Pinto ponies and horses were out in force on the first day of the Land Rover Horse of the Year Show in Hastings, coming in all shapes, sizes, patterns and colouring. The judges, Sally Brunton and Sharon Lewis Tipping, had a very good selection to chose from.
Kimberley Blucher and Motutangi Mischief won the opening class, In-hand Best Presented Pinto Pony and Handler, with Kelly Chalmers and Willowlees Masquerade winning In-hand Best Coloured/patterned Pinto as well as the best paced and mannered in-hand, with Motutangi Mischief second in that class for Kimberley and the mini, SWS Little Miss Rocking With Magic third for Chanel May.
The first title class was the In-hand Youngstock Pinto Pony of the Year, and that went to WRS King of the Jungle presented by Melissa Fogarty. Willowlees Masquerade was reserve for Kelly Chalmers, and SWS Little Miss Rockin With Magic came in third.
Melissa had little time for chatting after her win, as she had a hack to present in the other pinto ring. She did tell us that she has had the pony for two years, since he was a weanling, and this was their first win; they were reserve last year. The judge, Sally Brunton, commented that the pony had lovely movement and conformation.
The Adult Pinto of the Year (in-hand) went to Halcombe’s Denise Devery with her lovely JL All Dressed Up. This is their first title, and Denise has had the horse since she was two years old. She was given to Denise by good friend Johnny Love of Gisborne, and Denise’s husband broke her in.
Judge Sharon Lewis Tipping described her as being well balanced, with a lot of growing to do but with a steady movement.
Mark Kinaston-Smith did a great job of presenting TMS Wanderlust for her owner, Sue Morrish, and won the In-Hand Youngstock Pinto Horse of the Year title. Sue, who hails from Lincoln in Canterbury, had high hopes for her two-year-old. “We didn’t travel all this way without having a chance,” she said. By Token Romance, out of a thoroughbred mare, TMS Wanderlust was bred by Tessa Silcock from Nelson.
The In-Hand Adult Pinto Show Horse of the Year was won by Twin Blues Southern Jazz, for Debbie Sloan from Ekatahuna. This was the pair’s first HOY together, and Debbie has had her for 12 months. The horse won the title in 2016 before Debbie bought her.
For the second year in a row, Andrea Miller’s adorable Camoflage won the In-Hand Adult Pinto Saddle Hunter. This pair also won the class in 2015. Andrea has had the gelding for five years; he is out of a warmblood mare, SSS Maid to Order by Ruatoria Apache. “I’m the deputy Master for Waikato Hunt, and while he is a green hunter, he is going to be stepping up to my number two horse this season,” she says. She describes him as ‘a real character’. “He is waiting as close as he can to the house when the light goes on! He is very food-orientated, and loves our family; he is just great to do everything with.”
Andrea’s aunt, Robbie Miller, was groom and caterer for the pair at the show and is “so proud” of them. Robbie herself has had plenty of success in the past at Horse of the Year, including winning a show hunter title with Hanalei.
The first of the ridden titles, Ridden Pinto Pony of the Year, went to Sizzle ‘n Hot Hustler with Canterbury’s Maia Gerard. Sue Morrish was once again the winning owner! The pony won the in-hand title in 2017, and as 2018 is Maia’s last year in the pony ring, this will be the pair’s last show together. The gelding has an interesting background: he came to Sue from the Auckland Horse Haven, and was ‘skin and bone’. “He was a stallion until he was 12, and was gelded six months before he came to us. He is now 16, we have always just gone quietly with him, but we were hoping for a good result today!”
The Ridden Pinto Show Horse of the Year went to last year’s runner-up, Lakeview Lone Desire, ridden by Harriet Redmond from Ashburton. Known as “Puzzle”, the ten-year-old is owned by Jody Lockwood, and also competes in dressage. The trip from the South Island was a good one for the Puzzle team: “We were lucky with the timing for the ferry, and while we got stuck in Blenheim for a day, we still got here in plenty of time,” says Harriet. As for celebrations, Harriet thought she would “hang out with everyone who has helped!”
The runner-up was Waimanu Dakotah, presented by Krista Donnelly and owned by Yvonne Steers. Sally Brunton, the judge, said that Lakeview Lone Desire had a very good workout and was more settled, but that she really liked Waimanu Dakotah, thought he had a great future, and was a horse that she would like to ride herself.
Lauren Dolan is thanking her lucky stars that she is even here at the show, so winning the Ridden Pinto Saddle Hunter of the Year today on Abalone Pearl was a real delight. Lauren had a very bad fall at Arran Station when eventing just under a year ago and was in a coma for a few days. As her mother Jo said, “it has been a shit year” with the loss of parents and horses to add to the distress of Lauren’s serious accident. “We have done our darnedest to get her here,” said Jo. Lauren wasn’t keen to celebrate tonight. “I need to catch up on my study, and I will celebrate next Tuesday,” the agri-science student said, then quipped, “but let’s go shopping!” She had also earlier won the Youth rider in the open pinto section.
Abalone Pearl is a ten-year-old mare whose breeding is best described as “quarter horse crossed with many other breeds” according to owner Alana Vickers. The horse shuttles between Dannevirke, where Lauren is based, and Wanganui where Alana is.
Runner-up in the class was Camoflage with Andrea Miller, capping off a good day after their earlier in-hand title.
The final word goes to Sally Brunton who says she enjoyed judging the quality fields, and we couldn’t agree with her more. “There were some lovely horses, and I have a big soft spot for pintos.”
Photos will be available for purchase on the website Pegasus Communications in due course.