Jody Hartstone has a raft of reasons to look forward to EQUITANA Auckland. The Raglan-based equestrienne is well-respected as a trainer, a dressage rider, an educator and a breeder. She’ll be back at the biennial event as a Grand Prix dressage competitor, a clinician sharing her equitation science knowledge and as part of the inaugural New Zealand Warmblood Association supported sport horse auction.
“I am absolutely looking forward to the auction,” she says. “I have two of my own in it and I really do believe this is the way to buy horses.”
Like so many Kiwi youngsters, Jody started her love of horses through Pony Club. She and a few other horse-mad mates re-established the Te Uku branch of the Hamilton Pony Club and the rest is history.
Since then, she has firmly established herself both on and off shore for her talent and ability. She realised, at 21, when she captained the New Zealand Pony Club team to the Inter-Pacific Rally in Japan that horses were something she could make a living from.
Through a series of coincidences she got a breeding stallion, starting competing full time in dressage and took Belmont Golden Boy right through to the Prix St George title at HOY. “He won every championship there was to win in his final two years.”
She twice won HOY Grand Prix titles with Whisper and Landioso and now has her fourth Grand Prix stallion Ali Baba, a Lusitano who certainly has his own fan club around the country. But it was her HOY crown with Landioso that was probably her most treasured victory. “It was his fifth and final go. He was 22 years old and had been second the four previous years. He would win the grand Prix, place second in the freestyle and end up second overall. So that win for him was a beautiful swansong and a lovely send off for such a special horse.”
Her passion for equitation science sees her in demand all over the world. “It’s the science behind how animals learn and I teach people from beginners right through to riders who are going to the Olympic Games,” says Jody. “My work as a trainer is super varied. It might be trailer loading a difficult horse, then retraining a showjumper who won’t jump water, then next it’s a dressage horse having trouble with piaffe. No two days are ever the same.”
Catch Jody Hartstone at the EQUITANA Auckland Norwood Dressage Grand Prix on Thursday.
// EQUITANA Auckland 21-24 November 2019