It is with great sadness that we learnt of Helen Thomson’s passing at Wellington Hospital on 2 February 2024.  Helen has been a stalwart of the eventing community for a long time.  As a member of the small Eventing Taranaki committee, she was a strong contributor to the running of their annual horse trials at Hawera.  Usually taking on multiple roles: dressage convenor, dressage judge and xcountry starter.

Many event organisers took pleasure in asking Helen to judge at events, as she always said yes, and often volunteered her good friend Hazel to judge as well.  After her arena finished, she was part of the team to take the arena down.  Volunteers like Helen are hard to find.

As Helen’s passing was just before Eventing Taranaki’s annual horse trials, it was quite an emotional event for the organising team.  Her daughter, Georgie is the current president of Eventing Taranaki.  There were some comments about the mixed weather experienced during Saturday’s competition being a tribute to Helen.  Waikato’s Jenny Draper spoke of Helen at the event’s Saturday night BBQ, with comments about her contribution to eventing and dressage in Waikato as well.   I am sure that there will be many other regions which Helen supported by judging and volunteering her time over many years.

Kia hora te marino, Kia whakapapa pounamu te moana, kia tere te Kārohirohi i mua i tōu huarahi. May the calm be widespread, May the ocean glisten as greenstone, May the shimmer of light ever dance across your pathway. 

Rest in peace Helen, your presence in the equestrian community will missed.

Helen (left) her daughter Georgie Pullins (right) (current president of Eventing Taranaki) and Helen’s granddaughter Charlotte (middle)