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  • Writer's pictureShow Circuit Magazine

Horse of the Year Pleasure Ring

Three in a row for Short Less than ideal Horse of the Year preparation didn’t stop Dannevirke’s Natalie Short and Golden Conquest from winning the Pleasure Horse of the Year title for the third year in a row. Natalie, who is pregnant with her first child, has suffered from bad morning sickness and been unable to work her horses in the lead up to the show. “I was very, very happy, so happy I cried. I normally never cry, I’m not sure if it was pregnancy hormones,” a delighted Natalie said after the win. Natalie, who is a farmer and riding instructor, adores Quest, who she bred and produced herself. “I didn’t think it was possible (to win three times). I thought we would go for fun because that’s what we enter the pleasure ring for. “He has been worked four times in the last week and that’s all he’s had. Richard (her husband) rode him at a show in January and apart from that he’s been sitting in the paddock and I’ve been in bed. My expectations were very low as we had done no practice.” Natalie also had Atmospheric, or Blackie as he is known, at HOY and placed second in the Senior Rider class and third in the Paced and Mannered Riding Horse of the Year title class. “Blackie was so good. They have both taken very good care of me, they must know when you are feeling a bit under the weather.” Natalie says she won’t be back again for a fourth shot at the title. “I think that’s enough now. If he can go out and do that with so little work, that’s pretty good. Next year might be a little bit different with a baby too! “I’m just so stoked with Quest, he could not have tried much harder, and thank you to the organisers and sponsors.” Jayde Starling was shocked and delighted to be crowned Pleasure Pony of the Year with her gorgeous pony Komets Victory. In her first season competing in the Pleasure ring, the Wellington 17-year-old was over the moon to take the win. “I was shocked, I didn’t think it was possible, I knew my pony could do it but I didn’t know if I could. He’s literally like my baby, he’s taken me so far,” she said of her pony. Jayde has had Komet for 18 months and the pony has given her a massive confidence boost. “We have show jumped to 1.10m-1.15m, I’m a really nervous rider, I used to jump 70cm and cry - he has taken me this far. We do showjumping, eventing, hacking and even Le Trec.” Komet is a Kaimanawa/Thoroughbred/Hanoverian cross who Jayde describes as quiet and safe, but a bit cheeky and nosy. “It feels incredible (to win). He always makes me feel safe but I wasn’t expecting too much. I’m just so proud of him, he always tries his hardest.” Jayde just turned 17, so Komet is sadly for sale. “I’m finding that really hard. It’s my first year at HOY, I’ve never been to HOY and I’m ending it on the best note in the world. “I want to thank all the judges and everyone who has supported me this season, my mum and family, and my pony for keeping me safe and allowing me to get this far.”

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