Kirsty Ogilvie and Shoot the Breeze jumping their way to win the NZ National Open Title for Show Hunter – Photo by Michelle Clarke Photography
The accolades just keep on coming for Kirsty Ogilvie and her very talented thoroughbred Shoot the Breeze who won the Cheryl Bristow Bodywork NZ National Open Title and the best-performed thoroughbred show hunter of the Tavendale and Partners New Zealand National Jumping and Show Hunter Championships in Christchurch.
Kirsty and Merv, as he is known by his mates, have quite the CV spanning show hunter, showjumping, eventing, dressage and showing.
“He really is that one in a million horse,” says the Christchurch PE teacher.
She bought the horse as a four-year-old. He had done three failed trials on the track and she paid a princely $600 for him. “He was my best purchase ever!”
The 16-year-old has won the National three-day-event crown, twice won the national pro-am rider crowns at nationals, the amateur eventing series, the inaugural TiES dressage award, and was champion hack at the Christchurch Show. He’s now retired from eventing and they’ve backed off the higher level showjumping, going back to show hunter and round the ring competitions.
“We were top three in the 1.2m-1.3m champ at Nationals in 2020 but we got to a stage where he just wasn’t loving the big showjumping,” says Kirsty; “He is a super wee boy but is a right little rat fink too and a cheeky little sod. He is always the hardest ride at home and pulls my arms out. While he is quirky I trust him with my life and he really knows his worth. He likes being no.1 and doesn’t let you forget it.”
She was chuffed with their open show hunter crown at the 2023 nationals, where they were also part of the winning team with Accidently Awesome.
“I was very lucky today,” said Kirsty.
“There were some lovely combinations out there and some nice rounds. It was a very tough class.”
The combination also picked up placings in equitation and other bits and pieces along the way. “We were just really lucky. He is always a very clean jumper and I think a few rails from others helped our cause. He put up with my mistakes too!”
It was certainly very special to bag the big win. “We have had a lovely season and he has been so consistent throughout. I just wanted to win a ribbon really.”
And especially on the back of a “crappy” previous season. “Everything went wrong. I broke my ribs, dented my face and we were both losing a bit of confidence so for him to come in and be so happy and perform so well is really cool. He really has spoilt me for other horses.”
Kirsty says she loves eventing too much to make a complete switch to show hunter. “I like bringing my babies out in show hunter to get those foundations established,” she says.
Kirsty is looking forward to her next mission which sees her off to Mexico mid-year with the Global Amateur Tour.
The Jumping Team – 15 February 2023