A little about me:
I have ridden all my life and started when I was 4 years old.
I was asked what I would like to do when I was older.. I replied with no hesitation ‘’riding full time”.
Well a few years later and not much has changed!
Below is a snapshot of a few photos I have dug out to show you
‘years gone by…’
My first pony was Clifton Natasha, she was a cutie with a big personality. I have fond memories of cantering around; so happy with myself that I was cantering. Mum would tell me "sorry dear, she is just continuing to pig jump!"
At the Marlborough Show one year with Natasha, I was the patient and dad was the doctor. Mum wanted to put tomato sauce on me to make me look more realistic. After balling my eyes out with that idea mum decided against it. We still got first though!
Clifton Topsy at Blenheim Pony Club when the uniform was brown! With this pony we did everything such as jumping, showing, pony club and it was all about speed.
Clifton Topsy at Motueka Show. I had many happy memories with this pony as we were very close and was sad to see her go.
ATAAHUA LITTLE PRINCE
I then went on to Ataahua Little Prince and rode him at the Canterbury Show. We used to ride all the ponies flat out. Mum used to say ‘’show them off and their paces”. The poor ponies would be going for gold all morning… but they were fit! It wasn’t till a coach later told us that we didn’t have go so fast and would be a good idea to slow down to give the judge time to see us. It was a proud moment when Renee and I both won the ‘New Zealand Pony of the Year” on Ataahua Little Prince for eventing, showing and show jumping. This photo was taken at the old Christchurch Show grounds.
STALYBRIDGE FUNNY FACE
Renee and I both rode Stalybridge Funny Face (Stelly) at the Motueka Show. It was Renee who had two ponies that she rode. It was Renee who qualified both ponies for Supreme. Renee got to choose which pony she would ride in Supreme. Prince was beautiful and a proven winner. Renee chose him and I rode Stelly. The judge thought we looked cute and we won supreme! Funny times.
Money Musk Tito
Money Musk Tito was such a sweetie. Here we are at the Takaka Show, Champion and Supreme. He had a bit of spunk to him but he loved the attention and won many Champions!
I loved the showing and it was a great start to my riding career. Also, one of my loves was jumping and here I am competing at Springston Trophy in Rangiora. This little pony, Kintimarnie, was a little bit of a bush pony but he could really jump! Kinty won many show jumping events, six bars, and ODE's.
Below is Kintimarnie at Marshlands ODE. This was my eventing outfit which at the time I hated. Looking at it now I think it looked really cute. We used to hog Kinty's mane as it was very thick and would stick up!
This is Cresta who was my first hack. I remember trying her out; we saddled her up and I went out into a big paddock and rode her. Mum went inside to have a coffee with Val Rose (who owned her) and I decided I would try and see how fast she would go. Being a retired race horse, it was a fairly fast ride taking many laps to slow down. Having a fast horse enabled me to have no time faults which was important. We bonded quickly. Below we are winning the teams’ event for Nelson/Marlborough/Tasman Pony Club Dressage championships for the South Island.
Wynyard Irish dream
In 1997 I won my first National championship at aged 18 riding Wynyard Irish Dream (nickamed Spud). He was a twin so he only grew to 15.2 hands high. He was a super little horse and was my first horse that I competed at Advanced dressage level. Spud won numerous titles at Marlborough, Nelson, Canterbury and South Island competitions. He was super reliable and taught me a great deal. Our major wins are listed below.
- Killala Trophy, Novice Champion Level 2, New Zealand Championship 1997.
- 1999 New Zealand National Young Rider Chapionship winner.
- Bronze Medal FEI International Christchurch at Prix St George level.
We wanted a horse that would be ‘built’ for dressage so we saw a three line ad in the Horse and Pony for a 3 year-old Dynamit filly. We telephoned the owner and got a video sent to us. The horse was literally being chased around the paddock as we were looking at her movement. We liked what we saw and decided to buy her. Her name was Damask. This was the first horse we successfully broke in, and then we competed her in dressage. Throughout her career she went on to win the Novice National title, and was extremely successful through the grades winning championships at every level locally, regionally, South Islands and Nationally.
I took her through to advanced and although we played with the Grand Prix work we decided to sell her at aged 12 to be a school mistress.
1999 New Zealand Novice Championship Killala Trophy.
2003 Reserve Championship at the Nationals Level 5 Open Medium.
Rakanui Trophy Best Performed Mare at NZ Championships 2002 and 2003.
With Damask I represented New Zealand twice at the International Event gaining a gold medal at Novice level both Internationally and within New Zealand in 2000.
Awarded the Prix St George Trophy for the best performed horse in this grade Prix St George. This was a real surprise, Mum took me to Auckland and I thought we were just going to get some other trophies that we had won and I was so excited to win this prestigious trophy.
We saw Winter Acacia as a 2 year old again running free in a yard, with her spunky personality I liked her immediately! We broke her in and we had a very successful career. As she was beautiful we decided to take her showing, she went to the Canterbury A & P Show and successful won every section (5 Championships in total). She also took out Supreme. In the ring she was foot perfect. Although she had a very strong personality so on the ground she was a bit of a handful! But because she was talented we took the good with the bad… at one Canterbury the judge rode her and commented "a very nice ride".
On the dressage front her career took her through to Grand Prix where she was very much a ‘princess’ in the ring! It was one of those horses that I loved to ride even if a bit turbulent at times.
We sold her aged 12 - a very hard decision as it is with all horses but we wanted to keep to the goal of one day being able to buy a property and ride full time.
Major titles she won
2003 Reserve Championship at Novice Level the NZ National Championships
Doonbos Shield Level 4 Championship NZ Nationals pictured below with Karen Trotter after our win
Represented New Zealand at FEI International winning gold at Prix St George level both Internationally and within New Zealand. We also represented New Zealand on this occasion.
Lothario K.C was bought as a 4 year old. Although he had been broken in he wasn’t quite finished so he became the new project! He was beautiful with great conformation and a lot of ‘bling’. Mum was super excited with the thought of perhaps taking him out to a few shows… At the same time I fell pregnant with Jean-Luc so poor Dudley was worked then given some time off as my belly grew!! Just after Jean-Luc was born we pulled Dudley out of the paddock and took him to our local A&P show. With me just fitting into my pants. We knew he would be a bit fresh so we decided to go down to the grounds early and lunge him just to take the edge of him… Dudley ended up doing super well and got champion but when it came to Supreme he was stuffed! Lesson learnt!
We took him to a few shows after that where he kept on his winning streak. I fell pregnant again with Hugo so poor Dudley was again turned out for a few months. This time when we bought him back in he picked up where he left off in the show ring and went on to win Supreme Champion Riding horse at The Canterbury A & P Show with a 2 month old Hugo cheering me on from the sidelines.
We decided to take him up to Horse of the year. With a great team, we received two reserves and two thirds. I gained a lot of expertise up there and Dudley was such a gem to take away - a really chilled out horse.
We made the hard decision to sell Dudley he went to a super home where he was adored and spoilt!
(Unfortunately in April of 2016, Dudley sadly passed away)
This year I have brought out two new horses.
GALLIVONTE by Gym Bello, a little pocket rocket, bred by Tracey Heywood in Nelson, she is proving to be a super prospect and we hope to take her to a few shows in the Spring.
LA DOLCE VITA Big beautiful black mare who I am enjoying working with. I am looking forward to the future with her.