Complete Belief in Her 'Super Cool' Stallion

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Clydesdales are very much a family affair for Kylie Northcott and her father Derrick Thornton . . . that's both with training and winning.

Northcott, who with nine-year-old stallion DT Oliver won both the Ashburn Clydesdale Stud Supreme Champion and the In Hand Horse of the Year at the 2013 show, takes care of the breed section classes, while Thornton competes in the working section. He picked up the Working Horse of the Year with nine-year-old gelding Llewynn Howard for the third year on the trot. Howard was also reserve to Oliver in the supreme line-up.

It’s from her father that Northcott has inherited her love of horses.

“HOY 2013 was definitely our best,” says Northcott, a mother of two teenagers.

She and husband Bevan have 40 acres in Taranaki but no horses are to be found there – instead they are in Cambridge at her parents’ property.

“It does mean that on Friday night we head north, but there are only half a dozen or so shows for clydies.”

The horses are in full work at the Waikato property, and Oliver is a one of the few stallions to do so.

“When I was a kid we had a dairy farm. Dad wasn’t mechanical at all and the day the tractor went down the drive, two unbroken clydies came home.”

Thornton, a farrier who is well known in the horse industry, worked dairy farm with his clydies, cropping and everything.

“Dad has a real affinity with them. We all learnt to shoe horses, but dad can still do it a whole lot quicker than I can!”

Thirty-five-year-old Northcott is a territory manager for Deosan Manufacturing, which takes her to dairy farms all over Taranaki.

Both Oliver and Howard will be back at HOY this year to defend their titles and could face competition from very close to home.

Until early March, Oliver reigned supreme at the clydie shows for three years . . . but was beaten by his rising two-year-old son Sirocco Storm (owned by Karla McKnight). McKnight has a broken foot so Storm is back with the Northcott-Thornton team and it was Northcott showing him when he beat her very own Oliver.

The family also plan to bring mares DT Jessica and DT Nell.

“I would love to finish the season on a high with Oliver,” says Northcott. “He is super cool. That supreme last year was such a special win – he has been pipped every time but I absolutely believed he could win!”