Hospital Patient to Dressage Hero
Alison Addis almost didn’t get to compete at HOY . . . but a lucky break saw everything come right and today she won the prestigious Dressage Pony of the Year (level 4) aboard her beloved Whistledown Kristopha.
The 17-year-old from Kaeo spent much of Wednesday in hospital on a drip.
“We were breaking in a horse a year ago and I fell off and hurt my back. I saw specialists and they put me on a high dose of anti inflammatories and it has killed my stomach lining,” says the full-time rider.
Unable to hold down fluids, she was taken to hospital by ambulance on Wednesday after doing the first test on Kristopha.
“I was there for most of the afternoon and was given three iv bags of fluid, oral rehydration and intravenous anti-nausea.”
While sitting there, she and mum Pip faced the very real possibility they would be heading home early.
“We had a pact that if I was able to ride and get the quality of normal work then we would go on, but if not, we’d scratch.”
Addis has had Kristopha for three years. He was out last year with injury but in 2015, at their first-ever HOY, won the Level 3 Pony of the Year crown – in their first season together.
“He’s come back better than ever this season,” said Addis.
On their way to victory, they won both their tests with “good” scores, including 67.056% for the musical freestyle with an accurate and soft test to very fitting music.
“It was very tight competition out there,” she said. “I have a little thing I tell myself – most pony riders are aiming for 65%, as it’s not often judges give out big marks for ponies, but we aim for 70%-80%.”
At just 14hh, Kristopha was one of the smallest ponies in the class. While this is Addis’ last year as a pony rider in the pony classes, she plans to continue to compete in horse classes with him.
“He is so special . . . literally, he is the light in my life,” she said. “He is the spunkiest pony, just a magic little man. To win this is just humungous. We’ve been working towards this all season.”
Addis is trained by Sheena Ross in Auckland.
Lilly Jefferies (Wellington) and Prima Magneto were runners-up.