Vicki Prendergast was happy to end the Bayleys National Young Horse Championship Show with an age group crown aboard a catch ride on a horse she had bred . . . but then it got a whole lot better when her homebred Selena C won the Matthews Hanoverians-sponsored best performed mare.
“I didn’t expect this at all,” said the Matamata horsewoman, who placed third in the EvoEvents Horse Grand Prix (co-sponsored by Isaacs Electrical) and fourth in the FEI CSI 1* (sponsored by Shirley Webb and Webb Show Jumping) at the show. The award was given on the Grand Prix placing.
Vicki bred the Holsteiner cross in 2012. She is by Cardento, out of Sofee, who is by Powerfee. “I just really like her and we get on so well,” says Vicki, who has had three World Cup starts on the mare, with a best effort of fourth at Hawera in the final in January.
Vicki used to own Selena’s older brother Sangster but sold him to Australia and “needed to love another one”, and she was next in line. “As a foal she was ugly! She looked like a mule and even her paddock name is Ugly.” Sangster, who is now in the United States, was just the opposite.
“We are both a little bit weird and she suits me. She is the easiest to ride but the most difficult in the warm-up. She is super horse shy and just petrified of being around other horses.”
Selena’s fear of everything has led to Vicki not breeding from her. “I think getting embryos off her would be dangerous and I am just not prepared to sacrifice her to produce a horse I may not like to ride,” she says.
“Selena – and her mum – are very special to me and it is nice for that mare line to be recognised.” Sofee had four of her progeny competing at the Champs. “She has had two colts in a row now, and nearly died foaling this year.” The two are three quarter brothers to Selena and, according to Vicki, are “stunning. “I am not planning on parting with them in a hurry.”
Vicki is based at Sanderston Park, which is named after Selena’s grandmother and Vicki’s first hack, who went on to being leased to Brazil for the Olympic Games. Vicki evented to advanced and did all the training with the mare however she couldn’t afford to head to the UK, so after the Games, Sanderston came home to the brood mare paddock.
The Jumping Team – 16 December 2022