Happy Monday everyone - it has come around again! This past year has flown by extra fast for me, it is crazy to think this time last year I would have been soaking up the sun on the farm in Geraldine!
I am a very nostalgic person and will forever hold NZ close to my heart, this post is about 3 truly inspirational sisters over in NZ that have recently traveled to the UK to purchase some stunning horses for their unique and ambitious campaign.
The girls have embarked on an exciting and innovative project that they believe will revolutionize the nation’s Jumping industry at the same time as helping them achieve their personal ambitions. Trust me - it's exciting stuff.
The girls were first bought to my attention soon after I arrived in New Zealand last September.
I definitely got thrown in the deep end, less than an hour after my plane had landed I was on a horse flying round a cross country course; I was told that the horse I was riding was a black Showtym mare – Bella.
The name meant absolutely nothing to me at the time, but judging by her proud sounding owner I assumed this was a serious name in the country, but there was more to it than that, as I was to find out later.
As I mentioned in a previous post, 'Equestrian turned dairy farmer' within an hour of touching down on Kiwi soil, I was on board Bella XC schooling! What a great way to kick start the experience.
When we got back to the farm to unload the horses, the three girls I would be au- pairing during my stay in New Zealand were all too happy to tell me more about the famous ‘Wilson Sisters’ who had bred their mum’s horse.
So that night after a long day, following an even longer flight from London, we all sat down to watch what I was told was THE most popular show ‘Keeping Up With The Kaimanuas’ - I have to admit, I loved it!
The relationship that the three sisters; Amanda, Kelly and Vicky have is incredible.
I would have loved to have shared my passion with my two sisters growing up but they were much more interested in their laptops, music and fashion!
Let’s just say our paths were set to lead us different ways…
The Wilson Sisters are prominent figures on the New Zealand equestrian scene across both the North and South Island, even though they are based in the North Island.
The girls have competed to the highest level of Show jumping for a number of years with their stunning and incredibly talented string of horses. Their current string of horses (ignoring the recently acquired UK horses) cost between $500 - $7000! That is between £284.45 and £3982.26, for a team of World Cup Jumpers! Nothing like the 6 figure (and the rest!) sums some people pay here for just one!
Whilst they are known on the circuit they have also made their mark off the circuit, through their work with wild horses. The prestigious Kaimanua Stallion Challenge, launched by the Kaimanua Heritage Horses to ‘highlight the beauty, versatility and trainability of these horses’ and ultimately to raise awareness of their plight and save them from slaughter – WASHBAR
I think every little girl dreams of rescuing a wild pony and taming them, and for these sisters their dream became a reality an inspirational 27 times! – Link to see the horses saved.
The girls have been powerful, passionate and determined advocates for wild horses not just in New Zealand but in America with Mustangs and more recently Australia with the breathtakingly beautiful and legendary Brumbies.
I managed to catch their recent post on Facebook last week, Vicki has been announced as a Road To The Horse 2017 competitor!
Owner/producer Tootie Bland description of Vicki is excellent: “Dynamite does come in small packages and Vicki Wilson is one firecracker of a horsewoman that who light up Road to the Horse this year with her own style of colt starting and a world class trust between her and her horses, who leap bareback over 7 foot walls of terror!”
Vicki also spoke out about her participation in the competition on the official website (see here for more info, I would LOVE to be there!); “I am incredibly honored and excited to be invited to compete at Road to the Horse in 2017! It’s such a unique and prestigious event, I’m humbled to be involved. I am looking forward to the opportunity to share my methods of starting horses under saddle, on the other side of the world!”
After the recent loss of her very special Kaimanua Argo rescued from the 2014 muster, she shared this stunning photo which very aptly encompassed how her and Argo came together, (I thought anyway…) and her participation in the Road to the Horse.
These girls truly are inspirational… I am aware I may sound a little bit like a crazy fan, but it’s more about getting the word out about their story and their continuous work which should be recognized here too among us.
Their approach and their methods speak volumes through the horses they have trained and produced…
It has been a long long time, since I was a pony mad little girl really, that I have truly been inspired or moved by someone’s horsemanship, but these girls do so regularly. So get used to seeing regularly updates and features on their adventures. I can’t help it!
The next couple of years will be really exciting and interesting for these three lovely ladies, and it would be amazing to be just a tiny little part of it!
The girls have recently launched an exciting new concept which despite their humble beginnings they believe will revolutionize the NZ Jumping industry!
This is where we could help… The British equestrian industry is much more advanced than the New Zealand equine world, with SO many trainers here perhaps if their story is seen and heard by the right people it could help secure the success and growth of their concept.
To acquire an elite group of horses from which to produce one of the best team of Jumpers ever seen in New Zealand.
Back in August this year, the girls flew out to the UK after seeing a Youtube video of a young grey stallion Daminos. The talented Holstein Approved stallion was going under the hammer at the Brightwells Elite Auction just 2 weeks later. After 6 months of development and imagination the girls all agreed this could be the first horse to fulfill their dreams as part of the joint ownership TEAM WS scheme.
After two days of viewing, vetting and handling 67 horses, who were all incredibly talented Vicki and Amanda, a short list of five were selected; them.
On the night of the auction family, friends and owners back in New Zealand ‘curled up in blankets at 4 am to watch the event’.
Amanda and Vicki were lucky enough not just one, but THREE of their top horses.
Quintesse Z; a stunning chestnut mare (Quantum – Cassini 11 – Heartbreaker).
Daminos; a spectacular grey stallion (Diarado – Cachas – Carolus 1).
Carpaccio BDV Z; a phenomenal grey stallion (Clintissimo Z – Indoctro – Apollonius xx).
“Having horsepower of this quality underneath us is an incredible opportunity” say Amanda. “If these three young horses are setting the precedent for what is to come, then we cannot wait to see what the future holds for Team WS”.
The girls have a couple of owners on board already and have expressed their gratitude for their support in helping them make their dreams come true.
An initiative like Team WS, is unseen and unheard of in New Zealand.
The horses arrived in New Zealand on the 20th of October, first having traveled to Germany where they were based for four weeks in quarantine, followed by a flight to Sydney where they spent another 2 weeks in quarantine, and then one final flight home to New Zealand.
~ Talk about racking up the airmiles! ~
Not only will the horses' sporting talent be shown to the country on the circuit, but the girls acknowledge that the horses are phenomenal breeding prospects, bringing a new league of bloodlines to the NZ equestrian industry.
The two stallions will be available exclusively to owners who will receive breeding rights, just one of the many benefits and incentives for owners/partners in the Team WS program.
If you are interested in becoming a partner, or know of anyone who may be, (like we are… although perhaps in the New Year!) then head over to the Team WS website to find out more.
There is an initial contribution of $5000 NZ dollars: the equivalent to £2,800 followed by an annual contribution of $1200 NZ dollars: the equivalent to £670!
Currently there is the option for up to 250 individual owners to participate in this innovative concept.
These three individuals are utterly incredible and not only do they want to compete on the international circuit for themselves, they are actively trying to secure a stronger more powerful league of horses for the New Zealand equestrian sport for years to come.
I whole heartedly wish them all the very best in every aspect of their journey with Team WS and their continued work with horses and ponies, also Vicki good luck – you’ll smash it girl! X
Thanks for reading - look out for this them in the launch issue! Love Hollie-Ella Xx