SQUAD HORSES - Click on the horses name for further information
NRM Andreas - Owned by Vanessa Way & Brooke Hughes
Vanessa Way may not come from a horsey background, but she has made up for that in spades over the years.
Her love affair with horses started when she was a child. She dreamt of owning her own pony and ended up spending all her weekly allowance on milky bars for ponies who lived down the road. The breeder asked her to stop feeding the ponies as they would lose their teeth, but did offer her a two-year-old youngster called Cindy – if she could break her in, she could ride her.
The rest is history. Her relationship with the breeder down the road continued until she was 17 and Way’s own talents flourished. She won titles, ribbons and accolades.
Her initial focus was eventing, but that shifted after she broke her back and lost a beloved horse. Her drive to make it to the top hasn’t changed much in decades and she has competed in the UK and Europe, along with all of New Zealand’s dressage titles across the grades.
Her working relationship with the world-ranked Carl Hester has become a firm friendship and he is a huge supporter of the Oakura-based rider.
Way figures her horse NRM Andreas may just be her best yet – and that is saying something. “He has only done two seasons,” she said. “Last season he went from level three to seven, so he has done a lot in a short time. He could be a real superstar.”
She bought the horse off good mate Mandy Littlejohn, who had the horse from a foal.
“Andreas is just so talented – mechanically he is built for the job; he is very powerful and very intelligent, which can be both a curse and a blessing! He is a real character, a quick learner and has been unbeaten his whole career to date. The international judges just love him.”
Way’s fellow Dressage High Performance Futures squad members Abbie Deken, Lucarne Dolley and Alex Matheson all train with and are mentored by Way, who seems to be following in the footsteps of her own mentor, Hester.