Johanna Wylaars rides Campari, Land Rover Horse of the Year 2024, Tomoana Showgrounds, Hastings, New Zealand. Thursday, March 07, 2024 Copyright Photo: KAMPIC / Kerry Marshall


Young gun Johanna Wylaars is no stranger to the winner’s circle and has already had much success on ponies, including having the Pony Grand Prix National Title under her belt. This season, that belt gained another notch as she claimed the FMG Young Rider Series Title.

 The hardworking Year 13 student at Marian College in Christchurch who starts her day by feeding and mucking out the horses and finishes it by exercising them – with a few hours of education in-between, was full of praise for both of her mounts that helped her to this title.

 “The first half of the season was Vera (Cassera MS) and Alfie (Campari) mainly in the second half, both were so consistent and helped to get the points”.

 Notching up a total of seven wins over the season, consistency was certainly the key to the success of this talented rider and her super team. Bred and produced out of the Matawhio Stables, Cassera MS joined Team Wylaars two years ago. Whilst they had a pretty quiet first season, this season they have jumped Young Riders and stepped up to Grand Prix. Winter training is their focus for now and they look forward to having another great season come spring.

 “I am also very lucky to have the ride on Campari from Penny & Mike Tapley since Christmas. He’s just been amazing for me, he is so cool, and Penny & Mike are great owners, they are so supportive”.

 Two wins really stood out for Johanna, and also made her long trip up from the ‘Mainland’ worth it. At Gisborne, she was the only one to jump a clear round – on not only one horse, but two! “That was a special class, it was pretty cool to be able to do that”.

 The Young Rider of the Year at HOY was a nail-biter in every way, but in the end the honours were shared between Johanna & Campari and Charlotte Condor & Kiwi Bonus. “Winning Young Rider of the Year alongside Charlotte was pretty cool”.

 As Johanna’s school journey is nearing its end, she is looking to go to Lincoln University with the idea of living at home so she can keep the horses going through her further education.

 “Although I’ve got no idea what I want to study yet, I’d like to get a degree behind me and then focus on the horses. Obviously getting a job to support me is good, but the horses are a priority and something I want to take further in the future”.

 Looking to next season, Johanna will take each day as it comes with Vera, “but Young Rider may not be my focus, will just see what happens”. She also has a rising eight year old that has performed well in the Young Horse classes that may step up to Young Rider level, as well lots of young ones sitting in the paddock. “We have a couple of rising four year olds that we have owned since yearlings, they may get to a show but I will mainly focus on their training and get them out in their five year old season”.

 Whatever the next few years hold, we are sure that this won’t be the last we hear of Johanna Wylaars!

FMG has been supporting equines since 1905. They sponsor a range of community events and initiatives that align with their values of supporting rural New Zealand progress, innovate and succeed.

At FMG, their specialist equine team are not only passionate and experienced, they also know exactly what to look for when it comes to properly insuring your horse and it’s gear.

FMG also insure lifestyle blocks and the many things that a standard city policy doesn’t cover. Whether it’s your horse escaping and causing an accident, a tree falling onto your neighbour’s property, or your bridge or culverts getting washed out by a storm, FMG offer protection for the different risks that come with living rurally.

Results of the FMG Young Rider Series 2023-2024

1st – Johanna Wylaars

2nd – Penny Borthwick

3rd – Charlotte Condor

4th – Molly Moffatt

5th – Anna Nalder

6th – Sophia Blackbourn


The Jumping Team – 10 June 2024