Nothing like HOY for the Barkes
Nothing like HOY for the Barkes
HOY is a rather addictive habit for husband and wife dressage riders Peter and Debbie Barke.
The Rotorua couple, both of whom hold the British Horse Societies Instructors certificate, will again line up at the prestigious show. Debbie, who is also part of the Sport New Zealand Bay of Plenty Performance Coach Programme, first competed there in 2002, missing just two.
She has had plenty of success over the years, including winning championship titles for level 2, 4 and advanced with Mzungu. Lucrative SW has been reserve champion of level 5 but this year will compete at level 8 aboard Lucrative SW and level 2 on RM Limbo.
She has high hopes for Lucrative SW going forwards.
“Lucrative SW missed selection for the national squad last year due to lack of competing but has some great scores this year. He is looking like he is developing well.
”All going well at the HOY we hope to be selected back onto the national squads and fingers crossed maybe even the ESNZ High Performance Squad, but time will tell.”
The priority for this combination is to develop strength and confidence in grand prix work and pay attention to detail.
Peter, by his own admission, has had “lots of entertaining rides” at HOY. Debbie says his former level 6/7 horse often struggled with the big HOY atmosphere. This year he will compete in level 4 at HOY aboard Parkridge Donnamour.
“She is getting braver but finds the music and atmosphere a bit stressful there,” says Debbie.
Parkridge Donnamour and RM Limbo are the younger ones on the team but both progressing nicely.
“Both have really stepped up well this year. We are hoping Donnamour will gain a couple of good scores at nationals or HOY which will full fill the criteria to enable her to be considered for the Young Horse Development Squad.”
RM Limbo, who turns six at the end of January, has won three champions at the three regional championship shows he has done this year.
“It will be his first HOY and he has quite a ‘sense of humour’,” says Debbie, “so it will be an interesting week for him.”
And they have plenty more horses at home where they have stabling for 14 and indoor and outdoor arenas.
There they produce their own competition horses as well as coaching and training and schooling horses.
As excited as Debbie is for HOY and her current competition horses, she says there is some serious talent in the wings.
RM Susie Q – who is by Statue Quo and out of a San Rubin/Salute mare – is one that catches her eye.
“She is simply beautiful,” she says.
Astek Glamorous RM – who is by Gym Bello and out of an Anamour mare – is another, and one she describes as “a dream young horse”.
They also have two yearlings, including one who is related to Lucrative SW, and some lovely foals from the current season.
“We have lots to do,” she says.
They do most of the work themselves but know when to call for extra hands.
“We have some very special people who have worked with us over the years and are brilliant at helping out at busy times or when we are at HOY.” It’s an event they love.
“It is a chance to catch up with so many friends and sponsors there,” says, who admits to more than just a few nerves about where the horses will be stabled.
“I don’t sleep for a few days before we go worrying about it. It’s hard work with two of us competing and often quite a distance between truck, horses, facilities, different arenas and THE shops, but it’s great to be there and watching and helping our clients who showjump, event and show as well as dressage.
“It is a wonderful feeling riding in The Oval, especially when the horses do cope and rise to the occasion . . . sometimes you have good luck with the noise from the nearby showjumping main arena sometimes you don’t, but that’s just HOY.”