Reaping the Rewards

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Carlton Extreme Edition may not have been good enough as a race horse, but he is certainly turning out to be a super star in the showing ring.

With his doting Hastings-based owner Tina Sergeant-Boyce aboard, the combination last year won the Mrs Tiny White Supreme Show Hack of the Year (over 158cm), adding to a trophy cabinet that already included Supreme Newcomer at the National Champs, Débutante of the Year at HOY in 2012 and Supreme Ridden Thoroughbred.

The horse was bought as a yearling with racing in mind, but slow maturing, so turned out for a while to grow. Sergeant-Boyce and her mum Dianne broke him in together.

"He was a very easy horse," she says. "He was big as a two-year-old but all legs."

Don, as he is known at home, raced as Stairway to Heaven but there was nothing starry about this chap on the track.

Since then though, he’s found a new calling. Between her two horses – Real Lladro and Carlton Extreme Edition, Sergeant-Boyce is getting quite a collection of supreme and champion ribbons on her wall.

Sergeant-Boyce finished riding ponies at 13 and went straight onto mum’s home-bred Real Lladro, who she still competes on.

The A team will be on duty at the 2014 NRM Horse of the Year Show where Sergeant-Boyce will also have three-year-old Carlton Royal Doulton, a full brother to Real Lladro, in the in hand show classes. Carlton Extreme Edition is again doing saddle classes as well as in hand show classes, while Real Lladro will do both working hunter and show hunter.

"I would love to win the Hack of the Year title again, I kind of felt it was a bit of a fluke last year but everyone says I rode well. We were a late entry, so had to go first in the class, so was surprised to win. Mum was walking back to the truck and I was getting ready to leave the ring when it sunk in they were calling my name . . . I just burst into tears."

This season has been "the best of my life", so maybe the stars are aligning for an even better HOY.

The 18-year-old is hugely grateful for the support she receives from her mother.

"My mum is am wonderful horsewoman . . . one of a kind really. I have only ever been to one show without her! It will be just me and mum at HOY – no flash grooms around here!"

They are big believers in starting from scratch and doing all the hard yards.

"It is so much more rewarding when you bring a horse on yourself."


PHOTO CREDIT: Lesley Warwick, Showshots