Also competing at Boneo Park in the Small Tour with two horses was Hygain ambassador Janet Seccull. Returning to her life passion after a long career hiatus, she is now enjoying success in the dressage arena. We catch up to find out more about her equine stars and how she keeps them in peak fitness and health.
And making a Boneo Park ‘grand’ debut was South Aussie Katie Clark on her talented OTT, Katelle Grand. Katie tells us how her Thoroughbred – who was faultless across three classes at the World Wetlands Day Jumping Championships – is a true gentleman whose “willingness to learn is just off the charts”. Another sign of great optimism for the future of our industry is the $1 million prize pool being put up for showjumpers at the Magic Millions on the Gold Coast. After launching a $100,000 showcase jumping event at this year’s Polo Day at the Magic Millions, a jaw-dropping $1 million prize pool was announced for next year. “This will put showjumping through the roof,” as Gerry Harvey says in our story in this issue. Gerry and his wife, Katie Page-Harvey, certainly don’t do things in half-measures and showjumpers around the country will be jumping for joy! Thank goodness for the big personalities we have in equestrian sports.
In this issue, Roger Fitzhardinge profiles another great personality in NSW stalwart Gill Rickard. The 1990 WEG veteran never stops improving herself, her credentials and pursuits, and working for the betterment of the sport.
When it comes to the Whitaker family of showjumpers in the UK, there is no shortage of personalities either. As Elli Birch discovers, there are three generations of Whitakers currently competing, including family patriarch and Olympic great John Whitaker, son Robert and his wife Kate, and extending to cousins and tiny tots on ponies.
We have two great Training articles this month: Kerry Mack recalls how much fun young horse classes are and how to prepare for your first outing in a competitive atmosphere, while Roger Fitzhardinge unpacks the nuances of the rein-back.
With competitions back in action, our Special Feature on horse transport is of particular relevance. Given the long distances between venues in Australia, reliable transport is critical to competing successfully here. Normandy-based THEAULT are world leaders in horse transport safety and comfort, and we learn why they are making big inroads into Australia.
As always, our Health section is full of relevant advice. Veterinarian Dr Maxine Brain demystifies osteochondromas – abnormal bony growths in horses – and assures us they can be readily treated. The team at stable lighting specialists, Equilume, explain how important seasonal light is to horses’ wellbeing, and how it can be replicated indoors. We also learn the secret to the success of equine nutritionists Hi Form (they apply human standards).
On the equine welfare front, Equestrian Australia is taking the first steps to making sure horses are not overburdened by their riders, with the Dressage Committee proposing a Guide to Rider Size that focuses on encouraging a conversation with coaches about appropriate size of horse and rider.
Lastly, for your entertainment, Suzy Jarratt’s latest Horses & Movies story features the making of the remarkable documentary Harry & Snowman, about a rescued horse that becomes a champion American showjumper. A true “nags-to-riches” story!
Enjoy your reading and your riding, EQ
Robert McKay AM