported Irish Coffee and Alex Matheson had a clean sweep of Level two to win champion, ahead of Rosanne Rix and Lindisfarne Danseur. In the Level One Cooper Oborn on CDS Donstar were deservedly champions with a high score of 81% in the final test. This talented combination also won the fouryear-old young dressage horse class. Amanda Macpherson and Frieden Star were reserve champion. C


RIDER spotlight


JESSE LINTON LOOKS TO THE FUTURE WORDS Rebecca Harper IMAGES Christine Cornege Photography

Working towards his dream of buying land and setting up an equine property, and eventually competing at World Cup level, this talented young rider has earned a reputation for producing quality young horses, recently winning the Silver Tour at Takapoto Estate Show Jumping aboard Vitess.



atural ability can take you a long way, but Hawke’s Bay equestrian Jesse Linton has discovered that discipline and training are equally crucial to success in the ring. Based at the Maraekakaho farm of Olympic medallist Greg Best and his wife Kim, the 26-year-old has been lucky to have the couple’s support and guidance as he builds his career. “Originally, a long time ago, Kim employed me to ride a couple of young horses, a few years later, I brought my horses to the farm. We run it as a business, Kim does the adjistment, and I run my side, the schooling. I bring in horses to the farm, but we charge out separately. “I also have two kids who have their horses based at the farm, on Tuesdays and Thursday they come out for lessons, then they go to the shows, and I train them at shows.” He doesn’t do a huge amount of teaching due to his riding commitments – there can be up to 14 horses in work on the farm at any time – but he does enjoy coaching the kids. “They all have really nice horses and ponies, and they’re here at the farm. I don’t over-commit myself because I want to be able to give them 100%. It’s great seeing their progress, and I get a real kick out of it when they do well. With it being a small number, I feel you have a real connection with them, and I do enjoy it.” Jesse currently owns two horses, Vitess (Evie), and LT Holst Elspeth (Elsa). “I bought Vitess as a six-year-old from Kelly Smith, and she had a few quirks to iron out when she was younger, and I took her on as a schooler initially. I really liked her, and three months later I bought her.” Now eight, Jesse has taken Evie carefully, competing her in show jumping and Show Hunter, and says she has exceeded every expectation. The mare was an embryo transfer out of Sarah Milne’s well-known Diversity and is by Centavos. “She’s jumping Grand Prix now and has had a few placings. She’s fairly small, 16hh, but is a fun little horse. She has a big heart and


tries really hard. The highlight with her was winning the Silver Tour at Takapoto Estate Show Jumping.” Sadly, the nature of the horse game and trying to set himself up for the future means the horses are always for sale. “Unfortunately, she probably will be sold. She’s worth too much in the paddock at the minute for me to keep her. I would love to hang on to her, but for me, at my age, that’s the reality of horses – bringing on young ones and selling them.”

“I think for young horses, Show Hunter gets them going in a good rhythm, the lines are set perfectly, they’re nice small fences, and there’s fill. It’s good for getting them relaxed, and their lead changes.” If worst came to worst and something happened to Evie, she would still be a valuable broodmare. “After Horse of the Year, she is for sale, and already I have people interested. She’s a bit of a pet, and there’s something different about her, so I would be very picky about where she did go.” Elsa was originally Kim’s ride; the Bests purchased her off breeder Ewen Mackintosh from Lake Taupo Holsteiners as a five-year-old. “She had had a foal and came to us pretty green. Kim rode her and really liked her, but always said she wasn’t her sort of horse. I

rode her in the six-year-olds and liked her. Kim was very good and probably gave me a bit of a deal – my gran owns part of her, which is exciting. Again, she’s very well bred and could be a broodmare.” Elsa has just turned seven and, while still quite green, Jesse has hopes she could go all the way. “I think she has all the attributes to do World Cups. Again, I would like to hang on to her, but she would be for sale to the right home.” As well, Jesse owns a project horse 50/50 with the Bests. “We’ve had three or four horses we’ve done together. Kim pays the costs, I do the riding and take them to shows, we sell them and split the money half and half.”


Jesse loves Hawke’s Bay and plans to stay there long term, having moved to the region with his family from Ngawi in the Wairarapa at the age of three. No one is his family was horsey, though his mum did ride when she was younger. “I started riding lessons at age eight or nine, quite late, caught the bug for it and never really stopped. I always liked horses and thought they were pretty cool. I went to a riding school on Napier Hill, with Anne Vink. Eventually, we bought an old pony, then another pony and it just went from there.” While he hunted, he never show jumped as a youngster and was quite late coming to the discipline. “I never knew what I wanted to do after school, but I always liked

Above - Jesse rides IGUAZU (COROFINO II/ VOLENTA) to place 1st in the Mini Grand Prix 1.35m at Takapoto Estate Showjumping. Image Libby Law Photography.

Jesse and eight-year-old VITESS (CENTAVOS/DIVERSITY) during the Silver Qualifier One at Takapoto Estate Show Jumping in week two and sealed the deal in the final to secure the overall win.


Above - Jesse and KELTERN WILLIAM (owned by Jesse & Kim Best) won the 4CYTE Five Year Old class at Horse of the Year Left - Jesse and nine-year-old LT HOLST ELSPETH (CASCADELLO / BERYL), owned by Jesse and his grandmother, took out a respectable 4th in the Bronze Tour Final Jump-Off at Takapoto Estate Show Jumping

horses, I’m trying to set myself up as best I can, I like change, horses are all different. Everything is different every day, and I prefer that. I couldn’t work in an office. And working for yourself, there’s a lot of perks in that. “I think if you work hard, there is money to be made from horses. It’s also a lifestyle – I really enjoy turning up to work on a Monday morning. You head off to shows on a Wednesday with nice horses on the truck, and I can’t really complain. Life is good.”


Having an Olympic medallist on your back doorstep has been a huge benefit for Jesse, and he says the Bests have been the most significant influence on his riding to date. “I’ve been fortunate with Greg and Kim, Kim being one of the best young horse producers in the country, and being guided by Greg, who gives me lessons.”


He has learned a lot from watching Kim school young horses. “You’ve got to have a good temperament and be so patient. Greg always says if a horse never has a bad experience, it can never go backwards, and that makes sense. I have also learned a lot of discipline from Greg when it comes to riding courses, striding, and always sticking to a plan – don’t just go out there and wing it. “Like now, I always walk the jump-off in the first course-walk, then if you do end up in the jump-off, you already know your plan.” While he was lucky to have natural talent and a good eye, Jesse now realises there’s only so far that can take you. He has learned the value of discipline in regular training. “I struggled to be disciplined, not just riding off feel. It’s about knowing exactly what you are going to ride down a line, not figuring it out when you’re halfway down it! Greg is pretty patient too.” He also credits Graeme Hart at Fernhill Stud for supporting him in his early years. “I rode a lot of horses for Graeme when I was younger. He always said ‘just keep cantering down to the fence, and I’ll pick the fence up’. He was so positive, and he never blamed you. He would say ‘tomorrow’s another day, it didn’t jump high enough’. That was pretty cool back then, he always backed you, even if you had a bad round. Ashley, his son, was the same, and Kim and Greg are a bit the same too. They always look for the positive in something, not the negative.”

“Ribbons are great, obviously, but I don’t want to run the legs off my horses. I like to do well in one class per show, on each horse. The first class I treat as a warmup. They’re not machines or robots, and they don’t need to win, win, win.” While Jesse predominantly competes in the showjumping arena, he can be found turning his hand at other disciplines, particularly Show Hunter, which he believes is valuable for young horses. “You look at someone like Merran Hain, she had a horse that won in something like three different disciplines at Horse of the Year, they (horses) should be able to do everything. They are all different, and I enjoy doing different things with them. I would love to compete in Show Hunter of the Year with both horses this year, but the logistics are hard with it down the other end of the ground, and it gets stressful, which is a shame. “I think for young horses, Show Hunter gets them going in a good rhythm, the lines are set perfectly, they’re nice small fences, and there’s fill. It’s good for getting them relaxed, and their lead changes. I like to think I could go to Hawke’s Bay Royal and win champion Show Hunter and then go out and jump the seven-yearold on the same horse, not just one set job.”


Ideally, Jesse would like to buy land and set it up for horses. “I think the only way for me to do that is by selling horses, which is a bit of a shame, and I’m not sure how long that will have to be for. But long term that’s the plan. I definitely want to be in Hawke’s Bay, and I couldn’t see myself moving, it’s a cool place. “It just takes time. I’m chipping away, and I think if you work hard, you will get there. I look at how hard Greg has worked, he’s overseas every year away from the family, but it’s paid off, and I can see that. He has a beautiful farm in Hawke’s Bay.”

Producing and schooling young horses is a passion, but he also has ambitions to have a horse capable of jumping at World Cup level. “Maybe it’s Elspeth, that’s probably my big hope for her, to jump World Cups on her, potentially as a nine-year-old. But there’s a long way to go between seven and nine-years-old, everything has to align.” Although he sets goals, Jesse does not measure his success in the sport by a ribbon or trophy and isn’t concerned about chasing the age group series. The emphasis is on the horse, having fun and enjoying its job. “I find it quite tough in the sport, some people are so competitive. I believe we really care about our horses and sometimes chasing those classes puts a lot of pressure on them, all for a trophy. “Ribbons are great, obviously, but I don’t want to run the legs off my horses. I like to do well in one class per show, on each horse. The first class I treat as a warm-up. They’re not machines or robots, and they don’t need to win, win, win. I get a lot of horses sent to me that are broken; maybe they’ve been stepped up a bit quick or been run off their legs. “You have to make their job seem like it’s fun. They have to want to do their job, I believe, to be the best.” Jesse is grateful to be sponsored by Georgie Dormer from Cavalleria Toscana and to Greg and Kim. “They’re not a sponsor, but they’re extremely generous with my horses at the farm. We have a really good vibe at the farm, everyone gets on, we have fun, and we all back each other. It’s a good feeling – we really love each other’s successes.” C


SPECIAL feature

Trainers talk training... In all areas of life, we need those exceptional individuals who have the ability to not only teach the mechanics and theory of a skill but also inspire us, light a fire in us and encourage us forward to achieve our goals. We speak to four of the country’s top trainers who have done just that for countless riders during their coaching careers, often while progressing their own riding careers as well. We find out what it takes to be a top-notch coach, who inspires them and get some inside tips on improving your own riding.


“I‘ve learned that I still have a lot to learn” Maya Angelou

“An instructor should exemplify the things he seeks to teach. It will be of great advantage if you yourself can do all you ask of your students and more.” – Bruce Lee




Eventing rider Johnathan ‘Jock’ Paget’s competition record is a lengthy one with highlights like being the second Kiwi rider to win Badminton Horse Trials on debut. Jock, who was part of the bronze medal-winning team at the 2012 London Olympics, came back to New Zealand in 2017 to further his coaching career with the ESNZ performance coaching programme and continue his riding career.

Dressage rider and coach Sheena Ross is well versed in the competition arena having produced multiple Grand Prix level dressage horses with numerous wins including Level 6/7 Dressage Horse of the Year in 2016 on Parkridge Disco SW. Sheena and her husband Dermot also sponsor ‘The Sterling Warmbloods Small Stars Top Ten League’.



Grand Prix dressage rider Vanessa Way is one of the country’s most successful dressage riders and has long been a well-respected and sought after coach. She has had countless wins and placings, including the 2019 New Zealand Dressage Championship, which she won on NRM Andreas.

Show jump rider Lucy Olphert has represented NZ seven times and successfully competed to World Cup level. Along with competing and coaching, Lucy is a co-founder of the Global Amateur Tour, a competition designed for amateur riders to compete on borrowed horses in international competition around the world.


Born: Wellsford,NZ Resides: Reporoa,NZ COACH, MENTOR, FARMER, EVENTING RIDER

Jock Paget

From Auckland to Arizona, Jock has been everywhere in his equestrian career and experienced the many highs, and many lows the sport brings. He has cemented his name in the list of great Kiwi event riders and since making the move back home from the UK, is making his mark as a coach as well. Jock’s passion for his sport is infectious, and he’s relished in the opportunity to help grow and teach the next generation of riders, all around the world. What made you get into coaching? I started early on when I was learning to ride. When I was doing my time as a working pupil in Queensland, my boss at the time, Kevin McNab was doing a lot of clinics. He asked me to go away with him once and give him a hand. I’d just started riding advanced at the time, and I really enjoyed the challenge of it, to be on the ground to try to improve the horse and the rider and it’s grown since then. As I did more as a rider, I did more as a coach too.

What is your teaching style? It depends on the person I’m working with. If you’re working with someone who is more novice, then it becomes more of an instructional based style, so painting a picture for them and giving them a lot of direction and rules to follow to get there, so it becomes a habit. Then with confident riders, my style shifts into more of an outcome-focused style, so asking them to create something and allowing them to get there on their own, nudging them back on track if they need. Then the top end of the spectrum is very much outcome, and details focused.

How has it developed/changed over your time as a coach? In the beginning, I used to get on all the horses I was coaching. I think at the end that was just a bit of lazy coaching and would often take up time. Now I would say I listen a lot more to the rider and interrogate them a bit more to understand what they are thinking and feeling from the horse. I always try to understand what the words I’m using are actually meaning to them, so we are both on the same page.

Worst experience as a coach? I think I’ve been pretty lucky so far! Although last year I was doing a clinic in Utah and one of the horses was pretty wild, it would jump and then gallop and jump out of the arena. There was no way I could coach the rider through that, so I got on the horse and was only wearing jeans, I rode the horse for five minutes and ended up with a wound to my leg that took months to heal. I purposely don’t wear breeches to clinics, now I don’t get on horses and end up slowing the whole thing down.

Proudest accomplishment? In 2017 going to Melbourne with the team of riders I had been


coaching and then riding in the same team with them in the Trans-Tasman Team. A few riders got personal bests there, and the senior team won which they hadn’t done in over a decade. Just the enjoyment of working with them both as a coach and a teammate was so neat.

What’s an essential element in the rider and coach relationship? Brutal honesty. I say that thinking of a high-performance setting, at the top end of our sport it has to be that, mostly though it’s about keeping it fun and safe and having open communication.

Do you have another ‘day job’ outside of coaching? No, just part-time farmer.

How have you grown your coaching business? Mainly it is word of mouth. As a professional rider, if you get results, people want to train with you. Then when you get the opportunity to work with people and help make a positive change or impact on the way they and their horse go, they tell people, and it grows. It can be hard starting out, though.

What are the essential qualities to have as a coach? I think that you need to have the ability to look at something in different layers. A lot of coaches will fall into the trap of wanting to coach the way that they ride, but every horse and rider combination is different and will do things best their own way which is vital to understand. You also have to have that technical knowledge and be able to communicate that effectively.

How did your coaches you had in your riding career help mould you as a coach? You have all these experiences that make up your mental model about what training horses and people are about, so my coaching style naturally has been influenced that way. For me, I have a few mainstay people that I have trained with for a long time for different things. I have a general coach, who I know I can always rely on and trust their judgement, and then a few others who specialise in specific things which I bring in when I need.

What’s a common bad habit that you see a lot with your riders? And how can people work on it?

“My original coach use to say, when you bite off more than you can chew, chew like hell!”

I think this would be everywhere, no matter what country, but everyone wants to be able to see a distance when riding to a fence, there are lots of different types of distances, but knowing where you are and riding accordingly. It comes down to a few things. It’s amazing how many people can’t simply just keep their eye on the fence. They fidget or look away, but when you can set a constant rhythm and keep your eye on the fence you are set. You have to do it enough and create the habit, and keep doing it some more until you get an expert eye. Then you can have the ability to look away, but that takes years.

What are some of the challenges of being a coach? I think to adapt to each rider and teaching in a way that’s best for them. At clinics, in particular, this can be challenging because you have a short period of time, but it’s a rewarding challenge. The high-performance coaching is different again, these riders aren’t necessarily there because they want to be coached by you, so there’s a lot of relationship-building that goes on there.

During your time as a coach, what would you say is the common thread between successful riders? In our sport, I think the thing is, if you could pick any trait to have, I’d say you need to have resilience. Images - Nico Morgan

Is ‘inside leg to outside rein’ really that important? Yes. I think around 90% of people ride on the inside rein and just lose the horse. But you also have to remember the horse needs to go between two legs and two reins.

Do you still ride and compete? If so, do you think teaching has helped you become a better rider? Yes. I don’t think you have to be doing it all the time, but I think you definitely have to have competed to be a


“A lot of coaches will fall into the trap of wanting to coach the way that they ride, but every horse and rider combination is different...

good coach, especially at the top end. You have to know and have experienced what riding at the top is like and what it takes. It also goes the other way too, it’s proven now that the best way to learn things is by teaching, so coaching helps you be a better rider as well.

What do you see as the best attributes in a horse and a rider? Both horse and rider have to want to learn and work hard to progress. For horses, they should have a good brain and have an excellent natural balance.

The best training advice you’ve ever received or given? My original coach use to say, when you bite off more than you can chew, chew like hell!


Born: Hamilton,NZ Resides: Clevedon Auckland COACH, MENTOR, BREEDER, DRESSAGE RIDER

Sheena Ross Sheena’s forthright approach to coaching and her own riding have stood her in good stead during her equestrian career. Having learned from some of the best dressage riders around the world, Sheena is passionate about sharing her knowledge and encouraging dressage riders to keep learning and progressing. Well known on the dressage circuit with her now-retired horse ‘Parkridge Disco SW’ Sheena is continuing her own riding career on up and coming dressage Stallion ‘Fugato’. What made you get into coaching? I have always enjoyed coaching and started helping friends etc. once I was riding at an advanced level on Ivanhoe.

How long have you been coaching, and how did you become one?

LTD which we started back in 2006 after struggling to find a dressage horse for me to buy.

How have you grown your coaching business? I am not increasing my coaching; I actually coach less now by choice as I am getting older. I am enjoying some non-horsey activities.

In about 2005, I started coaching when some friends in my local area asked me to help them with their horses.

What are important qualities to have as a coach?

What is your teaching style?

Honesty, integrity, and communication skills.

Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on the client!) I am rather forthright. When things don’t look ok, I do say so. When things look great, I say so. Some riders do not cope with this style! Others love it.

How has it developed/changed over your time as a coach? I think my essential style is the same as always only I am more experienced with different horses now.

Worst experience as a coach? Once or twice in my coaching life, a client has cried. It is very hard to deal with, as I have felt quite bad about it! Dressage is a very difficult discipline, and it can be very frustrating at times for riders. Also, I think we put ourselves in the wrong mindset to learn. For example, we don’t like to believe that we need to change our riding. Our ego can get in the way. We feel shame when we are corrected. It’s not helpful for learning and improving. I would love for riders to lose their shame and enjoy dressage more. It is extremely difficult, it is counter-intuitive at times, and it is ok not to be perfect at it.

What is your proudest accomplishment? I have been fortunate to have worked with quite a few riders who have been successful enough to be selected to ride in squads, and it is always wonderful for me to see them achieving their goals. It gives me a great thrill to help riders solve training problems on a day to day basis. Plus I love helping them plan their riding career.

What’s an essential element in the rider and coach relationship? Honesty! Not all coaches are honest as they are worried about losing clients if they tell them the truth. Ultimately it holds everyone back.

How did your coaches you had in your riding career help mould you as a coach? They all helped me. I have been fortunate to have met and learned from many fabulous coaches in NZ and international, Andrea Raves, Adelinde Cornelissen, Monique Peutz, Peter Storr and Brett Parberry, to name a few.

What sort of things did you learn from some of them? My take-home message from Brett was that your horse will match his hips and shoulders to yours, and you must ride your lateral work with this in mind and be very clear in your aids so your horse is never confused and be consistent in your aids. Adelinde was probably that dressage is speed control and shoulder control, when the horse is crooked correct it by adjusting the shoulders, not the hind quarters. Peter Storr teaches with a lot of feeling. He can explain ‘feel’ in a way that I can’t replicate, and not many coaches are good at that! I’ve trained regularly with Andrea for 15 years. She is an incredible asset to NZ Dressage. Monique is also amazing, one of her favourite exercises to ride is forward, then back, in shoulder fore on your circle after the warmup in both trot and canter. This brings the horse into self-carriage and allows you to ride forward with expression and develops swing.

Common training myths that really bug you? That horses can think ahead and try to get out of work. That is impossible. They lack the capacity in the brain to do this. They always react in the moment. A good rider always has to try to find a training solution. The rider will be reinforcing the unwanted behaviour in some way and the rider has to find a training solution.

Do you have another ‘day job’ outside of coaching?

What’s a common bad habit that you see a lot with your riders? And how can people work on it?

Yes – we breed horses for sale also here at Sterling Warmbloods

Riding with too much leg! Get the legs off and away when the


“I am not very good at adapting my coaching style to rider’s learning style. I really can only successfully work with riders who are able to


cope with my black and white approach.”

horse is forward and keep them off until you need them, then get them off again.

What are some of the challenges of being a coach?

I am not very good at adapting my coaching style to rider’s learning style. I really can only successfully work with riders who are able to cope with my black and white approach.

During your time as a coach, what would you say is the common thread between successful riders? Determination. Flexibility. Hard work. Willingness to hear criticism and also even more than this seeking criticism. I have organised a lot of clinics and the attitude from the top riders is most interesting. When the coach gives a big harsh criticism, they will turn around and say “THANKS – I am so grateful to hear this”. That is how they improve.

Image this page and page 73 - Libby Law Photography

Is ‘inside leg to outside rein’ really that important? Yes – without this, you have no shoulder control, and without shoulder control, you can’t do the exercises.

Do you still ride and compete? If so, do you think teaching has helped you become a better rider? I have had a quiet 18 months at the shows as Disco is retired and Fugato only now is ready to go out. Yes, I think teaching helps the riding and vice versa. Sometimes when I am riding, if something is not working out, I try to visualise how I would teach this issue and that often gives me a new feeling or option to work something through with my own riding.

What do you see as the best attributes in a horse and a rider? It is super important that the horse and rider suit each other. I like to think they should “match” in their character. It is no good having a sweet, gentle rider with a lazy pushy horse, or an anxious rider on a spooky hot Ferrari. Magic happens when the horse and rider fit together in their character.

As a rider, what are some of your ‘bad habits’ that you have to be mindful of? I don’t plan my training before I get on, and I wish I could keep

my elbows at my sides! I need to take more time to go over the basics sometimes.

The best training advice you’ve ever received (or given!) Take your time and put the horse first. It is always the rider that must find the training solution for each individual horse. It is not the job of the horse to perform, but the role of the rider to motivate the horse to work together with the rider.


Born: New Plymouth, NZ Resides: New Plymouth, NZ COACH, MENTOR, DRESSAGE RIDER

Vanessa Way Three decades of competing has not dulled Vanessa Way’s hold on the reins. She may have cut her competition teeth on the eventing circuit, but dressage has always been where her passion lay. Vanessa successfully qualified for the 2012 Olympics on NRM KH Arvan, but an unfortunate injury ruled them out. Vanessa relishes in the opportunity to pass on the knowledge and experience she’s gained over the years and from her own world-class mentors to help up and coming dressage riders. What made you get into coaching?

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Believe it or not, I have been instructing since I was around 14 years old. I used to teach local children on the riding stud, Tarahua Pony Stud, at $10 a lesson to help pay for my riding. These were probably quite barbaric as I remember I had a compulsory chart board recording of falling off, the pinnacle was 100-times. I made the kids practice falling off techniques, using steep hills and pony pads.

I have so many amazing experiences in my coaching, but I think the proudest moments are always with the people close to you. Abbie Deken winning Grand Prix Horse of the Year on ‘Ambrose’ was such a moment as I worked with them since break-in. Also, Lucarne Dolley winning her first a Grand Prix as a combination. We trained together the whole journey — magical moments of long hard work.

How long have you been coaching, and how did you become one?

Do you have another ‘day job’ outside of coaching?

What is your teaching style? I try and get to know my pupil and their horse and adjust each lesson according to their nature and ability. I like to make it fun, as it makes them relax, but I’m strict on detail and knowledge of what we want to achieve and the correctness for detail.

How has it developed/changed over your time as a coach? Obviously, my knowledge producing several horses to Grand Prix has given more experience, however spending 11 years training with Carl Hester and watching his magic has been the most significant influence in my riding and coaching.

What is your worst experience as a coach? To be fair, I’ve had a couple of tricky moments. Probably the most common is having had horses slip over on surfaces going through the base and dislodging the rider. I’ve had to use my first aid skills more than once on these occasions!


No. I do nothing less than 50 lessons a week minimum. I LOVE my job but was a flight attendant for 10 years, coaching as well during this time until I was brave enough to take my coaching full-time.

How have you grown your coaching business? Thanks to Vaughn Jefferis, as he was the person that believed in me and starting my first clinics. Since then, they have just grown with me doing a clinic here or in Australia every week.

What are important qualities to have as a coach? Honesty is my key. If you’re always honest, you can’t go wrong. Knowledge is a must - you cannot teach what you haven’t been taught! And you have to like and understand people and horses.

How did your own coaches you had in your riding career help mould you as a coach? I have always had the best coaches I could find. Stalking eighttime German coach and medalist Harry Boldt and training with him monthly. Before that, I looked at who was successful, did I like how their horses went. And, if so, trained with them. Michael Putz was also a massive influence in my riding with his extreme attention for detail. He made me study at night everything from dressage theory to nutrition and foot balance. All my trainers have incredible knowledge.

Common training myths that really bugs you? That German riders ride from leg to a holding hand! They

Images Caitlin Benzie Photography

I continued to coach other riders since then, working through Pony Club and coaching programs. I used my lesson money to pay for my own instruction and have always been obsessed with knowledge and detail, reading every book and buying every training video on the market. I’m New Zealand’s only elite dressage coach to go through the NZ Equestrian Sport coaching program. I continue to further my development with programs within sport Waikato and Sport Taranaki. I really love combining ideas from coaches of other sports.



“I used my lesson money to pay for my own instruction and have always been obsessed with knowledge and detail reading every book and buying every training video on the market.”

are always wanting to improve and who never blame the people around them (or the horse). These people become successful, but the number one thing has to be the love of the horse.

Is ‘inside leg to outside rein’ really that important? obviously have not read the German handbooks as that is the whole section of training mistakes in the final chapter. The training scale is gold, and to me, the pinnacle of every movement.

What’s an essential element in the rider and coach relationship? For me, there has to be trust.

What’s a common bad habit that you see a lot with your riders? And how can people work on it? Riding in the horse’s mouths, not riding from the hind-legs to front. Make them ride with a neck strap on the outside hand (NOT attached to saddle as that stops them being forward and doesn’t get the rider to turn there body with the horse) the rider must mirror image the horse, with the outside hip and shoulder allowing the horse to bend.

What are some of the challenges of being a coach?

Absolutely if you understand CORRECT bend, however, it is only achieved through the horse seeking the outside rein as it bends. Stretching into the outside contact as it becomes longer on the outside shorter on the inside muscles. I hate people or instructors that make a pupil hold the saddle cloth to fix it as that is not a turning bending horse or rider.

Do you still ride and compete? If so, do you think teaching has helped you become a better rider? It’s very important as I understand the frustrations and pressures as a competitor. How you feel at shows and what you need mentally. I’ve been lucky to work with riders at the Olympics and World Games and regularly attend Championships with Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester. You need to understand the demands of top-level and how to perform on the day. Also constantly training horses to Grand Prix gives you more of a knowledge base for different ideas on how to approach horses of all types and personalities.

Scared riders and horses that know it.

What do you see as the best attributes in a horse and rider?

During your time as a coach, what would you say is the common thread between successful riders?

Love and understanding. And the clarity of all aids.

Hard work, never giving up. People who look at themselves honestly,

Tension in the veins, is tension in the reins.

The best training advice you’ve ever received (or given)? 81

Born:Tauranga,NZ Resides:Tauranga,NZ COACH, MENTOR, SHOW JUMPING RIDER

Lucy Olphert You can’t help but feel inspired and motivated when you speak to Lucy Olphert. Lucy takes every opportunity to give back to the sport that has given her so much. From co-founding the Global Amateur Tour through to coaching the next generation of show jumpers. Lucy’s athletic abilities extend beyond equestrian. She has also run an ultra-marathon to raise money to help a 4-yearold boy beat leukemia. For me, it’s a way to give back to the sport that has given me so much. It’s wonderful being able to use my knowledge to help empower others and watch them grow as a result.

How long have you been coaching and how did you become one? After returning home from Europe in 2009, I got into it more seriously. I was lucky enough to spend the three years prior training and competing alongside some of the world’s leading show jumping riders and trainers. It opened my eyes and cemented many of the training philosophies I live by today. When I returned to New Zealand, many areas and local clubs were asking for clinics, and I love sharing knowledge and working collectively, so it was a perfect fit.

What is your teaching style? My teaching starts with foundations. Like any sport or skill, if you lack in this area, it will catch you out sooner or later. In our sport, where the risks can be very serious, I try to minimise those risks. I also believe we owe it to our horses to understand the basics. Most horses have a high level of self-preservation and don’t like to hit or crash into jumps! They help us out if we are good to them and don’t throw them in the deep end too often, but be very careful not to get complacent about that. I often hear riders complaining that their horses don’t help them out. Remind yourself whose decision it was to throw the saddle on and go for that ride.

How has it developed/changed over your time as a coach? I wasn’t always as confident to speak my mind or tell the brutal truth, for fear of losing that client. These days, I am much more upfront, although I am always mindful to ensure that alongside critique, I offer a solution to the student.

What is your worst experience as a coach? Luckily I haven’t had many of those. But there was a particular lesson a few years ago where I was working with a very stroppy young child. We were in a group lesson, and he continuously went out of his way to do the opposite of everything I asked. So, I asked him to leave, and of course, he even refused to do that! I haven’t been lost for words many times in my life, but that day I was left speechless.

What is your proudest accomplishment? Seeing the smile on a rider’s face when they finally overcome their fears or challenges.


What’s are important elements in the rider and coach relationship? Communication, trust and honesty. I make it clear to my students that for us to achieve the best possible outcome, these elements must go both ways.

Do you have another ‘day job’ outside of coaching? I worked in the corporate world for several years after graduating from university, but in 2016 decided to pursue my equestrian passion full-time. There are several aspects to my current business: competition, coaching, schooling and sales. I am also one of the co-founders for the Global Amateur Tour - a world league established in 2018 that provides the largest network of international shows for amateur riders around the world.

How have you grown your coaching business? My business grows mostly by word of mouth, but social media also plays an essential role; keeping people in the loop with what I am up to.

What are essential qualities to have as a coach? In no particular order: empathy, relatable, honest and adaptable. It’s great to have a plan for your sessions, but sometimes the student or horse decide otherwise. Students also learn differently to each other and respond to pressure differently, so you have to keep on your toes and be adaptable.

How did coaches from your riding career help mould you as a coach? I dabbled in multiple disciplines when I was young, which saw me seek guidance from both jumping and dressage coaches. I was taught that show jumping is essentially ‘dressage with jumps’. So the focus on strongly establishing my basics (rhythm, straightness, striding, position, adjustability) is something that was deeply rooted in my fundamentals from the get-go.

What are some common training myths that really bug you? The line from the bit; hand to elbow! Often this encourages the horse to hang on the bit, discouraging self-carriage. If the horse tends to be strong or heavy, keeping your hands in this line will magnify the pressure. On a 600kg animal, this wears thin quickly (literally). I prefer a higher hand carriage (above the old school line) where the horse is then encouraged to carry itself and create a stronger and more balanced way of going. Another thing that really bugs me is when I hear trainers telling

Image this page Christine Cornege

What made you get into coaching?

“Communication, trust and honesty. I make it clear to my students that for us to achieve the best possible outcome, these elements must go both ways.”

A &

students not to worry about having the wrong canter lead when they are jumping. Again: we are the ones who chose to do this, so it is our job as the rider to deliver the horse to a fence in a balanced and accurate manner. It is their job to then jump it (and hopefully clear it). If we do not perform our job accurately, it is unfair to expect the horse to do the same.

What is a common bad habit you see with riders? There are many riders out there who are talented or brave, but are seriously lacking in the basics. Most errors that occur in jumping can be pinpointed back to this. Applying discipline in your training will help you go a long way. Success comes from hard work and the repetition of good habits. Ask yourself; do you want to be a ‘proactive’ rider or a ‘reactive’ rider? What are some challenges of being a coach? The want for instant gratification. These days, we can source so much information instantly online. While that can definitely help a student progress closer towards their goals, the reality is that results are not always instant. Good things take time. It can also be mentally exhausting. I try to bring 100% to every student, regardless of whether they are my first or last session of the day. I prefer to focus on quality over quantity, and over the years have learned that eight sessions are about my daily limit.

Image this pag Chrissy Taylor

What is your ‘why’ in life? I live by David Goggin’s 40% rule. It’s about understanding that most of us are wired to stop way before we’ve approached our true maximum, and about learning how to work every day to tap into those vast stores of potential that most of us never get to taste. Sadly, many give up when they’ve only given around 40 percent of their maximum effort. In life almost nothing will turn out exactly as we hope or plan, yet even when we feel like we’ve reached our absolute limit, chances are, we still have 60 percent more to give!

During your time as a coach, what is the common thread between successful riders? A strong mindset. You can have all the talent in the world, but

if you are not strong upstairs and able to cope with nerves and pressure positively, you will only go so far. These riders are typically also very driven and incredibly resilient.

Is ‘inside leg to outside rein’ really that important? I think it is essential to realise that there is a relationship between the inside leg and the outside rein. These aids are like a channel for your horse’s energy. Think about the banks of a river; they keep the water in, and therefore, flow it where they want it to go. Your aids work in the same way for the energy your horse creates. This then dictates how that energy flows through the horse: if it is allowed to run freely out the front, or if it will be regulated. However, if you overuse the supporting aids, it’s a little like “too many cooks spoiling the broth”. It becomes overwhelming, with each aid fighting for your horse’s attention and consideration. This is where you see the horse either shutting down entirely and ignoring the rider, or becoming agitated, frustrated and displaying excess tension throughout their body.

Do you still ride and compete? If so, do you think teaching has helped you become a better rider? Absolutely. It has given me a far greater awareness of the benefit of having a pair of eyes on the ground. It also brings with it the responsibility to practice what you preach. If I am to stay true to myself and expect my students to take me seriously, then I need to walk the talk. Remember: integrity is what you do when no one is watching.

What do you see as the best attributes in a horse and a rider? A great attitude with a strong work ethic. If you have this, then you have trainability. Also understanding that mistakes provide opportunities to learn and improve. There is always a solution and opportunity to every challenge, no matter how difficult it may seem.

What is the best training advice you’ve ever received or given? Intuition will take you a long way. Learn to listen to that and follow your instincts. Failing that, always remember that hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.


RIDER spotlight WORDS Rebecca Harper IMAGES Christine Cornege




He’s made his career with horses, and now, after years away from competitive riding, Cambridge-based Jeremy Whale is finding success in the show jumping arena, notching two Grand Prix wins on the trot. eremy’s recent purple patch of good form on Remarkable, a horse initially sent to him for sale on behalf, is the culmination of years of hard work, making the early morning starts and long hours worthwhile. Remarkable, owned by the Yang family, travelled home with Jeremy after the Taupo Christmas Classic. They quickly established a rapport, placing third in their first Grand Prix start at Gisborne in mid-January. The pair then won their second Grand Prix start at Woodhill Sands and were victorious again the following weekend at Taihape. Jeremy and fiancé, Sam Matthews, operate their business Diamond Lodge from a property in Cambridge, with a number of nice sport horses in their stables. Both have racked up impressive results this season, consistently finishing in the prizes. When the couple’s first child, Harry (1) joined the family, it made life a bit busier, but didn’t slow them down. Already a seasoned show-goer, Harry attended Horse of the Year Show when he was just 10-days-old. “We’re lucky he’s a very easy-going kid. He loves going


to shows, and he’s got plenty of aunties there – if we’re busy they just take him. It’s a great community, and there’s always someone willing to spend time with him. He’s definitely got a group of fans out there! “He’s got a little pony which he likes sitting on and kicking along. I keep telling his mother I’m going to get him a motorbike; they’re cheaper than horses!”


Jeremy didn’t grow up with horses. His introduction came via his grandparents, who took him and his brother to a school holiday riding programme in Whakatane. “It all blossomed from there. I got my first pony when I was 13 or 14, but it didn’t last very long. It was a bit naughty and was moved on pretty quickly.” A lease horse followed and Jeremy ‘did pony club for a bit, but that wasn’t my cup of tea’. After starting to ride trackwork at Te Teko before school, Jeremy was lucky enough to be given some nice horses to ride; show jumping and eventing, for the late Barbara Eggleton, who he pinpoints as an influential


We wouldn’t do it if we didn’t love

what we were doing and love the horses.

There’s nothing more rewarding than going to shows and winning those big classes – it

makes all the hard work worthwhile. figure in his early riding days. “She allowed me to ride some nice horses and probably gave me the real push to compete,” he says. “I really enjoyed riding and got the bug. I always liked animals, and horses were the path I went down.” Jeremy moved to the Waikato when he was 19, for a gap year working with horses. Somehow, that one year turned into 16 years and still counting. “Jeff McVean was my first job working with racehorses in the Waikato. I did a bit of breaking in with Mark Brooks and it was something I enjoyed. It was a challenge, and I decided to have a crack on my own, and the rest is history I suppose.”


Jeremy has made horses his career, starting Diamond Lodge nine years ago; predominantly breaking in and pre-training racehorses, as well as preparing horses for the Ready to Run sales. When Sam, a keen showjumper, came on the scene six years ago, it was the catalyst for sport horses to enter the mix. This turned out to be a fortuitous diversification, especially with the current state of racing in New Zealand, Jeremy says. “Our business is word of mouth. The horse game is tough, especially the racehorse side. The way racing is going in New Zealand, owners are finding it hard to get ahead and the stakes are pretty bad. That side of it is quietening down, and that’s why we’ve diversified into sport horses.” Diamond Lodge is now a 50/50 mix of Thoroughbred and sport horses, sent to Diamond Lodge for breaking in or schooling. Jeremy has made a bit of a name for himself for working with problem horses. “I don’t mind naughty horses and seem to be able to get to the bottom of them and get them going. Sam does re-homing of Thoroughbreds off the track.” Sam also gave Jeremy the motivation to get back into competing. “She was keen to get out to shows, and I went along. After a few shows I got pretty bored with sitting on the sideline watching, so decided to find a horse and get back into it.”



While they compete some horses for clients, the couple own the majority of their show jumpers. “Remarkable is a client’s horse. That’s the hard part, and I’m trying to work it out at the moment. I might have to sell a couple of young horses so I can buy him!” Jeremy admits it’s a bit surreal to be winning Grand Prix classes on a horse he only recently started riding. “Remarkable stepped up pretty quickly; we just clicked. Some horses you jump on and know you can go out and have a crack

and jump the big classes. We trust each other, and he goes well for me; he seems to like the ride I give him.” Known as Henry at home, Remarkable is a nine-yearold gelding by Ramirez, out of a mare called Te Matai Rata. Previously owned and campaigned by Sarah Worker, who took him to Australia, Katie Laurie then had the ride before the Yangs purchased him and he returned to New Zealand. “He’s a nice clean jumper who knows his job. He wants to do it. I think that’s the main thing. He gets in the ring and is workmanlike and goes about his job.” Getting his first-ever Grand Prix win at Woodhill Sands was a memorable moment for Jeremy. “It was pretty exciting; a big thrill. It’s special being in a line-up with some inspirational riders you look up to placing behind you. It’s special to be in that line-up, let alone be winning.” Also in the team is Sam’s mare, Adloo Annabelle, imported by the couple from Australia. She has stepped up to Grand Prix this season and already had placings. Sam also has Fleur DeLacour who, at time of writing, is leading the national six-year-old series, and 10-year-old DSE Exuberance, owned in conjunction with Donna and Elise Edwards-Smith and competing at Mini Prix level. In Jeremy’s string are some nice young horses, including five-year-old Bannockburn ECPH and fouryear-old Martin ECPH. He also rides 10-year-old Ajaccio NZPH for owner Leeshelle Small. “We’ve bred a couple of exciting young ones to come through the ranks in a few years. We have a yearling which is full sister to Sam’s nice six-year-old, and we have a two-year-old by Pennsylvania out of a mare called Vee – the dam of Amanda Wilson’s Cassanova.”


Jeremy’s results have nothing to do with luck, but come off the back of hours of hard work. “Horses are not an easy game. We’re up at 4.30am and often don’t get inside until 6pm. It’s a lot of hard work and a lot of training, and now the results are starting to shine through. You can’t beat old fashioned hard work

to achieve your goals. There are no short cuts.” Jeremy and Sam work as a team, which he jokes normally means butting heads and having different ideas. But he says Sam is very good at schooling young green horses on the flat and keeps him on track in that department. “I can be a bit lazy with that! “We’ve trained with a few people over the years, learning and taking bits from all of them to develop our own way of how we like to have the horses going, and how we like to train.” All horses are treated as individuals: “Some need a lot more arena work than others, and we’re lucky to have Takapoto’s big lucerne paddock out the back, with a track for fitness work. You can become a robot with the way you do things; so each horse has its own schedule and routines, and we try to work around the horse.” Achieving results at shows and the love of the animal is what keeps Jeremy motivated. “We wouldn’t do it if we didn’t love what we were doing and love the horses. There’s nothing more rewarding than going to shows and winning those big classes – it makes all the hard work worthwhile.” Goals for the future include purchasing their own property and continuing to grow the sport horse business. “On the riding side, if I happen to keep Remarkable, the goal would be to jump some World Cups next season and try to be successful in those. Even winning Grand Prix seems a bit crazy – last year I wouldn’t have even thought about it – but you get the horsepower under you, and feel like you can go out and do it.” Diamond Lodge is a brand ambassador for Canter for Cancer and is also grateful to be sponsored by Equine America. C


RIDER spotlight



Relocating from Auckland to Ashley in North Canterbury has given Corey Miln and Greg Smith of GC Equestrian their base, with a solid foundation to pursue their multiple equestrian interests going forward. Alongside riding and coaching, both enjoy their involvement in the film industry, both locally and internationally.


ith the long-term lease of their Drury property nearing its end, Greg and Corey felt that the time was right to find a home base they could call their own. “It made sense to put the money we were paying in rent into something of our own,“ Greg explains. “We wanted the security of having our own place and being able to tailor it to our needs.” The search proved more difficult than they anticipated. “Initially, we looked around the Auckland area, where we had an established client base, but the prices were prohibitive - more than we could justify paying. We then had a look in the Waikato, but the property market there wasn’t any more attractive, so eventually, we had to look further afield. We ultimately settled on North Canterbury because of the vibrant equestrian scene down here. There are a lot of riders and a lot going on locally, and property is more affordable.” Their facility is situated on the rolling Ashley Downs near Rangiora, with easy access to the nearby Ashley River, beaches and competition arenas. The 15-acre property lies to the north and is sheltered by the

large pine hedges common in Canterbury, and has the added benefit of a training track running around the perimeter. “We’d looked at a large number of properties before we saw this one, and we both knew it was ‘the one’,” Greg continues. “It needed quite a bit of tidying up and more facilities, but the basics were what we were looking for.” Greg and Corey have both had a great deal of experience with young horses, but these days they prefer not to have breakers. “We both love training young horses, but neither of us can afford any injuries,” comments Corey. Instead, they prefer to take over the training once the young horses have already been started. They are also both dedicated to teaching and have been welcomed by their new equestrian community. The pair made the trek down from Auckland last spring, with the eight horses they brought with them trucked with a commercial horse transporter. They have since added an arena, a large round pen, equine-safe fencing and renovated a large shed to provide a wash down area, tack shed, and stables, with Corey undertaking


“It made sense to put the money we were paying in rent into something of our own.”


most of the work due to Greg’s filming commitments in Auckland. Their current team of horses includes Greg’s former competition mount Avante Garde (Breeze) who at 21 years old is semi-retired. “These days Breeze supervises and helps out riders who are learning ‘the buttons’ for the upper-level movements,” Greg laughs. “I was lucky when Louisa Hill and Janet Shaw alerted me that Breeze was coming up for sale when I was looking for a new competition horse some years ago, in 2015. He had gone through the levels to Prix St Georges with the Goldsbury sisters, Amanda and Rebecca, and I bought him sight unseen. Although he had a reputation for being a bit quirky, coming back into work, he had one little meltdown, and there was never anything more.” The combination’s first major event was at Equidays, where they took out the invitational Prix St Georges. Over subsequent years, along with many dressage successes with both Greg and Corey, Breeze was also very successful at the Horse of the Year, competing in both the show ring and dressage arena. “It’s not often you see a horse competing at a top-level in two different disciplines at the same competition, with two different riders,” comments Greg. “He took the Paced & Mannered Hunter Horse of the Year title three times, with Corey winning twice, and once with me. He’s a very cool horse.” In the paddock is another favourite of Greg’s, the two-year-old Swarovski filly, Shilo. Unfortunately, at this stage, it seems unlikely that she will grow tall enough to accommodate his long legs. Greg is currently looking forward to getting his next competition mount. “When you do

Middle image: Corey Miln - AVANTE GARDE, Rising Star Saddle Hunter of the Year, Paced and Mannered Saddle Hunter of the Year and Saddle Hunter of the Year 2017 young horses, they are always for sale - we either sell our young horses to fund our operation, or clients send them to us to be sold. I want one that I can take up through the grades, but it needs to be something quite tall,” he comments ruefully. “Corey is lucky; he is the perfect size to be a rider and looks good on any size, but I need a big horse.” Corey is currently enjoying competing at Level 6 with his eye-catching 11-year-old, grey, part-Lipizzaner mare, Beanie. His other Level 6 ride is the Donnerubin mare Arkenwood Donnervalde (Donna) owned by Robyn and Rebecca Pyke. Both are in their first season at this level, and Corey is enjoying the challenge of taking them up through the grades. Corey and Greg are both grateful for the continued support of their sponsors, Heritage Equine NZ and Pryde’s. “We’re lucky to have our wonderful sponsors on board,” says Corey.

Film Work

From their first connection with the industry when The Hobbit was filmed in New Zealand, which Greg worked on, both Greg and Corey have enjoyed a deepening involvement. In Greg’s case, from his beginnings as a riding double, he has moved through the ranks to become Horse Master, in charge of the well-being and training of the horses for the new show he has been working on this year, Mystic, as well as maintaining his riding role. Corey, who has a talent for organisation, worked as Horse Coordinator, organising

the horse department, for the latest Lloyds Bank commercial. “After working on The Hobbit, I was the Stable Coordinator for the Disney movie Mulan, then a riding double and stunt rider on the documentary Roman Empire. I was also a riding double in the Shannara Chronicles and a wrangler in the movie Kiwi,” reports Corey. Last year saw Greg in Prague, working on the new Netflix show Letter to the King, due for release in March. At the end of filming, Corey took the opportunity to join Greg, and they travelled to Germany to look at the studs and attend shows, then on to England where they stayed with long-time friends Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin and watched their training for a week. “We’ve both got more film work coming up, which financially is very positive for us and gives us the ability to support our lifestyle and make the kind of money that is not available from riding and teaching,” says Greg.

and worked for Te Akau Racing Stables, and from there I was offered a job in polo stables in Australia.” The experience gained from his fouryear stint in Australia then led to a restricted season in England. “I struck the wettest polo season in years - we only played about the third of the polo that was scheduled. By the end of the season when they wanted me to stay on and do young horses over the winter, I had had enough and wanted to travel. “During the winter, I met people who worked in the Royal Mews, and I gave them my CV, not seriously expecting to ever hear anything, as I knew there was quite a process involved. Four hours later, I got a phone call asking me to attend an interview. My first thought was, “What do I wear?” Corey admits.

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Both Corey and Greg grew up in nonhorsey, though supportive families. Corey’s early riding experiences were centred around Pony Club, where he enjoyed a variety of equestrian sports. However, it was as a teenager that he became serious about a life in the horse world. “Sir Mark Todd lived down the road from us, and I decided to approach him about a job, not realising that he had switched to racehorses!” Corey recalls. “I worked for him after school and in the holidays for a little under a year, riding and helping out with the young racehorses, until he decided to have another crack at the Olympics with NZB Galdalf. Then I went



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During the year he worked in the Royal Mews Corey was responsible for two of the Windsor Greys (Irish Draught horses) in the Queen’s team, and took part in the significant processions, such as Trooping of the Colour. Corey says that his favourite part was riding out around Hyde Park and the streets of London. A highlight was the Christmas Party at the Palace, with the Queen in attendance. “It was very casual, and we were treated like extended family because we were working with their horses. It was very special to be a small part of it.” When Corey’s visa expired, it was time to return home, where he helped mate Nick Brooks for a couple of weeks, followed by a role in the racing industry, and then working at a quarantine yard in Hamilton, where he also got back into showing. When Corey and Greg met at the Horse of the Year Show, Corey was busy with his own business, taking in breakers and riding his own horses, as well as looking after the quarantine horses and showing. Greg was returning to the UK to visit Charlotte Dujardin and asked Corey to look after his place while he was away. When Greg returned, the pair got together and combined their businesses into GC Equestrian. Greg grew up at Whangaparaoa, which in those days was still fairly rural. “I used to hang around the Pony Club and watch until I was able to lease a pony, and eventually, my parents bought me one, but my main sport was swimming. I swam competitively at national level for ten years, and my parents were very into it. I had no time for partying in my teenage years; I was always swimming or riding. I gave up swimming in my early 20s, and got more into the horses.” Greg says that as a teenager, he was not very interested in school, and left school at 15 to do a fashion industry apprenticeship


with his uncle. In time, that led to a role as a merchandiser, which he loved. Through eventing, he became very good friends with Heelan Tompkins, grooming for her at major events such as Taupo Three-Day and Puhinui. When she decided to take Glengarrick and Crusader to England to compete at Badminton, she asked Greg if he would like to go along, and thanks to his very supportive boss, Greg was able to do so. When Heelan was selected for the World Equestrian Games at Jerez in Spain, in 2002, Greg also went. “It was an amazing experience,” he reports. After Greg had flown home immediately after the competition, Irish team member Sasha Harrison (now Sasha Stewart) asked Heelan if she knew of anybody that would groom for her, and then offered Greg a position in her yard in Ireland. “I worked for Sasha for five years, attending all the major events with her, including the Athens Olympics, where we met Carl Hester, and all became friends. When Sasha was getting married and considering having children, she decided to give dressage a try and asked Carl to source a horse for her. He found a few for us to look at, then when we were at Boekelo he suggested we go and look at ‘a little black horse just down the road’. That horse was Uthopia. We took him back to Ireland, but we were still eventing, and he was a threeand-a-half-year-old stallion. He ended up going to Carl’s, while Sasha rode a dressage schoolmaster Carl found for her. “When Sasha got pregnant and scaled back the eventers, I moved to Carl’s yard, and was persuaded to give up eventing as ‘too dangerous!’. It was an amazing time in my life. Charlotte was helping me a lot with my flatwork, and I was doing the young horses with her. I broke in Nip Tuck and

Left; Greg and DU SOLEIL SSH, 2nd Developing Young Dressage Horse 4 & 5 yo at Canterbury Dressage Championships Below; Greg with their dogs, Buddy (left) and Hugo.

drove Valegro and Uthopia to shows with Charlotte when they were young, and none of them were awesome as young horses! “After two and a half years, I was having visa problems, and I got a bit homesick, so I decided to move home. It’s a very different world over there. It’s about horsepower and money.” C

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RIDER spotlight

Diane Wallace STILL ON TOP WORDS Pip Hume IMAGES Dark Horse Photography

Despite the decades spent in pursuit of her love of equestrian sports, Diane Wallace’s enthusiasm has not dimmed. With three horses currently competing in the dressage arena, she continues to enjoy the daily challenges of training and her role as a well-known coach and mentor.


I still love it, and I’m still successful. It’s what gets me out of bed in the morning; I still feel that desire to climb on a horse every day.”


hen she is asked about her motivation to keep riding, Diane doesn’t hesitate. “I’m an older rider, and some of my family think I’m insane! But I still love it, and I’m still successful. It’s what gets me out of bed in the morning; I still feel that desire to climb on a horse every day. There are a lot of older riders around now doing a damn good job of it. “I do struggle with motivation from time to time, and I know that other top professionals do as well, but I can just watch a YouTube video of a top rider and get all motivated again.” It’s also a way of keeping fit, mobile and young at heart. “I tell the younger riders competing to watch it - I am still out there and will give them a run for their money!” laughs Diane.

Diane is currently campaigning a team of three. Most advanced is her 10-year-old Profile (Stewy), by VDL Prestige, who is presently competing at Level 8. Eight-year-old KP Dexter, who is currently competing at Level 6, was bred by Diane out of her Matthews Hanoverian mare Danielle by Donnerubin. His full brother is KP Denver (Rupert), who at six years old is the baby of the family and competing at Level 2. “I don’t have any favourites,” Diane states. “People ask me who is the star on my team, and I just don’t know. It’s difficult to say because they change so much as they grow up and go on. Stewy has this enormous talent for piaffe/passage, while Dexter is very ‘look at me’, and people love Rupert. You also don’t know how they will handle things. Horse of the Year has been a huge ask for Dexter, whereas Stewy just carries


Above: The latest addition to the Wallace family is puppy Eva. Below: Diane riding PROFILE, Medium Tour Champion at Canterbury Dressage Championships

on in the big atmosphere. But then, Stewy finds competing indoors difficult, while Dexter has no problems with it! “All three horses have their strengths, and my goal is to take them all through to Grand Prix. I’ve ridden several horses through to that level now, and that experience is absolutely making it easier,” she adds. For the Marlborough horsewoman, the competitions are not the be-all and end-all. “For me, it’s all about going out there and trying to improve. If I look at the scoreboard and we’ve won, I’m over the moon - for the horse. But dressage is not about winning. You can be up there and famous one week, and then the horse doesn’t perform the next. Whose fault is that? As a rider, if that happens, I have to reassess why the horse is not happy in his work.” One of Diane’s favourite competitions is the World Dressage Challenge, where riders have the opportunity to test themselves against their international counterparts. “It was the biggest thrill for me when Dexter won his section in 2017, which was just phenomenal. Then at last year’s World Dressage Challenge Stewy was just brilliant, because I had hurt my back and was riding in a lot of pain, plus it was raining, and he just went out there and carried me through it. There were a few tears afterwards; I was so grateful to him.” Diane’s training programme is a simple twodays-on/one-day-off regime. “I schedule my training this way because I’ve seen the studies, which clearly favour this type of regime for the good of the horse. On their days off, my horses hack around the vineyard - which may include


galloping and jumping, or just playing around with different things. Some days I see a nice day and don’t feel like training, so I go for a hack! There’s no pressure on me to overtrain, which always works against you, and I think my horses are better for it.” The first trainer, who was a significant influence on Diane’s riding was Michael Putz. “His teaching was a revelation, and I understood what he said. I appreciate equine conformation and the biomechanics of the horse these days.” Also at that first clinic with Michael Putz, Diane met her current trainer, Vanessa Way. “As well as being my coach, Vanessa Way is a very good friend, and we host her Marlborough clinics here at our property,” Diane explains. “I appreciate her and the huge amount she gives. She has made an amazing difference to my riding, and she genuinely cares about and promotes all of her students.”

They all gave me special moments and opportunities I never thought I would have.�



While she has a great love of riding herself, Diane is also a gifted and passionate teacher. “I love teaching. The reason I compete is so that I can teach,” Diane explains. “If you are a successful competitor, then people want to come and train with you. I have so many awesome pupils at the moment that are riding at a high level and come from different disciplines. I’ve taught many great riders, and it’s always a thrill to see them being successful and watching them go on to do great things.” She says that teaching has also given her many opportunities. Travelling to Germany with the French family when they purchased Don Freese was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and she has also travelled to Australia to support her students riding at competitions over there. “I love watching the showing in Australia, seeing the top riders over there and how they ride. I can sit up in the stands with other supporters and discuss the events and the differences between dressage and showing.” Although she is based in the South Island, Diane finds the North Islanders very welcoming when she travels to compete and teach. “They seem to respect me as a rider and have welcomed me with open arms every time I have gone to the North Island. I encourage my students to travel away to compete if possible.”


“There is no formula! Every horse is different, every rider is different, and every partnership is different.” Diane’s training philosophy is that there is no formula! “Every horse is different, every rider is different, and every partnership is different. They have differing levels of ability, different coping mechanisms, and the riders have different aims. Some people are very competitive, and others are not. She finds that success isn’t simply about talent. “I’ve seen some truly amazing riders give up the sport. You have to have the drive - the passion and determination - as well as the financial backing. The costs can be prohibitive, and other demands and expectations can come into play, such as the desire to have a family and the demands of family life.

“Riding at the top level is a mental game, and the elite riders are under such a lot of pressure. It can be a very tough sport, and although these days I think we have a more inclusive culture, a few years back I found it very intimidating. But the sport is each rider’s personal journey. If you are aiming at being an elite rider, you have to have the maturity to ride your own ride. It’s not about anyone else.”


As a young girl, Diane admits that she was simply pony-mad! “My mother rode when she was young, but I didn’t actually realise that,” she remembers. Her first pony came when she was ten years old, when her godfather, Colin Cameron, suggested a pony to her parents. “He was an old cart horse with a docked tail, called Tom Thumb,” Diane says. “I just adored that pony! I probably brushed him more than I rode him because he was over thirty years old. He was just gorgeous, and I played around with him all day long.” Unable to take Tom Thumb to Pony Club due to his advanced age, Diane wasn’t deterred and rode her pushbike the hour and a half there instead, listening to the instructors and then going home to try it out. “I used to see the kids having lessons, and I was so jealous of them,” she recalls. Her next pony was Snoopy, who she was able to get out and about on, by riding to Pony Club and local shows. “I thought Snoopy was beautiful, but the judges

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never liked him much, and I could never understand why,” she comments ruefully. “Then I got another pony, Kintyre, a full 14.2, and together we went through the ranks to A-grade show jumping. He was eventually sold to the North Island, which was a big thing in those days. I rode him out to Blenheim Airport where they put him on a Bristol freighter to Wellington, and then he went through to Masterton on the train.” Diane’s first hack was Daytumn, and as that partnership went up through the grades to A-grade show jumping, they became a very successful and well-known combination locally, competing around the top of the South Island and down to Canterbury. “In those days, the big shows were Nelson and Blenheim, where we did classes such as Six-Bar, Gamblers’ Stakes, and A-grade show jumping. When we did well, it was quite worth-while financially back then! We would enter everything. I would ride to the show, do the turnout, my rider class, and the hunter classes as well as show jumping. I remember going to Christchurch A & P, going into the Hunter Turn-out in my ordinary gear, and realising I had a lot to learn! They were great days.” With Daytumn, Diane also competed at the national Swanndri Three-Day Event in Nelson, where the partnership finished second. In those days, Three-Day Eventing included dressage, roads & tracks, steeplechase, cross country and showjumping phases. “The event went on forever,” Diane remembers. “It was an eye-opener for me.”

When Daytumn was officially retired, his last show was the local Blenheim A & P, where he was honoured by being paraded at the show. It was a very special moment for Diane. After his retirement, Diane decided to take up dressage. “I wanted to try something different from jumping, that was a little bit more disciplined. I love my animals more than anything, and I love the process of bringing horses through.” She feels privileged to have ridden a number of exceptional horses. “I had Willowbrook, who went to Grand Prix. I remember taking him up to Horse of the Year when it was in Auckland, where he won the musical, and I also went to the Olympic Trials for Sydney with him. Then came Danielle, who was a Matthews Hanoverian mare, followed by Caithness Masquerade (Millie), who is still out competing with Anna Terrell. They all gave me special moments and opportunities I never thought I would have.” Diane is married to Rodney, and they have two children, Emily, who is a commercial pilot, and Brendan, who works on a commercial barge out of Havelock. Both rode when they were younger - Brendan until he discovered motorbikes and hunting, while Emily was very successful in the show ring and the dressage arena. “We had a great time with the ponies when the children were young,” says Diane. “These days, Rodney and I enjoy going away to events in the truck, and running our vineyard together.” C

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with ANDREA RAVES WORDS Ashleigh Kendall IMAGES Show Circuit Magazine

Lateral movements ensure the horse develops symmetrically in his body and limbs and prepares the horse for collection. The center of balance must be in the right place in the body. The hind legs must step under the correct center of balance to be able to take weight. 100


Originally from Germany, Andrea Raves has lived in New Zealand for 32 years. She has the German qualification of Reitleher FN, is a Dressage New Zealand A Grade trainer, an ESNZ Elite Coach Dressage, Coach Educator and Assessor. Andrea has been the recipient of several Prime Minister’s High-Performance Scholarships and visits Europe regularly to observe some of the world’s top trainers at work. Andrea also coaches Olympian Julie Brougham, and as a coach, was part of the New Zealand team at the 2016 Olympics in Rio and the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, USA.


An accomplished dressage rider, Andrea has represented New Zealand several times at Grand Prix level in Australia with Greendowns Fetterman and won several National and Horse of the Year titles on different horses. Andrea’s lessons place a keen emphasis on teaching horses and riders the correct technique in line with the traditional scale of training. “I want to see horses and riders gaining the correct balance and help develop proactive riders who gain submission of the contact by the horse, straighten the horse and therefore, are able to produce collection,” she explains. “I give riders the tools to correct various problems that occur when riding dressage. Unlike German riders, many New Zealand riders do not have the opportunity to have

regular lessons. Following my system enables them to do their homework between lessons and still improve. “An equestrian coach has to work with two living individuals and their various shortfalls. When it comes to describing aids for various exercises, most books are written for perfectly balanced riders and horses. My coaching practice describes some of the common problems and gives a solution, taking into account that neither rider nor horse are born equally developed on both sides, and their abilities mostly do not match.” Andrea’s lesson structure is built around the scale of training. Only by following this structure and allowing the horse the time needed for its development is it possible to produce correct work and have a happy athlete performing the tasks required.

Betty Brown originally hails from the United States, but fell in love with New Zealand while honeymooning and moved here in 1977. While her passion is now dressage, Betty started her equestrian career as a western rider. She is a 3* FEI dressage judge and A level national judge, has ridden to Grand Prix level and won National and Horse of the Year titles along the way. Betty currently competes two horses: Hot Gossip at Level 5 and Neversfelde Rupert at Medium Tour. In this lesson, she is demonstrating the do’s and don’ts of lateral work on Rupert, a 16-year-old gelding by Rotspon. Bred in Sydney by Jane and Maurice Bruce, Rupert won the Australian Amateur Small Tour Champion with Helen Macaskill before Betty purchased him four years ago.



Andrea demonstrates a straight neck with Rupert

Head tilt


Flexion right

Flexion left




Andrea explains how horses are bent to one side. This is mainly due to their position in their mother’s womb; most horses are more bent to the left. The fact they are more bent to one side can be counterproductive. How is this so, and how can we “fix” it? “We need to produce a horse that has its centre of gravity as close as possible to the vertebrae – not more to the right or left of it. The hind legs need to follow the tracks of the front legs,” she says. “It is natural for the horse to return to being crooked, so it is essential to realise that each day the rider needs to keep working on gaining and maintaining straightness. “Keep in mind that while addressing this subject, we need to make sure the rider is in balance and both ends of the horse are corrected. When one end falls in, the other will probably be running out.”

The horse is bent more to the inside than necessary for any line required, including straight lines. The inside of its body is contracted (shorter), the outside stretched (longer), the hindquarters are falling in, the shoulders might be running out. The horse might be falling onto the riders inside leg also.


The horse is too straight for any bend line required. The inside of its body is stretched, the outside contracted. The hindquarters

LEG YIELDING The horse will do this better on the stiff side

might be drifting out and the forehand turning in, even on straight lines. The horse’s centre of gravity might still be on the outside.

Andrea reminds riders that it is essential to realise that just because a horse is bent more to one side, this does not mean it is correctly bent laterally. The horse might not be bending properly through the ribcage and is leaning on the rider’s inside leg, rather than bending around it. “Once the rider can influence the horse’s body and make it straighter, fixing the bend has to be addressed to be able to get better bend for all the lateral work,” she explains.

“The rider has to assure the horse’s ribcage bends evenly around the inside leg – that the horse’s ribs are curved out, but not falling out. The key to correct bend is that the rider actively uses the inside leg.”


BENDING YOUR HORSE Andrea recommends a warm-up exercise to make sure the horse is bending correctly and accepting the inside leg, into a positive contact of the outside rein: “Ride slightly smaller circles, then push the horse out onto a slightly bigger circle, while controlling the outside of the horse’s body. This exercise to get the ribcage out helps with gaining correct alignment,” she says. Another exercise to help achieve correct ribcage bend is to try and bend the horse on a 20m circle as though it is going on a smaller circle: “Think of riding a 10m circle while staying on a 20m circle line”. The rider brings the forehand and hindquarters in gradually; without losing tempo, quality of the contact, decreasing the size of the circle, or coming down the three-quarter line and drifting the horse back to the outside track with the forehand leading. Once the forehand reaches the track, the rider travels the long side keeping the hindquarters in and off the track, which becomes travers.

Inside rein creates flexion while the outside rein controls the bend

Inside leg stays at the girth and the outside leg stops the horse swinging out

“It will take some time for the horse to become more supple – a little like going to the gym and adding more weight for you to lift. You cannot rush these things; a gradual increase in the degree of bend does the trick.” 103

Benefits; This movement follows on from leg-yield and is introduced from an elementary level onwards. It is a valuable training exercise when trained correctly. It is a particularly useful exercise to shift the horse’s weight to the hind legs, create suppleness, is a fantastic suppling exercise and is notably the first collecting movement for dressage. In competition, the shoulder-in is executed in trot, but it is equally valuable for training in walk and canter also.



Shoulder-in is a lateral movement that when correctly ridden, is ridden on three tracks creating a 30⁰ angle with the outside rail. In the shoulderin, the horse’s outside foreleg and inside hind will travel along the same line with the forelegs moving laterally, the inside foreleg crossing in front of the outside foreleg. The correct aids for the shoulder-in come from using the inside rein to create flexion, and the outside rein controls the bend. The rider’s inside leg remains at the girth with the outside leg prohibiting the horse from swinging his quarters out.

In these photos, Betty is demonstrating some common issues that show up in training and lose marks for riders in tests. Never fear, however, with a few small adjustments, these inaccuracies are relatively easy to fix.

On the left; Betty demonstrates a shoulder in lacking bend and ridden on four tracks. Essentially a leg-yield away from the rail and often where riders lose marks in tests. To resolve this issue; the rider needs to push the inside rib cage away from the inside leg, balance the horse with the outside rein and ask for less from the inside rein.

On the right; Betty shows us another common problem for the shoulder-in where there is not enough angle. While this would be a fairly correct shoulderfore, it is not enough for a shoulderin. The rider would need to use more inside leg and half-halt on the outside rein to correct the angle and make it a correct shoulder-in.




In travers the rider asks the horse to move his ribcage around the inside leg and his quarters in onto four tracks. Unlike the shoulder-in, the travers is a movement which is ridden in the direction of travel. Travers is an excellent exercise for bending the horse. When asking for travers, the rider will move the outside leg back a little and ask for the hind-legs to move over, while maintaining the connection and bend with half halt on the outside rein. The inside rein guides the bend, keeping the horse looking in the direction of travel and the inside leg should remain firmly on the girth, giving the horse something to bend around. Like the shoulder-in, travers appears in New Zealand dressage tests at the elementary level and is an essential exercise in training. It is the first movement taught where the horse continues in the direction of travel and a prelude to the half pass. Travers can be a little tricky in the beginning stages for the rider to ensure their body is straight and balanced and getting the haunches to move over, so it is best to begin the training in a walk. Sometimes, it is easier to start training the travers on a 20 metre circle to maintain the bend and encourage the quarters to come in. In the tests it is ridden in trot, it is a very useful exercise when ridden in canter as it sets the horse and rider up for half-pass as well as the pirouettes.

On the right; Betty and Rupert demonstrate lack of bend in the travers. He also has not enough angle for four tracks. To correct this, the rider would need to re-balance him on the outside rein and ask for more with the outside leg. On the left; Rupert has too much angle and not enough bend. He is ridden on more than four tracks so to correct this Betty would need to maintain the balance on the outside rein and ask for less angle with the outside leg. When riding the travers it is important to maintain the consistency of angle, keeping the horse moving steadily forward with straightness. In the beginning, aim for a few quality steps over many incorrect steps and then build from there. Ideally, you want a nice fluid movement where the angle and rhythm remain consistent. Try to resist turning the horse’s shoulders out to the track if you are having trouble getting the hindquarters over. Your position needs to stay balanced and straight; it can be tempting to twist and skew your body to try and achieve the movement. Stay calm and keep applying the correct aids until your

horse offers a try in the right direction and then build on that.


How to ride it • The rider’s outside leg acts like the inside leg in traver, the horse’s leg bends around the new inside leg. • The horse looks in the direction of travel. • The horse’s inside hind leg steps underneath his weight. • The hindquarters step along the wall while the shoulders follow to the inside track. If your horse struggles to understand the exercise, try riding a shallow loop. As the horse’s forehand moves away from the track to follow the line of the loop, change the bend and continue in renvers. As when teaching your horse any new exercise, always be ready to go back a few steps if the horse becomes upset because he doesn’t understand what you’re asking him to do. Don’t ask for too much angle. Instead, begin by asking for a little bend and a shallow angle, increasing the positioning gradually as the horse becomes more supple and confident. However, in renvers (haunches-out), the horse’s forehand is not supported by the wall. So, that means he needs to be more securely on the rider’s aids to carry out the exercise correctly.



Renvers is a gymnastic straightening exercise that is basically the mirror image of travers (haunches in). It’s used to develop the horse’s flexibility, increase his strength, and build muscle. It is a fantastic exercise for straightening.

On the left; Betty demonstrates the common error of riding the renver with not enough bend. To solve this issue; the rider needs to use more inside leg on the girth and ask the hind-legs to move around it towards the direction of travel.

On the right; while he is walking the haunches are tracking to the outside, he lacks some bend through the ribcage. This is where the rider needs to ask him to bend around the outside leg a little more. Troubleshooting As previously discussed, the issues that will pop up in the travers are likely to continue in the renver. The only component that may make renver a little hard for some horses is moving the haunches out and towards the wall. If this happens, come off the track a little and then ask, so the horse doesn’t feel blocked by the wall.


Introducing half-pass If you ask too much too soon when introducing half-pass, you’ll shut your horse down, so begin gently. Trot onto a diagonal line so you can see the letter you’re heading for between your horse’s ears. Then start to create a bit of bend with your inside hand while riding him forward with your inside leg. Next, slide your outside leg back slightly and balance him with your outside rein. At this stage, you simply want him to soften around your inside aids. Once your horse feels like he is sitting up around your inside leg and not falling in, it’s time to ask for a bit more by pressing with your aids. Start to correct his positioning by increasing the bend around your inside leg. If the horse’s body falls onto the rider’s inside leg, the rider could leg yield the horse back out and off the inside leg to get it upright again. Once this is achieved, the horse can be bent around the inside leg again and once balanced can carry on with performing half-pass.

The aids • Move your outside leg back and tap with it to encourage your horse to move across • Apply your inside leg to create the bend and activate your horse’s inside hind • Support with the outside rein to stop him falling out through his outside shoulder • Play with the inside rein to create the bend



This movement is a natural progression from shoulder in and travers, where your horse looks where he’s going and bends around your inside leg. In this position, he moves sideways and forwards across a diagonal line with his shoulders slightly leading, while remaining parallel with the side of the arena.

In the half-pass movement, there are two common major issues that occur which Betty shows in these images;

On the left: Betty demonstrates the horse with his hindquarters leading as she asks him over. This is a particular problem on the supple side of the horse as he finds it easier to bend, and over bend, that way. To correct this, the rider will need to have more shoulder-in feeling than travers and imagine riding the forehand on a diagonal, then adding some travers once you are going sideways.

On the right: Betty now shows the opposite problem, the quarters trailing. To correct this, the rider will need to have more travers in the bend in setting up the half-pass and ensure the forehand doesn’t run away ahead of the quarters too much. The forehand needs to be just ahead of the quarters in a correct half-pass. A typical rider mistake on the trailing side is that the rider’s body turns in the direction of the half-pass. This will make the rider sit to the outside and block his inside leg from doing its job. The rider has to sit on the inside seat bone, and the rider’s shoulders should stay parallel to the short side. C



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EQUINE welfare

When to say When Unlike humans, there is no set retirement age for our equine friends, so the question of when and if retirement is the right option is complicated; with many factors to consider outside of age. When it comes to making the decision and creating the right retirement, we invited veterinarian Kelley Barrington and show jump rider Lucy Fell to share their experiences and offer some advice and thoughts on the topic. WORDS Cheyenne Nicholson IMAGES Cornege Photography

With care and attention your veteran can go on to a ripe old age


Age alone is fairly meaningless when it comes to making a retirement decision. In fact, many top-level competition horses don’t reach the peak of their careers until their mid to late teens, while many young horses are retired due to injury or a simple lack of interest in ridden work. The older horse’s exit from ridden life may be gradual, with no particular moment where it becomes apparent retirement isn’t far away. As owners, it can be hard to notice subtle changes in the sound, healthy horse we see every day. This is where the input of outside advisors, such as your vet or farrier, can be helpful. For instance, your vet, who may only see your horse a few times a year, may notice a loss of muscle mass or increased stiffening since their last visit, leading to a discussion around the horse’s workload. For other horses, an inability to handle their workload or job will be more apparent. They may take a bit longer to recover after work, or have lost their mental edge in or out of the competition arena. “Loss of performance at the level they’re at is a sign of loss of enjoyment for the horse,” says Kelley.

“Good horses enjoy their work and their job. If that’s changed, it’s generally a sign they are in some pain or discomfort – specifically stopping, taking rails where they normally wouldn’t or an overall reluctance to work. These are all signs that retirement or a change of job might be on the horizon. “Severe injury or an inability to maintain soundness at the level the rider wants to compete at is another common reason competition horses are retired.” For horses with severe injury, there is no question around ‘should we retire him’: it’s a clear-cut answer and is more about putting appropriate retirement and care plans in place. For unsound horses, the answer is a little more complicated and depends heavily on the individual horse and they reason they are unsound. Two years ago, Lucy made the decision to retire her special horse Tinapai when he was aged 19. “He was still jumping at World Cup level and feeling as good as ever. In fact, during his last two seasons he achieved his best results at this level. Retirement was something that had been in the back of my mind from when he was about 16 and we came across his first soundness issue. “I treated every round as a bonus and appreciated each show. However, with a change in his management and a very good vet, he continued to succeed. He loved his job!” says Lucy. However while competing in a Grand Prix competition, Tinapai fractured his pedal bone. Although an injury a younger horse could possibly come back from, Lucy says it was an easy decision to retire him to the paddock. “He came close to sound within a month, but he’s not the type of horse to take leisurely hacks on around the farm; it’s all or nothing. I think this is important: every horse is different, and you as the owner, will know what’s best for your horse.”


Navicular disease

Navicular disease is a common cause of unsoundness and an example of an issue that is often managed for a time before retirement is on the cards. “This degenerative disease causes bilateral heel pain in horses resulting in bilateral front foot lameness. It’s often only apparent when turning in a tight circle and may show up as stopping when jumping on hard ground because it hurts to land. Typically, after diagnosis, these horses could be managed with remedial shoeing and various medications to relieve pain in the navicular region. Not uncommonly, show jumpers with navicular are retired to the hunt field. Ground conditions are softer in the autumn hunt season, and the jumps are smaller,” says Kelley. For navicular disease (and other issues that may be able to be managed), owners should work closely with their veterinarian and other professionals to plan how to manage the injury or illness and weigh up the pros and cons of doing so.

Diagnostic Techniques

To diagnose navicular disease, the vet will look at the clinical signs, take X-rays and use nerve blocks. They may also use ultrasound. The advancement of a number of other exciting new tools means finding the cause of heel pain in horses has become a much more precise science. Scintigraphy: More vets have been using Nuclear Scintigraphy (bone scans) to assist with their diagnosis. The procedure involves a small amount of a radioactive isotope being injected into the horse and taken up where there is increased turnover of bone. A so-called hot-spot will be revealed when imaged with a gamma camera. This increased bone turnover is part of the process that leads to holes developing in the bone. Despite its usefulness in localising the sources of lameness in horses, scintigraphy is still relatively rare in New Zealand. In fact, Massey University is the only facility in New Zealand that is fully licensed and equipped to perform a wide array of nuclear scintigraphic imaging in horses.


Deep digital flexor tendon Navicular bone Impar ligament Intersection of ligament and tendon

Hoof management

The way your horse copes with the farrier’s visits can tell you a lot about how he’s feeling generally. It’s a good test of flexibility; one of the first signs of bone spavin or osteoarthritis is being ‘naughty’ for the farrier because he resents bending a leg or resting on the other one. Good hoof care should continue throughout a horse’s life. Hoof growth may slow down in an older horse but regular hoof care is important. It may be uncomfortable for your horse to hold its foot up for the farrier for a long length of time. Try doing stretching exercises such as leg lifts to help your horse maintain balance and flexibility. If your horse is very uncomfortable during farrier work, talk to your veterinarian about administering pain relievers. Don’t let feet get overgrown as this may put more pressure on joints that may already be arthritic or stressed.

Add a biotin supplement to his daily feed (ask your farrier or vet or nutritionist for a recommendation). Some hooves benefit from these supplements; others show little change. Routine hoof care is critical for your horse’s soundness and well-being. Often, hoof problems arise due to longer intervals between care, so regular trimming is essential to reduce problems


For many older horses, a change to a less physically demanding career is often a good course of action to keep them mentally and physically stimulated if they’re still enjoying ridden life. Arthritis is a common ailment in older horses and often a big contributor to retirement decisions. Even arthritic horses need a certain level of exercise. In fact, it’s beneficial for their joint mobility to engage in mild to moderate work, depending on the severity of their arthritis. Kelley says that the best way to lighten the workload depends on the individual horse. Some will cope for many years as a lower level schoolmaster, while others do better going on light hacks a few times a week. For horses who have been retired for soundness or health issues, simply handwalking them can be beneficial, helping keep them mentally engaged and enjoying life.



Feeding and nutrition for a retired horse of any age should be approached in much the same way as if they were in ridden work. If your horse has been hard fed during its ridden career, then it’s advisable to continue this into their retirement. The rates you feed or type of feed may need to change depending on their level of activity and how they hold their condition. All horses require a minimum of 1.5% of their body weight in fibre. A horse’s digestive system is designed to process a constant trickle of feed; this is important for maintaining gut health and overall condition. “Many horses may be able to be retired onto solely pasture and hay, while others may need daily hard feed to maintain weight. It’s important to closely monitor your retired horse’s condition and make tweaks, especially coming into winter when it’s common for condition to drop,” says Kelley. Adding calorie-dense fibres like sugar beet pulp products and hard feeds may be required for horses in light condition. Adding oil to feed is also a great way of adding extra calories and condition to an aged horse. Our senior equine friends aren’t as efficient at synthesising protein, so require higher protein and fat intake than their younger counterparts. Feeds with a minimum of 12% protein are ideal. Many feed companies have developed feeds specifically for older horses which are more palatable, easier to chew and include additives like yeast (to aid digestion), vitamins and minerals. If in doubt about your horses’ nutrition, speak to a nutritionist for some professional guidance. A huge range of supplements are on the market and these can be a great addition to your feed regime to help keep your horse feeling good.

Keep an eye on how well your veteran manages his feed to ensure he’s getting the calories he needs

Feeding oil that is rich in Omega 3 is an easy way to add calories to your older horse’s diet.

Dental care

Poor dentition can be a factor in horses of any age dropping condition. Horses aged between 13 and 20 need annual dental check-ups, while horses over 20 years old should be on a six-monthly regime. Dental conditions affecting older horses include smooth mouth, when all the enamel grinding ridges on his teeth have worn away, leaving him struggling to chew long fibre. This can put him at increased risk of conditions like colic and choke, as well as weight loss. Warning signs of dental problems include quidding, where your horse drops balled-up food – look for debris directly under his hay net or over his stable door, where he’s likely to stand and chew. Smelly breath may indicate he’s got rotting food caught in a gap somewhere, and if any of his teeth have developed sharp edges or are missing he may ball feed up in his mouth, creating a hamster-cheek appearance. Severe infections or tooth root abscesses may show as a nasal discharge or a lump on his jaw, depending on where they are.


Regular dental monitoring will help keep your old horse eating well

Use your hands to feel how much fat is covering your horse...

Manage your oldie’s weight

It’s always important your horse is a healthy weight, but for older horses keeping a regular eye on how much he weighs can pay dividends in keeping him as well as possible for as long as possible. One of the best things you can do is invest in a simple weight-tape and assess him once a week so you know he’s maintaining his weight. It’s so easy to do and will help you spot problems before they really start, as will regular grooming sessions. If you’ve noticed your horse losing weight even though you think you’re getting plenty of calories into him, ask your vet for blood tests to check his liver function is still efficient. If it’s not, your vet will advise you on how to proceed – he may need specialist feeding if problems are found – but if it’s fine, it’s simply a case of getting even more food into him. Introduce a senior horse feed – these tend to be higher in protein, which is also a great way to help maintain his muscles

...and check the plumpness of his quarters from behind

Using a weigh tape is a simple and effective way to monitor your veteran’s weight

Hay can be hard for older horses to chew – if he struggles, consider a switch to chopped fibre


Health care

Just like a working horse, retired horses should have regular visits from the farrier, about every 6-8 weeks. A big question for the retired horse is whether or not to take shoes off. This will depend on your horse’s hooves and the level of work they are in. For example, many flat-footed horses will still require shoes, even in retirement, to help support their heels. This decision should be made in conjunction with your farrier and be regularly monitored. “Hopefully vet visits will just be for essentials like vaccinations, but annual health checks are also useful to help keep on top of your horse’s health. A lot can change, especially as they get older,” Cushing’s disease is a common health issue that can ail an older horse, so it’s important to seek advice from your vet if you notice any health changes. “Worming ideally should be done as indicated by faecal egg counts with appropriate pasture management. This can vary from twice a year as indicated by FEC, or the traditional every six weeks in intensive situations.” Keeping your horse warm in winter with appropriate cover and access to shelter is important, but even more so for older horses. A horse’s optimal temperature zone is between five and 25 degrees Celsius. When horses are cold, their metabolism increases; burning valuable calories which can cause weight loss. Some health conditions like respiratory disease and arthritis can also be aggravated by winter weather. For horses retired due to physical or health issues, it’s important to remain consistent with any medication, supplements and therapy they may need. Keeping his winter coat year-round could be a sign of Cushing’s disease


One of the biggest factors in a horse appearing old is osteoarthritis, a progressive condition also called degenerative joint disease. Osteoarthritis is usually born from wear and tear, what work a horse has done, and whether he’s had poor nutrition as a youngster, which will have had an effect on his bones and joint development. Younger horses may just have one joint affected, but older horses may have several, making it harder to manage. The best course of action is effective pain relief. Concern about potential side effects is understandable, but you need to be sensible – talk to your vet. After all, for the older horse medication could give him many happy pain-free years.


Lucy says that during Tinapai’s jumping career, he was always paddocked alone, purely to reduce the risk of injury. Once retired, he was put into a large paddock with a paddock mate. “It was so nice to see him living with a mate. They love having a run and buck around the paddock as well as a good scratch! I actually found he didn’t truly relax into retirement until he was away from the house where he couldn’t see the other horses coming in to be ridden – he got a bit jealous I think!” Having a paddock mate doesn’t necessarily mean another horse; goats, sheep or cattle can be great paddock mates if another horse isn’t an option. If hard feeding your retired horse in with other stock, it pays to keep an eye on them during feed time to ensure they are getting all of their feed!

Retirement homes

One of the primary considerations for a horse retiring is where they will retire to. Remaining at their current grazing or home may not be suitable, depending on the reasons for retirement. It’s important to consider this and ensure you can provide the most suitable home for your retired friend. There should be enough space to move around freely, with plenty of shade and shelter, as well as free access to pasture and water. Other considerations like terrain, location relative to you as the owner and other animals for companionship, should be taken into account. “Company is very important for any horse, especially retired horses who aren’t getting out and about much. Horses are herd creatures and can become stressed when alone,” says Kelley.

equine dental care

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Qualified Equine Dental Technician & Member of the IAED Available in the wider Waikato & Auckland Region’s. Other areas by arrangement.

Provide a companion. Horses are herd creatures and can become stressed when alone

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Dos and don’ts of retirement •

Do treat your horse as an individual. There is not a one-size-fits-all plan for retiring horses. It’s a matter of knowing your horse well enough to assess when it’s right to call time on their ridden career and how best to transition into retirement. Don’t make sudden changes. Like humans, horses are creatures of habit. If your horse is used to a specific type of lifestyle, like being stabled or hard fed daily, don’t suddenly turn him out into a paddock and cease hard feeding. Ease into this transition. Don’t forget the small details. Are you able to retire your horse at his current grazing or home? Are you able to look

after him financially and timewise? Are you prepared to make the hard calls? •

Do continue with exercise if appropriate. Exercise provides excellent mental and physical stimulation for horses, but this does depend on the individual horse. Some horses, like Tinapai, might not be interested in gentle hacks and prefer to self-moderate their exercise in the paddock. Others might thrive more being taken out on hacks once or twice a week.

Do work together with your vet, farrier and trainer to make the decision and put together a suitable retirement plan of ongoing care. C


FARM management

How well does your pasture

grow? WORDS Cheyenne Nicholson

Pasture offers a readily available, high quality and cheap feed source for horses, so it is crucial to manage it well to optimise growth and quality throughout the year. Autumn is the perfect time to make pasture improvements and set your paddocks up for winter and a productive spring. 120

High-quality pasture represents one of the best and least expensive sources of feed for a horse. In addition, a well-managed pasture can provide the most natural and healthy environment for exercise and rest.

Adopting good pasture management methods is vital to ensure quality pasture and longevity, helping maintain weight and health in horses. For most horses in most parts of the country, between one and two acres of well-managed land is required to provide adequate roughage. Where stocking rates are higher, other pasture management strategies like limited turn out and increased supplementary feed will be needed.

We caught up with Veterinary and Nutritional Integrations (VANI) nutritionist Nikita Stowers to learn more about good pasture management strategies for the autumn period (and beyond) and some helpful tips to consider before winter kicks in. Nikita has spent time working in the fertiliser industry and now provides independent advice for horse owners around pasture and property management.



Horse-sick pasture is a common sight around the country. It is typically characterised by a heavy weed burden (often dock and buttercup), uneven pasture growth, and urine and dung patches where the grass looks to have grown, but horses won’t eat it. “If you get soil tests done, a low soil pH usually shows. This means soils are somewhat acidic, which allows for the preferential growth of some weeds over your pasture. Having soil tests carried out every one to three years can help correctly manage this and know the appropriate nutrients to apply,” says Nikita. Daily pasture management can also help prevent horse-sick pasture and optimise pasture production. For most horses, the ideal grazing length is around 15cm, although this isn’t always possible. Grazing pasture that is too short has several negative effects. Grazing short pasture doesn’t result in optimal growth rates, meaning paddocks will take longer to bounce back once grazed. “Horses are also selective grazers, meaning they prefer some species over others. This can lead to patchy pasture and overgrazed areas, which can be a hotspot for weeds to take over.” The sugar level of the plant is highest at the base of the plant. Stressed or horse-sick pasture tries to grow fast to survive, meaning the sugar level in the base of the plant is high. “This is why it’s counterproductive to graze horses needing to lose weight in ‘Jenny Craig’ paddocks, as they will consume a lot more sugar proportionately, and therefore calories, than if you were to graze in longer pasture. “In fact, for overweight horses, you are better off grazing them on overgrown rank pasture (before it goes to seed), as the nutritive value of this pasture is lowest and the fibre will keep them full for longer.” The management of manure on horse pasture can be controversial, our table (above right) shows the advantages and disadvantages.



• Reduces worm contamination



• Often leads to ‘cleaner’ pasture with less weeds • Puts nutrients back into soil • Likely to improve pasture production • Nutrients return to soil but in patches • Aerates the soil


• Breaks up clods and levels heavy soil • Stimulates new growth by aerating • Levels uneven surfaces • Works compressed soil

DISADVANTAGES • Removing nutrients from the soil that are not necessarily returned if not fertilised regularly • Very time consuming • May increase worm burden • Manure takes a considerable time to decompose and a pile of it will starve the grass beneath of air and light • Increasing the risk of parasite contamination through ingestion of faecal matter • Pasture will grow very patchy • Takes a long time to break down nutrients • Leads to more selective grazing as horses won’t graze near dung patches

Applying lime increases soil pH, improves availability of key nutrients, enhances nutrient cycling and soil biological activity. Over time, horse pastures can become depleted in calcium and magnesium and as a result soil pH declines, often causing ‘sour’ grazing.

Three main grazing strategies are typically used in New Zealand: continuous grazing, intensive or strip grazing, and rotational grazing - with the former often the most popular method. “Continuously grazing a paddock means it never really gets the rest it needs to grow optimally or prevent horse-sickness. This is the least ideal way to graze your paddock. However, often in grazing or agistment situations there isn’t room to move horses around, so this often ends up happening. This not only leads to increased weed and worm burdens, but also increases stressed pasture and results in increased sugar levels." Strip grazing is also common, where a small area is taped off to graze before moving onto a new area, allowing pasture time to recover. During autumn, Nikki says the best strategy, if possible, is rotational grazing. Start in a paddock where pasture is around 15cm in length and graze down to about 5cm, before moving into a new paddock. This method keeps pasture maintained at the fastest stage



of growth and provides low parasite loads in the grass, as well as adequate pasture covers to mitigate pugging going into winter. "To do this, however, you need to leave a paddock to rest and grow for approximately 21 days and this isn't always possible. But if you can, you'll get optimal pasture production and see benefits in the amount of pasture you have. This will also help keep feed and hay bills down.” If space allows, mixed grazing with other livestock like sheep, cattle or goats can be advantageous. Due to their different eating habits, they can be used as the 'clean-up crew’ to reduce weeds and rough parts of pasture to ensure desirable pasture isn't outcompeted. For example, a cow’s diet typically consists of 70% grass; sheep of 60% grass; and goats of 20% grass, with the rest of their feed coming from weeds or other sources of feed. Mixed grazing may also help with parasite control, breaking the life-cycle of equine specific parasites by being ingested by other livestock and not allowing larvae to mature.

During autumn, pasture generally grows at a steady rate before slowing up as air and soil temperatures drop in winter. The nutritive value of pasture drops considerably during winter as well, meaning horses get fewer calories, protein and nutrients per mouthful. This might mean paddocks will need a longer rest period before being grazed again to maximise grass growth and reduce soil damage during winter. “It is likely you will need to provide your horse with additional fibre in the form of hay, baylage and additional fiberous hard feeds during winter to meet their forage requirements. Remember your horse needs at least 1.5% of its bodyweight as fibre each day to maintain a healthy weight and gut.”

like timothy and browntops that provide a high-quality fiberous pasture for horses. "Keep in mind though that some of the more horse-friendly varieties aren't as persistent as older grasses like ryegrass and may need to be undersown or oversown again to ensure these pastures stay in your paddock."



Autumn is a great time to give paddocks a health check and make some remedial changes if required. Fertiliser application and reseeding are usually carried out in spring or autumn when growing conditions are favourable. At these times, soil temperatures are slightly warmer than during winter, encouraging plant growth and establishment. Have a look at your paddocks and check what's going on. There could be many reasons why the paddock isn't meeting your expectations, including soil fertility, compaction, insect damage, weeds and certain pasture species dominating. These issues need to be addressed before you can get the maximum benefits from either fertilising and reseeding or regrassing.


A soil test is a great starting point in improving pasture. It provides information on your soil pH, as well as other soil health indicators like Olsen P and sulphate sulphur. Establishing and maintaining a healthy soil pH provides an environment favourable for microorganisms, worms and pasture growth. Acidic soils are a breeding ground for weeds. “An easy way to get an idea if you have a good soil pH is to dig up a small amount of soil in your paddock and count the worms!” Olsen P is a commonly used soil fertility and soil quality monitoring indicator and tells you about your phosphate reserves, which is required to actively grow pasture. It should ideally sit between 25 and 40. Low Olsen P levels are often found on horse pasture. To lift this, and also lift pasture production, a phosphate-based fertiliser needs to be applied at a high initial rate, followed by maintenance applications every one to two years. The actual rates you need to apply will depend on what your test results reveal, so it pays to have your property tested and obtain advice from a consultant suitably qualified in this area. If wanting to reseed, ideally paddock selection and soil tests should happen six months before you want to regrass, to allow any remedial soil nutrient work to start.


Once you’ve chosen the paddocks to reseed, you need to consider how to do this and what grasses to select. The most common methods are undersowing and oversowing. This sees seed applied either under the soil (undersowing) or broadcast on top of the soil (oversowing). Other methods include full cultivation of the area you want to resow and spraying out the area completely. “It is a good idea to get some advice on what pasture types grow well on your property, as this differs depending on several things; like soil type and weather conditions. With horses, there are also other considerations, such as choosing low endophyte ryegrasses, selecting the right clovers and sowing some horse-friendly pastures

Buttercup likes nutrient poor, compact soil with a low pH. The lower the acidity of soil, the more you should increase percolation and fertilise for cultural buttercup control. After fertilising and reseeding, it is important to rest paddocks to allow recovery time and for grass to establish itself. Turning horses out too soon on newly renovated pasture can undo all your hard work. Wait until pasture is around 15cm before you start grazing and utilise rotational or strip grazing where possible, to help keep pasture in top condition. Soil structure is important for pasture production, which requires water and air to move freely in and out of the soil and between soil particles; allowing plant roots, earthworms and microorganisms to function normally. High stocking rates or heavy animals on wet paddocks in winter not only causes pugging, but also compaction. Unlike pugging, compaction isn’t easy to identify. It occurs when a force greater than the bearing strength of soil is applied (like high stocking rate or heavy animals), compressing the soil macropores. This tends to occur when soil moisture content starts to increase, lubricating the soil aggregates and decreasing its resistance to compacting forces. This damage reduces the movement of water and air within the soil profile, ultimately reducing pasture production. There are some strategies to minimise both pugging and compaction. Utilising on/off grazing with horses coming into a stable, and sacrifice area or paddock can help ease pressure on other paddocks. Shifting horses regularly can also help prevent pasture damage and pugging.


1 2

Start by getting a soil test to see what your property needs. Everyone's property is different If you can, try to set up a rotational grazing system to get the most from your pasture. Remember this is your cheapest form of nutrients and will help ensure your horse's fibre requirements are being met Assess what solutions you may need in terms of weeds. Some sprays address some weeds, but not others, and winter can be a good time to address weeds. C



EQUINE LAW with Megan Gundesen

Let’s talk “do you own your horse?” A seemingly simple question – right? Wrong. Ownership is a significant source of conflict in the equine world.

Most people would say they have “bought” their horse or have been “given” their horse; that it now belongs to them and that should be the end of it. It’s not always that simple. Read on to see the problems people face and how you can avoid them. While doing a stint as our Pony Club’s Grazing Manager, I saw how horse ownership can become unclear. A grandmother 50 kms away had loaned a horse to a young woman for a couple of years until her granddaughter was able to ride it. That young woman kept the horse at our pony club grazing and became a club member. She gradually lost interest in riding and loaned the horse to another young woman 15 kms away. After 6 months or so, that young woman then sold the horse to a family another 50 kms away. New Zealand is a small place and eventually the original owner found out someone else was riding her horse. Quite a dispute erupted. On a grander scale, consider this recent legal case in Australia. As of October 2019, this case was still dragging on through the High Court process.

The burning question is – why would someone think they can sell a horse they don’t own? What happens to the purchaser who paid good money for a horse that wasn’t owned by the person who sold it to them? The general rule is that sellers cannot give better title (let’s call that ‘ownership rights’) than they themselves have. So, if B sells a horse to C, when in fact A is the true owner, the general position is that the contract between B and C cannot deprive A of the property or ‘title’ A has in the horse. The contract will still be valid as between B and C, but since B does not have a right to sell the horse, C may sue B for breach of the implied condition that B is entitled to sell. And A gets the horse back. This general rule that you can’t sell what you don’t own is expressed in s. 149(1) – (3) of the Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017.

Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017 Transfer of title 149 Sale by person who is not owner

LEADING VICTORIAN TRAINER FACING $20 MILLION LAWSUIT OVER HORSE OWNERSHIP Trainer Ciaron Maher in the Queensland Supreme Court “A man claiming to be the rightful owner of Group One winner Azkadellia has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against leading trainer Ciaron Maher in the Queensland Supreme Court. William Duffy lodged documents on Monday seeking $8.5 million in lost earnings and $11.5 million in damages. Azkadellia was suspended from racing in late 2016 when Racing Victoria stewards opened an investigation into the bona fides of her ownership. Her registered owner was Ben Connolly, Maher’s racing manager at the time but RV stewards found convicted con man Peter Foster was in fact the likely owner. Maher was suspended in 2017 for six months after stewards found him guilty of conduct prejudicial to racing in that he should have been aware there was a question over who owned Azkadellia and four other horses in his stable. Connolly was disqualified for his involvement. Azkadellia was sold to bloodstock agent Sheamus Mills at an Echuca auction last week for $615,000 under the Agistment Act. While she has not been able to race, her new owners will be able to breed from the mare.”


(1) This section applies if goods are sold by a person who — (a) is not the owner of the goods; and (b) does not sell the goods under the authority or with the consent of the owner. (2) The buyer acquires no better title to the goods than the seller had, unless the owner of the goods is by the owner’s conduct precluded from denying the seller’s authority to sell. (3) Subsection (2) is subject to the rest of this Part.

Is it always the case that the innocent horse buyer loses out? As you will know with the law, there are always exceptions, and this is the case here too. The law tries to strike a balance between two competing interests. On the one hand, the law supports true owners of goods being entitled to keep their property (the goods) even though someone else may have sold them. The law also desires to protect commercial transactions. That means innocent buyers should be able to keep goods they have bought where they honestly and reasonably believed they were getting good title to them. Perhaps the exception most relevant in the horse-world is where an owner gives a horse to a ‘mercantile agent’ (an

equestrian in the business of schooling and selling horses) who instead of schooling the horse, sells the horse, to a good faith purchaser. Put another way, say person A runs a business of schooling, buying, and selling horses. Another person B gives their horse to A for schooling rather than sale. But instead, A sells B’s horse to C who buys it honestly. So, C gets good title to the horse. In that case, the true owner B can only sue the horse-trader A to recover their loss. They can’t get the horse back from C because this exception gives C better title than A. Thus, it makes good sense to buy a horse from a horse-trader, because the purchaser (provided they purchased honestly believing the horse trader had the right to sell) gets better title than when buying from an ordinary person. My final word for this edition is to record your horse sale or purchase in a sound legal agreement. This records in a signed document the seller’s and purchaser’s names and contact details so that you can chase them up if you need to. It will expressly state that the seller has the right to sell and that the purchaser is agreeing to buy the horse for valuable consideration – the price. A legal agreement excludes the possibility someone could argue that they only gave or loaned you the horse – more stories on that subject next time. It makes it very clear when the risk in the horse is intended to pass. ‘The passing of risk’ is a legal term that describes the time in the sale and purchase process when the purchaser takes on the liability of the horse. This is important if the horse gets out and is damaged by a vehicle, or worse still, does damage on a bolting rampage. My recommendation is to take this potential stress out of your busy life by having at least these basics agreed. Please note that this article is intended as a general guide, and not specific legal advice. For advice relevant to your circumstances, you need to seek independent legal advice. FairPlay Equine, led by Megan Gundesen, is the place for horsepeople. As a NZ lawyer and legal equestrian expert, Megan wants to help busy equestrians buy and sell horses using her straightforward hassle-free process. If you’re looking to buy a pony for your child or a horse for yourself, then FairPlay Equine’s help and advice has been specifically designed for you.

Get ready to create your next happy horse and rider partnership. What you will learn in this FREE GUIDE is how to buy the right horse, how to crunch the conditions, and how to negotiate the price.

DOWNLOAD OUR FREE GUIDE 10 Common Mistakes Made by Horse buyers. Discover 10 easy, practical ways to achieve successful horse partnerships. So you can enjoy horses with less worry. Made for the busy NZ equestrian with no time for hassles. 125

RIDER wellbeing

5everystretches rider should do WORDS Nicola Smith

To help improve suppleness and mobility in the saddle and assist in moving more freely with your horse, below are the top five stretches I recommend for every rider.

1 Often riders don’t realise the impact their own imbalances can have on their horse. When ligaments get tight and stiff, they lose their range of motion; they get matted and glued together and affect the way your body moves. To improve your body’s range of motion, stretches need time and consistency to allow the muscles and ligaments to really let go and free up. So instead of just a few random stretches here and there, try these specific ones and hold each stretch for a good length of time. Aim for two minutes per stretch; but start at 30 seconds on each side and build up to two minutes over time. If you are interested in working towards improving


your riding or general posture, try these five stretches and notice of how you feel afterwards. Do all five daily before you go to bed, or before you ride, and take note of how you feel in the saddle. Couch Stretch This stretch is one of the most beneficial. If you were to do just one stretch, I suggest this one. Start with your back foot on the ground and place a cushion under your knee if needed. As your range of motion improves, place your back foot up on a couch, chair or small table. Be sure to tuck in your pelvis and brace your core so you are not arching through your back. Hold this for a minimum of two minutes each side.

Hindu Squat


This stretch is amazing for mobility through your hip joints. The Hindu Squat is also great for digestion and detoxification pathways. Often runners don’t put their limbs through a full range of motion which can cause the Achilles tendon, hamstrings and lower back to tighten up. It’s important to ensure your body keeps its full range of motion to help improve your running. If you can’t get down low, hold on to a table edge. Then repeat daily for between two and five minutes and notice how much you improve.

Internal Hip Stretch These muscles get incredibly tight from sitting down for long periods. They play a crucial role when you are riding, in helping keep everything aligned, so you want to work on this stretch also. This stretch will also help improve your Hindu Squat. You may notice one side is tighter than the other. Start by keeping your foot flat on the floor, then push your knee out and your hips down. As you improve, let your foot move onto its side and you can come down onto your elbows and hold.

4 Swan Pose

This is also great for getting into your ITB as well as your hips. This stretch is gentler than the one above, so begin here if you need to. It is useful to help loosen up glutes and bring more mobility through the hips and lower back. Hold for at least two minutes on each side. So there you have it: some simple stretches to help improve how supple you feel in the saddle. If you put effort into improving your alignment and posture, not only will it help with your riding short term, but also in the prevention of injury long term. The more you work on yourself off the horse, the more you will notice it when on the horse. C

3 ITB Most runners will know where their ITB is, because this is often a problem area which can affect knee alignment. It often leads to knee problems when it gets too tight. Hold this stretch for two minutes on each side and notice how it frees up your knees, as well as your hips.

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RIDER health

Quick & Easy Egg Pots These are my go to when it comes to heading away to overnight competitions. Easy to make and ready to eat on the go! I always make the day before and have with some avocado while camped up in my horse float. Perfect for chilli bins!

INGREDIENTS FOR 6 6 rashers of good quality Bacon 6 eggs Salt and pepper Avocado Optional chives and chilli

Optional extra of 2 teaspoon collagen powder for extra support for your cartilage and joints. INSTRUCTIONS Using a muffin tray, grease 6 of them with some butter or coconut oil. Line the edges with bacon as well as the base. Then crack an egg in to each one. Place into an oven for 15-20 minutes or until eggs are hard. Season with salt and pepper or a little chilli if you’re brave and some fresh chives. Pop into the fridge overnight and then into your chilli bin the day you leave.

HUNGRY FOR MORE? Nicola Smith has over 300 RECIPES on her website that will get your taste buds excited.




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