Squirt fires in first day of NZ HOY

Back to Article Search
Horse Of The Year

By Diana Dobson

The pretty palomino horse who captured the hearts of the nation after being found with wood preservative splashed on his face has had a great start to the 2011 New Zealand Horse of the Year Show. Squirt and owner Kathryn Corry had a win in the 1m open show hunter, third in the amateur show hunter and fifth in the welcome hunter. The title classes for show hunter are on Saturday.

Corry is keen to put the past few “weeks of hell” behind her and concentrate on competing. “I just want to go out and do the best we can. It's been hell the last few weeks and every morning I see Squirt my heart goes out to him.” Squirt was found with creosote splashed on his face at the NZ series final show in Hawera in early March. Police investigations into the attack are continuing, and while they have interviewed people, no arrests have been made. But his burns are healing thanks to both conventional and alternate treatment, and Squirt is back to his cheeky self, much to the relief of his owner. “I wouldn't be here if I didn't think he wasn't.”

She says she's been humbled by the outpouring of support. “It's been a bit overwhelming – phenomenal really. I've had so many calls and offers from people I don't even know. It's nice to know there is such support out there.” Thirteen-year-old Squirt, who has been with Piopio based Corry since he was seven, is handily placed in the amateur leaderboard, sitting just four points behind the leader, as they head into the final classes at the Horse of the Year Show. Extra stable security has been put in place for Squirt while at the show.

Equestrian Sports New Zealand chief executive Jim Ellis is delighted to see Corry and Squirt at the Horse of the Year Show. “This is the biggest event of our equestrian year and everyone is delighted to see that Squirt has recovered enough to be able to take his place in front of the huge crowds expected in Hastings this week,” says Ellis. The Horse of the Year Show started in Hastings yesterday and will run through until Sunday.