When Georgia Allison started the season she had no inkling that she’d be riding off with the ESNZ Junior Equitation Series . . . despite winning two series’ crowns last year.
“It’s always a goal for me but I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it with Paintball who is a bit of a loose unit and Hokey Pokey who I didn’t even know I was getting until November,” said the 17-year-old from Oxford in Canterbury.
Paintball is an 11-year-old bush pony . . . well, he’s technically a horse, but a very small one.
A showjumper and hunter, he joined Georgia in July 2018. “It was hard for him to learn to swap from showjumping to show hunter, which he had never done before –and he was used to a very different ride. He was a real showjumper and would reef and bound all over the place.”
Hokey Pokey, a nine-year-old Gypsy cob thoroughbred cross, was bought for Georgia’s twin who wasn’t so interested. He is by the Allison family’s Gypsy cob stallion John Brodie so it was a bit of a homecoming for the very inquisitive but loveable horse.
“He is pretty annoying and wants to be part of everything you do,” says Georgia. “He doesn’t like to be left out of anything . . . but he is delightful and so brave. In the time we have had him he hasn’t stopped at a single fence – he just loves his job. He had never done any jumping competitions when I got him and we were third in the high points at our first proper outing.”
Hokey Pokey has shone at dressage and will compete in the Level 1 at HOY as well as showing where he will be defending the in-hand part-bred Gypsy Cob of the Year and ridden part-bred Gypsy Cob of the Year crowns he won with his previous owner Sally Halcombe.
Both horses are also in the top six of the Gyro Plastics Junior High Points Series too. “That is particularly good for Hokey Pokey who only started part way through the season but I am really pleased for Paintball as I had to train him such a different way of going while Hokey was a blank slate, so not hard.”
Georgia only used Hokey Pokey for one of her junior equitation classes and that was when it clashed with the junior showjumping series class she was doing on Paintball. The Year 13student does a lot of dressage and schooling with her horses. “We hardly ever jump at home, preferring to do mostly flat work and a bit of hacking for brain breaks.”
In the Junior Equitation final class today, Georgia and Paintball placed third with Sarah Hay (Macraes Flat) and Tikity Tok taking the win. Georgia and Paintball also placed second in the Gyro Plastics Junior High Points Series.
Georgia has been riding since she was two, competing since she was four and took up show hunter at seven. She has previously also won the National Cat A Show Hunter Championship and been in the top six of at least one series most years. She’s thankful for the huge support she gets from her parents Bridget and Murray who both rode and trainer Michelle Wardell.
Next year she is hoping to head to a showjumping yard in the UK and of course long term, dreams of wearing a silver fern at a top event. “It’s everyone’s goal isn’t it,” she says. “I am not sure how I will do that.”
Given her track record, chances are high she’ll give it her best shot.
ESNZ Junior Equitation Series: Georgia Allison (Oxford) Paintball and Hokey Pokey 68 points 1, Ella Miranda (Feilding) Kinnordy Go Girl 62 points 2, Antonio Matangi (Levin) Shoeshine Polish and Marua 54 points 3, Lauren Mitchell (Kumeu) Sonny Bill and Craighaven Black Heart 43 points 4, Sarah Hay (Macraes Flat) Tikity Tok 36 points 5, Sophie Fisher (Cambridge) HR Moonbeam Zig Zag 35 points 6.
Final class: Sarah Hay (Macraes Flat) Tikity Tok 1, Ella Miranda (Feilding) Kinnordy Go Girl 2, Georgia Allison (Oxford) Paintball 3, Nicole Lelean (Kumeu) Valetto 4, Lauren Mitchell (Kumeu) Sonny Bill 5, Antonio Matangi (Levin) Shoeshine Polish 6.
By Diana Dobson, 13th March 2019