Title at Very First HOY

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Madeleine Murrell headed to the 2013 Horse of the Year Show hopeful of winning just a single ribbon . . . instead she came home with a title.

Aboard her 12-year-old mare Little Blessing – or Krissy as she is known at home – Murrell won the Champion Pleasure Pony at her very first HOY. They also won best rider, best trotting pony, were second in the turn out and picked up a fourth before taking the supreme.

“It was breath-taking,” said the 12-year-old from Carterton. “Mum was laughing and crying at the same time.”

Murrell has had Krissy for two years, and in their four A and P outings before last year’s HOY, they had picked up three champions.

“She will try so hard for you,” she says. “She has never bucked or kicked or done anything naughty and just loves cuddles and attention.”

HOY is a favourite outing for Murrell.

“I just love the whole atmosphere there,” she says. “It is very busy, but such fun to go to.”

She doesn’t plan to defend her title this year, opting instead to ride in the level two dressage, however, she will still be competing in the pleasure classes with Willowview Ginger Griffin.

“He used to be a little naughty,” says Murrell, who is riding the pony for a friend.

On their first outing, after just five rides together, they won Champion Pleasure Pony at the Masterton A and P Show.

“I was pretty happy about that,” she says. “Each time we go out, I aim to ride better than I did the time before.”

Murrell’s mum Pam is the groom and support crew at shows and at home.

“We talk about that (HOY) win all the time,” says Pam. “She is lucky to have experienced such jubilation at a young age. Horses are her life though – and they have taken over ours! She is always out there checking her horses to make sure they are warm and happy, regardless of the weather!”

Hopes are high the show hunter ring will be the next step for this budding young rider.


PHOTO CREDIT: Belinda Pratt Photography