A striking chestnut mare teamed with one of the best producers in the country is a recipe for success. Alex Robinson speaks to the connections of this promising six-year-old riding horse
Need to know…
Class: large riding horse
Breeding: Diamond Hit x Wolkentanz
Breeder: Annabel Jenks
Rider: Robert Walker
Owner: Miranda Wallace
Greatest achievements: first and novice riding horse champion UK Nationals; first, novice riding horse champion and novice supreme British Show Horse Association (BSHA) autumn gala, all 2020
Rider Robert Walker
“The one word I’d use to describe ‘Ziva’ is classy. While she is still babyish, there are glimpses of the horse she’ll be in the future.
“She arrived at our yard 10 days before the UK Nationals, her debut outing with us. In the supreme at the BSHA [British Show Horse Association] championships, she stepped up to the plate and her performance is something we can take forward into next year. I felt that she wanted to win the supreme as much as I did. She entered the ring first, walked out and went about her job, giving me everything and more. She rode like an out-and-out champion.
“When she first arrived at the yard she was in season, but she’s slowly chilled out and has now really settled down. With mares, you should always ask and never tell, so she’s enjoying a nice holiday before commencing preparation for next year.
“Ziva loves her work and I’m excited to see how far she goes. We are lucky to have some lovely hunters coming through and it’s nice to add a riding horse to the string.”
Owner Miranda Wallace
“We had been on the hunt for a large riding horse since we lost our 2019 BSHA supreme champion Southhills The Sorcerer, who was sadly put to sleep earlier this year after sustaining a leg injury. I’d seen Ziva with her previous owner, Martin Skelton, on social media and was instantly taken with her.
“The opportunity to buy her came in August and we jumped at the chance; she then went straight to Rob’s base. Ten days later, she was champion at the UK Nationals. She’s got better and better as time has gone on and she’s already formed a great partnership with Rob.
“Ziva is full sister to the prolific Diamonds Are Forever and her athletic movement reminds me of his. She has so much presence and her dressage breeding really comes through when you watch her perform. She is the epitome of a riding horse. She loves her routine and as she’s had a busy 12 months, she’s enjoying a quiet holiday. In the future, the aim is to have her back home and run her on as a broodmare.”
Judge Frances Atkinson
“When I judged this mare to be novice riding horse champion at the BSHA Autumn Gala, she was outstanding. I couldn’t take my eyes off her and I had to force myself to look away at the others. She had great presence, a super forehand and beautiful paces. It wasn’t a big class and it was unusual that three of the four contenders in the novice riding horse championship were mares.
“She’s a proper riding horse; these days some have a tendency to be neither one type or another, but she could not be mistaken for anything else. She was one of those big-striding horses I would love to sit on.
“Like a lot of novices, it was obvious she’d benefited from the extra time she’d been given this year. The championship could have been at open level – the quality was excellent.”
Ref: Horse & Hound; 26 November 2020
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