One in a Million Sets Another Record
Chloe Akers is re-writing the show hunter record books.
The 26-year-old from Opiki and Kiwi Motto just bagged her fifth Show Hunter of the Year crown – the horse’s sixth.
And she has no intention of giving up any time soon, but it will be the last year she appears as an Akers at the show.
“I don’t think it gets any easier though because it is all or nothing,” said Akers, who gets married in two weeks. “You can get worried about who is in your class, but you can only control your own round, so I just focus on us.”
However, always the pro, Harty – Kiwi Motto – knew exactly what he had to do in the big class. He had played around a little in the warm-up round, doing dolphin impressions round the corners.
Harty is known as not being the easiest of rides, despite looking angelic. It’s well documented that when Akers and Harty head off for a ride on a farm, they sometimes come back separately.
Akers only competed Harty in enough classes to qualify for HOY, and was also riding the Olliver family’s Enja MVNZ, on whom she is leading the series.
“I didn’t want to compete them against each other throughout the season. Harty doesn’t need to do 100 show hunter rounds during the season, and he won all his qualifying rounds for HOY.”
Harty has also been starring in the pro amateur rider series, and are sitting second in the series as the season winds down.
Last year Akers was part of the New Zealand working hunter team to compete in England where they were required to do a dressage test, a showjumping round and a working hunter round.
“It was so much fun!”
The team finished fourth overall and second in the showjumping aboard borrowed horses.
But none of those horses came close to her beloved Harty.
“Harty is one in a million to me and means everything,” says Akers. “I have had him since he was rising six.”
And she admits there is more than a little competition between the ‘men’ in her life – husband-to-be Manny Hansen and Harty.
“Harty and I will keep on doing HOY – I have the horse so will just keep doing what he is good at.”
Next season she plans to follow a similar regime – a mixture of mini prix and pro amateur rider classes, and do just enough show hunter to qualify for HOY.
“We have a really good relationship,” says Akers. “No one else will get on him and he doesn’t like (sister) Lucy, even though she won a title on him. He is so quirky . . . and I do spoil him a bit!” Akers is helping on the family farm and riding schoolers.
“I love what I do. I will never have another horse like this . . . actually, I didn’t think I could love a horse this much. He is very special to me.”