Victoria Wall and Astek Gymnast win 2010 NZ Young Horse Title
Auckland based Victoria Wall and her young five-year-old gelding Astek Gymnast (by Gym Bello x Falkensee) have been crowned the New Zealand Young Dressage Horse. The pair beat out solid competition from Rakanui Embracing (Lynne King), Glamour Star (Leanne Smith) and Diva's Glory MH (Casey Johnson) to win the title. The horses were judged by Bernard Maurel (France), Jan Bird and ridden by Australia’s Nicholas Fyffe.
Fyffe, an Australian Grand Prix ride, r says he thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to ride some of New Zealand’s top young dressage horses, and praised the quality of horses.
"Really any issues that were evident are the same ones we experience in Australia and America and all around the world. I just wanted to judge the horses as they were on the day and get an idea of how they might train in the future,” he said. “Most of them were very loose and willing to go forwards and use their bodies. I found all the horses really nice to ride and that they were progressing on the right lines, some of them were just a little bit under developed for their age and need a little more time, but they were all still really good quality horses.”
Following Fyffe's ride, the top four, five and six year old horses went through to the final, where an overall champion was chosen. The three finalists were Rakanui Embracing (Lynne King) as top 4yo, Astek Gymnast (Victoria Wall) as top 5yo and Diva’s Glory MH (Casey Johnson) as top 6yo.
Victoria Wall’s lovely Astek Gymnast, a Hanoverian x Thoroughbred cross by Gym Bello (an Australian bred stallion by Gymnastik Star (by Gluckspilz) out of a Graf Lundau dam) out of a Falkensee dam, was chosen as the overall Young Horse National Champion. Already this delightful and willing gelding has won Champion Novice Horse and Champion Young Dressage Horse at the Auckland Manukau Festival of Dressage. The pair also won the Bates Level 2 National title, fending off top competition from the likes of Kallista Field with Sobranie FE and Casey Johnson with Diva’s Glory MH.
"I've had him since he was 18 months old. He is lovely natured, very honest and super trainable. He has done four or five championship shows this season after being very lightly campaigned last season following a terrible accident at Horse of the Year where he punctured his jaw, so for him to come back from that and do so well is extra special," said Wall.
Having trained with Leonie Bramell for the past two years, Wall now heads off to Horse of the Year where hopefully she will have a better time than last year. Wall and Astek Gymnast currently lead the Zilco Level 2 leaderboard.