With Donna Elena still in recovery, Maree has been focusing on some of the younger horses in her stable. One particularly exciting young mare is eight-year-old Total Diva, out of Maree’s famous mare Diamantina and by Edward Gal’s former world-beating partner, the late Totilas. “She’s got a lot of her mum’s character, but to me she looks more like her father.
“She’s a lot more like I would have imagined Totilas would have been. She’s a very determined, strong-willed horse. For me, I think she’s the best horse I’ve ever had. If I could manage to ride her half as well as Edward [who rode her sire], I’ll be happy!”
Maree has been slowly training Total Diva towards Grand Prix, but she says the mare’s strong will is certainly keeping her on her toes. That being said, she’s edging closer to a Big Tour debut. “She’s still struggling a bit with the one-time changes. We’re just holding off on a Grand Prix start until we get a better handle on the ones.”
Total Diva’s half-brother, a striking colt, is also growing up under Maree’s watchful eye. So far officially unnamed, his stable name, Voltage, is a little nod to both his energetic parents.
Maree says a large part of keeping her team in top condition is to do with their feed. “All of our horses are on Barastoc feeds. We use Calm Performer, Thurra, and of course Command, which has Diamantina on the bag. And we’re also interested in the new Supreme they’ve just released. Barastoc have a wonderful variety of really high-quality feeds that have got lots of different additives already built in, so we don’t have to add a whole lot which is great. All the horses like it.
“They’re always in beautiful condition; their coats are beautiful, they are fit, healthy horses and they are only as good as the fuel you are putting into them. We’ve been using Thurra for more than 20 years, and it’s just such a great feed. I am sure there are other horses in the world that look as well as my horses do, but no horses look better! We are incredibly lucky to have Barastoc behind us. They’ve been a great support and they have an excellent product. We are lucky and grateful on all fronts.”
A recent addition to the Tomkinson stable is a four-year-old imported warmblood mare called Imagine, co-owned by Maree with Susan and Victoria Gorst. “She’s super fancy, I think she’ll be very impressive,” says Maree. “Imagine has been home for a few weeks now, after being imported from Europe, and she seems to have a really lovely character and she certainly ticks a lot of boxes.
“She’s from Johannes Westendarp, which is where Diamantina came from and Donna Elena and Furst Deluxe. I have worked with Johannes with young horses for years now and I really trust him. He knows what I like to ride, and I’ve been very lucky so far not to have bought the wrong one. Every one that I’ve bought has been the right one so far, so this is very good.”