Road To The Horse 2018: How Wild Horses Helped Vicki WIN THE World Championships
26th March 2018
With the Kaimanawa muster only days away and 50% of the herds being culled, in what will be the largest muster in years, we thought it appropriate to acknowledge the huge impact the wild Kaimanawas have had in Vicki's recent success at the World Championships of Colt Starting.
If you've read our books you'll know all the catalysts that led to her back-to-back wins at Road to the Horse, but for those of you that haven't, here is a quick breakdown:
In 2012 the Kaimanawa pony Watch Me Move won the Pony of the Year with Tegan Newman and we were all invited down to see the wild horses in the Kaimanawa Ranges of New Zealand. A month later we saved 11 wild horses from slaughter during the biennial culls - one of which was Major, an 18-year-old stallion who taught Vicki more than any other horse she'd worked with (by then she'd started hundreds of horses under saddle, having tamed her first untouched stallion at just 9-years-old). Five months after Major was mustered he tragically passed away, inspiring the Stallion Challenges and also Kelly to pen her first book (of which she now has seven bestselling titles). As part of the Stallion Challenges, the hit-rating television show Keeping Up With The Kaimanawas was commissioned by TVNZ, and Vicki was assigned Argo to train, one of 12 horses we saved from the 2014 muster.
Our work with the Kaimanawas led to an invitation to compete in the Extreme Mustang Makeover (where we travelled 5000 kilometres around the Wild West, taming 11 wild Mustangs over 100 days), which led to an invitation to compete in the Australian Brumby Challenge. It was at this event, which was hosted at Equitana Australia in 2016, that led to Vicki being scouted by Dan James to compete in the World Championships of Colt Starting in 2017, and then again in 2018 to defend her title.
So the moral of the story... if you're passionate about horses and want to turn it into a career, then take on a wild horse - not only will you save a life but you will undoubtably learn from these remarkable horses and improve your timing, feel and horsemanship. Taming those first horses in 2012 surely changed our lives and we know they can change yours too.