Akers and Harty Eye up Another Title

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Show hunter, Chloe Akers and Cortaflex Kiwi Motto just seem to go hand in hand . . . or should that be hand in hoof?

The 24-year-old early childhood teacher from the Manawatu has won the NZ Horse and Pony Magazine Horse Show Hunter of the Year three times, and Kiwi Motto – or Harty as he is known at home – can claim a fourth.

The combination head into the 2014 NRM Horse of the Year Show completely focussed on reclaiming their title, but Akers says she knows their golden run won’t last forever.

“It gets harder each time,” she says. “I put even more pressure on myself because I know he can win it! The winning streak has to come to an end at some point doesn’t it.”

In 2011, Akers and Harty won both the junior and open show hunter titles, and last year were fourth in the 1.35m (showjumping).

Having been involved in show hunter “forever”, Akers says it is very noticeable how much the standard of the discipline has risen over the years.

“There is always a new horse in a season that gives you a run for your money!”

And then there is the “on the day factor” to be considered too.

But 12-year-old Harty seems to know just what he has to do and when, to keep ahead of the opposition.

They won’t be starting in any showjumping at HOY this year, focussing instead of show hunter. And Akers says she is really looking forward to be doing the show hunter championship in the Land Rover Premier Arena.

“That is going to be pretty exciting. This year Harty has done everything I have wanted, and heads into this weekend’s university series final at the front, but it is going to come down to that very last class.”

Akers will be leaving HOY on the Saturday as she flies out the day after with the New Zealand team heading to the 11th World University Equestrian Championships in Abu Dhabi. It is the second time she has made the team.

Looking ahead, Akers says this may be Harty’s last year in show hunter as she has a youngster coming through who she thinks would benefit a lot from the discipline.

“I do think show hunter is good because there is not much room for error and you are out there trying to ride the perfect round. Then you just need to transfer it all to showjumping – well, that is the theory!”


PHOTO CREDIT: Christine Cornege Photography