Thoroughbreds - forward thinking, willing, brave, trainable, agile and gallop easily.
They are a versatile breed of horse and with their trainability, never give up attitude and toughness they are ideal candidates for eventing competitors.
1996 Olympic champion Ready Teddy (Brilliant Invader x Double Summer) was the epitome of the versatile thoroughbred and was pretty perfect in the eyes of Blyth Tait.
Each year the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association honour ‘Ted’ at the 4* Matamata Equestrian Group Horse Trial with the Ready Teddy Trophy, dress rug and $500 cash prize for the best performed thoroughbred.
Tait was on hand to award the 2022 Ready Teddy Trophy to Monica Spencer and Artist (Guillotine x Maxamore), affectionately known as ‘Max’.
“I was honoured to present the award this year,” Tait said. “It was very well received and it was an indication that the thoroughbred very much has a place in eventing and is the biggest winner of the day.”
Artist, bred by Windsor Park Stud Ltd, painted his potential by posting the best overall performance in 4* class alongside the Ready Teddy Award on Sunday. He and Spencer are currently listed in the New Zealand High Performance Futures Squad.
“It was an honour to win that trophy,” Spencer said proudly. “I’ve won it once before and I think it’s awesome to remember such a great horse like Ready Teddy.”
Not only did Spencer ride away with the Ready Teddy Trophy and four star honours, she also won the two star and three star events. Chasing Great (Postponed x Big To Do), Spencer’s winning three star ride, is also a thoroughbred and was bred and raced by Tina and Chris Barlow.
In recent years there has been an increased emphasis on responsible rehoming of thoroughbreds and with their impressive athletic abilities and attitudes they are well-received in the sport horse arena.
Artist was not only bred by Windsor Park Stud, he is also an Event Stars graduate which is owned and operated by Gina Schick, co-owner of Windsor Park Stud and wife of Stud Master Rodney Schick.
The Schicks said the proud feeling breeders receive when their racehorses win black-type success is a similar to that which Gina receives when her Event Star graduates become high class athletes.
“I also get great pleasure when I get pictures of families riding on the beach and in the bush, she said. “As long as those horses have gone on to a life where they are happy and in a good environment then I am happy.”
Rodney Schick echoed those sentiments and said it was about seeing a horse being well cared for and having purpose.
“We breed horses, we adore horses,” he said. “As long as they go onto a life where they have a good productive life, whether that’s with a family or a competitive home, that’s important.
“We follow a lot of the horses we retire, any horse that can reach their potential through racing or a life after racing is great. We just want to breed horses that are sound.
“It’s not quite like your own children but you follow them as they are a part of your family,”
Artist is out of Maxamore (Volksraad) a Matamata Breeder Stakes winner that was bred and raced by Bruce and Moraine Douglas.
When they retired from breeding they gave the mare to Windsor Park and Schick recalls her as an extremely attractive mare with a temperament to match.
“He (Artist) was a magnificent foal and beautiful moving,” Schick said. “He just didn’t have a huge amount of ability on the racetrack so when we decided to retire him he went to Event Stars.
“Gina rehomed him there and it is awesome to see him go on and succeed at the levels he is at. We’re just stoked to see him reach his potential.”
“When you’re a breeder you enjoy horses, it’s not just about racing it’s about having a life after racing as well. I love eventing and sport horses as well so it’s awesome to be able to be a part of something that supports off the track thoroughbreds and have them to go on and have an future athletic career.” -Maddy Tims, NZTBA