When did you first… see Springfield?
As a yearling, and he was not the most attractive baby! Sarah Milne, his breeder, made me come and have a ride on him when he was a three-year-old. He was so tall and lanky but when he jumped he felt amazing.
What did you think when you first… sat on him?
I remember jumping a few jumps and then just looking at Dad with a huge smile on my face. He went beautifully as a three-year-old and had a huge jump.
What is the first… word you would use to describe him?
Grumpy! But he is also very, very kind. If he were human, he would be a very handsome but grumpy man.
What is the first… thing he does when he sees you?
He normally looks grumpy – unless I have carrots!
What is his first…reaction when scared?
He’s quite good at jumping sideways and landing on my foot. In the wind he finds everything scary.
When did you last…fall off him?
I can’t remember exactly, but when he was a four-year-old, I had a hilarious fall off him, going through a treble at a show in the 1m class. He had never seen a treble and by the time he got to the third part he jumped so high I flew straight off. I landed flat on my bum and skidded along for about five metres with my legs straight out in front of me!
When did he last…get loose?
In the South Island one time we were staying at the Shores’ place in Ashburton. At 7am Kiwi Iron Mark escaped from his stable and took off around their house, bucking and kicking, he woke everyone up, then galloped back through the stables. The next minute Springfield came galloping around the corner too – he had bashed his door until it opened. They then acted like complete fools. They are very naughty together!
If he hadn’t made a show jumper, he would have been… He’s lucky that he wasn’t destined to be an eventer – I think he would have been way too slow on cross-country.
His worst attribute? His two white hind socks. They cause me so much trouble with mud rash.
What you didn’t know about Dunstan Springfield
- He’s distantly related to Mark Todd’s double-gold-medal-winning Charisma – Bart’s grand-dam, Hino, was a granddaughter of Tira Mink, the sire of Charisma.
- In New Zealand sporthorse terms, Bart is royally bred, coming from one of the country’s best-performed mare lines. His dam, Diversity, is a full sister to the former NZ Young Event Horse Champion and Grand Prix show jumper Double O Eight. He also has two half-brothers (Highly Recommended and Eon) who have won the NZ Young Event Horse Championship.
- He’s the nicest horse to work at home – everyone loves riding him.
Stable name: Bart
Breed: New Zealand Sporthorse
Owners: Katie Laurie and Sarah Milne
Best-ever results: Winner of Olympic Cup and Silver Fern Stakes, plus two from two World Cup rounds, 2014.
- This article was first published in the December 2014 issue of NZ Horse & Pony magazine