Liz Hutson rides Knavish Trick

Congratulations Liz Hutson, ESNZ’s May 2021 Volunteer of the Month!

Liz is one of those people who gets what she wants. This is because she is prepared to plan and work hard to get it.

When 11 years old, she took the contents of her squirrel saver, popped around to the local riding school with some friends (who lent her the extra 20 bucks she needed) and purchased Phantom. The bonus was that he came with a bridle. What she did not tell her parents was that he was a three-year-old colt! He sometimes lived in their suburban backyard. He was soon gelded on the side of the river for a further thirty bucks and he was sold two years later for $300.

Liz then stepped up to a Palomino mare called Honey, of course, described as a “second pony”.

“We all know what that means,” said Liz, “she was a bit of disaster”. From those humble beginnings Liz progressed to the lofty heights of being selected for the New Zealand team at the 2020 FEI Dressage World Challenge on Hapsburgh PSH (Pete) at Intermediate I level. She said she was absolutely amazed as there were so many deserving combinations and she was proud of her horse and herself. Liz has trained Pete from a youngster so all credit for this achievement.

Liz understands that for our sport to survive and prosper, riders must step up and contribute if events and other group activities are to meet their needs. There is no point sitting back and complaining that what’s on offer doesn’t suit; she just rolls up her sleeves and gets stuck in. And this is what happened when Dressage NZ partnered with Dressage Wellington to host the 2020 FEI Challenge. Liz was a pivotal contact and local organiser for the Dressage NZ team to work with, as well as helping to secure funding for the event.

When you talk to Liz’s team at Dressage Wellington the response is loud and clear: If you want something done properly, ask Liz. She admits she finds it hard to say no but enjoys feeling part of the need and needed.

She has volunteered her horse for the Australian team at the U25 Youth Festival and thoroughly enjoys seeing the confirmation of her training.

“It is rewarding when a complete stranger can hop on Pete push his buttons and get the right answer.” So much so that the Waldebago Trophy for the NZ Young Rider Championship found its way back to Australia last year.

ESNZ Volunteer of the Month receives a gift in recognition of their contribution; Liz’s is on its way to her.

You can nominate your ESNZ Volunteer of the Month by emailing us at [email protected]  with Volunteer of the Month in the subject line.

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