There’s plenty of rallying around to support New Zealand’s dressage riders Julie Brougham and John Thompson who will represent the nation at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games . . . and that heartens chef d’equipe and sport manager Wendy Hamerton.

And while the sport hasn’t sought WEG-specific sponsors, all those who have supported the fundraising efforts are part of the ‘family’.

“The cost of the campaign is a huge challenge so we are very grateful for all we are receiving through donations, sale of raffle tickets and auction items,” says Wendy. “We really feel there is huge support out there for the team.”

So many have come on board to sponsor items for fundraising, but there is also the behind the scenes detail to be seen to.

The dressage team is very thankful for the support of the “super experienced” Warrick Allan (ESNZ high Performance operations manager) who has been taking care of all the details, and also US-based Olympic showjumper Sharn Wordley who is assisting with horse and rider accommodation during the campaign.

“There is a lot of background detail being organised,” she says.

Wendy said everything had felt a little in limbo since April, but was thankful she had two very focused and experienced riders in John Thompson and Julie Brougham.

“They both know their horses well and will have them ready to peak at Tryon,” she says. “With a CDI3* at Saugerties in mid-August, it’s all worked out really well.”

True to the world of horses, there had been high points and low times – for Wendy, the performances of Thompson and Brougham at the 2018 Horse of the Year Show were a stand out.
The low point was the incredibly sad loss of Wendi Williamson’s Dejavu MH in April.

And now, with the horses poised to have their first competition start on US soil, Wendy says they’re in the “nervous excitement” phase.

“Now that the horses have landed in New York in good shape we can get on with the next steps of our WEG campaign. That we have two riders at WEG is really exciting in itself, and to be part of the team and sharing their journey is incredible.”

Wendy is looking forward to seeing both riders perform their very best on the world stage.


By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison