No.1 bestselling author, award-winning photographer, reality television star, wild horse tamer, motivational speaker, equestrian and adventurer – there is no doubt that Kelly is living a life most people could only dream of.
Having grown up with horses in rural New Zealand, Kelly showjumped to Pony Grand Prix level before focusing on her creative talents. After winning a scholarship to the Auckland University of Technology, she graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design before going on to become an award-winning photographer and designer.
In 2012, alongside her sisters Vicki and Amanda, Kelly began a journey to raise awareness about the plight of wild horses around the world. Their work taming New Zealand’s wild Kaimanawas, the American Mustangs and Australian Brumbies features in two documentaries and the hit-rating television show Keeping Up With The Kaimanawas which was watched by over half a million New Zealanders, as well as screening in Australia and the UK, making them a household name.
In 2013 Penguin Random House commissioned the Wilson sisters’ autobiography For the Love of Horses, Kelly’s first number one bestselling title. Since then, their adventures taming wild horses has resulted in another three bestselling non-fiction titles; Stallion Challenges, Mustang Ride and Saving the Snowy Brumbies, as well as the number one bestselling children’s book Ranger, the Kaimanawa Stallion.
Back in 2012 when their journey with the Kaimanawas began, Kelly had no idea where her affinity for wild horses would take her. Now, alongside a long list of bestselling books and award-winning photographs of wild horses, Kelly is the only trainer in the world to have achieved top 6 finishes in the Extreme Mustang Makeover, Kaimanawa Stallion Challenges and Australian Brumby Challenge.
She is grateful for the opportunity to have learnt from three iconic wild horse breeds, and is the first to admit that none of it would have been possible without her family or their unorthodox childhood. Born into a family recovering from near-bankruptcy, Kelly and her sisters learnt to ride bareback and had to train wild and difficult ponies, for want of the money to afford anything else. The work ethic, passion and determination that they learnt in those early years, which saw them overcome both their financial and social circumstances, has been captured in Kelly’s most recent work, the number one bestselling junior fiction series Showtym Adventures, which unravels the Wilson sisters’ early years growing up with horses and their inspirational rise to success in the competition arena.