Plenty of HOY Highlights for Annabell Family
It’s a family affair at the Horse of the Year Show for the Annabells from Ararimu in South Auckland.
Sisters Olivia (9) and Eden (12) are no strangers to the popular annual show.
“It’s something we all look forward to,” says mum Anne.
Both girls as well as trainer Amanda Barlow will ride Nanteos Autumn Gwyndaf in a variety of classes in the showing section this year.
Eden’s first HOY was in 2012 in the lead rein, and the next year Olivia stepped up to finish runner-up in the seven-and-under lead rein title class aboard Nanteos Autumn Gwyndaf – or Eddie as they all call him.
The same year their trainer Amanda Barlow and Eddie were runners-up in the rising star saddle hunter pony, a title they won in 2016.
The trio have picked up a number of ribbons since, and last year Eden and Eddie won the open small saddle hunter pony crown. They are hoping for a repeat in 2017, especially on the back of their third placing in the open pony saddle hunter at nationals.
Eddie may be just 12hh but he’s got a big attitude . . . and appetite to match. The spunky little grey has been on a diet in his lead up to HOY and is less than impressed that his ‘treats’ consist of an ice cube, or two if he is lucky. If all goes well at HOY he will get his favourite when he gets home – a beer.
For the girls, there are plenty of highlights outside the competition arenas – like the BMX track for Olivia and the extravaganza for Eden.
The three all camp in the car, right beside the horse float, which is separated from Amanda’s float by a small ’kitchen’ gazebo. It is there Amanda’s partner Woody – a builder by day – concocts the team’s meals.
“It is a real family week for us,” says Anne. “It’s a great atmosphere here and it is fun watching the other disciplines.”