Another Title for Williamson
Going into HOY, Wendi Williamson wondered whether she had pushed Don Amour MH too hard . . . but she needn’t have bothered.
The classy combo won the Level 8 Horse of the Year title, successfully making the jump up from level 5 last year.
“He is only eight years old so it was a pretty big jump but he just got better as the show went on,” says Williamson, whose day job is as an environmental engineer. “He has always struggled with the HOY atmosphere but he tries so hard and coped so much better this year.”
A half brother to her star Dejavu MH, she bought him as a foal. It wasn’t just his talent that saw her make the big step from level 5 to 8 this year.
“I spent three years at Prix St George and Inter I with Watergate. We perfected the grade and I didn’t think much about grand prix. However, having done level 8 with Dejavu, I realised it was a really good grade and good precursor to Grand Prix. Otherwise is is a massive jump for Prix St George to that Grand Prix level.”
She is hoping Don Amour will make that step through to Grand Prix next year.
“He will be very young but I think largely, he has coped with things quite well.”
She was over the moon with the feedback from the judges, and particularly Germany’s Gottheilf Reixinger.
“I am pretty stoked with Dejavu – he too got better as the show went on. I came away thinking I couldn’t have done any more.”
Mother of two Williamson has plenty of HOY titles to her credit. Don Amour has won levels 1, 4, 5 and 8, while Dejavu took out levels 1, 2 Prix St Georges and 8, and Watergate level 5 and Prix St George and Inter I.
“We love HOY. It is the only time we get to a show with showjumpers! There are more people to watch too – we train our horses to make them look beautiful, so it is nice to have that there. HOY has that real international feel to it.”
Key to the whole Williamson operation is husband Jon who puts together all the music for her freestyles and groom Hannah Cromrie.
Level 8 Horse of the Year: Wendi Williamson (Kumeu) Don Amour MH 1, Fiona Craig (Kumeu) Crystal Mt Xodo 2, Gaylene Lennard (Te Aroha) Donzello 3, Penny Castle (Ashhurst) BL About Time 4, Kallista Field (Pahiatua) Prima Park Vincent 5, Jude Nickolls (Queenstown) Glenview Caballero 6.