Sponsored Rider - Taylor Family
Hunter Justin Taylor
Born 21st September 2002
- Started riding when he was 7 & now competes in both hacking & dressage
- He wasn’t interested in any other sport at the time
- He attended Tudor House and was in Year 2 when they offered horse riding as one of their sporting options
- As a 7 year old, Hunter rode once a week on the lead and soon was able to ride on his own
- We bought him a 12.2 riding pony called “Disney”. Hunter says Disney was a good first horse to learn from and helped him start from the basics, to get a taste of showing.
- He started doing gymkhanas and he was successful at those, so we tried a few agricultural shows
- He proved he was very interested and competitive at these shows so we headed off to Canberra Royal for our first big Royal show!
- Hunter’s pony was called “Disney”, while all the other ponies had proper show names
- Needless to say, he went “in, round and out”, as we say in the show ring, where the judge doesn’t give you the chance of doing a workout because he/she doesn’t think your pony is quality enough
- There were 3 heats of about 12 ponies that year at Canberra Royal in the Child’s show pony – the pony who won was called Willowcroft Miss Saigon
- Not long after, Willowcroft Miss Saigon was put up for sale – we went up to Queensland to ride her and Hunter clicked with her straight away!
- “Poppy”, her stable name, was purchased by us and became Hunter’s little star, putting his name on the map in the show ring
- Together they won many events and gave Hunter the confidence he needed as a young boy, who loved competing in the show ring
- A few years later we purchased Poppy’s full sister, “Coco” – Willowcroft Coco Chanel
- Coco was already a champion open Galloway in her own right but together, Hunter and Coco continued to win many big events, including the Grand Nationals Open Small Galloway in 2017. This is one of Hunter's proudest moments.
- Hunter also has a black warmblood mare, 15 hands, called “Paris” – EBL One Night in Paris
- They have been very successful together in the Open Show Hunter Galloway ring, winning Champion Child’s Large Show Hunter Galloway at last year’s EA Nationals, among many others
- While Coco is retired now and in foal, Hunter and Paris are continuing to train hard, currently competing at Medium level and training for Advanced level in dressage with his coach, Matthew Dowsley
- Hunter and Paris will compete at Show Horse Council HOTY in October and then the EA Nationals in December.
Hunter's Tip to new riders: "Use all the space that you are given!"
Hunter's Favourite saying: "It is what it is." Meaning no matter what place you come, it only matters if you've done the best job you could.
Favourite PW product: The ribbed, show jodhpurs as they are a great fit for me, and the shirts are also very good quality.
Elizabeth Finland Taylor
Born 12th May 2006
- Started riding when she was 4
- Was interested because her big brother was riding horses
- Elizabeth sat on the horse as if she were born there – a perfectly straight back and good balance
- She used to ride a little pony that was built “downhill” – her canter was almost back to front, so Elizabeth had to sit back and keep her core strong, otherwise she would go over the handlebars!
- By the age of 5 she was cantering on her own
- She started riding Hunter’s old pony, “Disney”, but they didn’t gel together and Elizabeth lost a little bit of interest for a year
- She started showing interest again at the age of 6 and so her uncle (Alan Jones) bought her a beautiful 12.2 Palomino pony for her 7th birthday
- His name was “Eddie” – Bordershow Vanilla Ice
- They competed in the Small Show Hunter Pony and it wasn’t long before they started to win big titles
- Elizabeth and Eddie were runner-up in the Open Small Show Hunter Pony at the Show Horse Council Horse of the Year in 2013
- The following year they were the Champions in the same event when Elizabeth was just 8 years old
- Eddie was sold and Elizabeth began riding “Poppy”, where initially they didn’t click so we put Poppy in foal
- We had bought another pony for Elizabeth, but he wasn’t suitable for a child, so she went back on to Poppy, where they had some great success, all while Poppy was carrying a foal!
- Elizabeth won the Grand Champion rider of all ages at the Show Horse Council Grand Nationals, when she was just 8 years old - this is one of Elizabeth's proudest moments!
- The following week she won Champion Ridden Riding Pony on Poppy at Sydney Royal Easter Show
- Poppy was retired after this and since then, Elizabeth has had Mirinda Matinee Magician and Broadwater Park Cartier
- Elizabeth has competed in dressage but loves the show ring the most at the moment
- She will compete at SHC Horse of the Year and the EA Nationals later this year
Elizabeth's #1 Tip: Turn your jodhpur clips inside out so the clip can't hook on your girth and come undone.
Elizabeth's favourite saying: "Dare to dream big!"
Elizabeth loves her PW Show Jodhpurs, as they are a perfect fit and very comfortable for her.
As a parent of a child who was not interested in sport, we naturally gave Hunter the option of pursuing something he was interested in – in our case it was equestrian. While it’s a very expensive sport to be part of, it has been a blessing for our family, because it has given Hunter the confidence to perform in front of a crowd, to compete under pressure, to be on show and hold his nerve, to control an animal who has a mind of its own and to be respectful of the judge’s opinion and decision at the end of the day. It’s not all about winning, but rather character building and setting your own goals. Our children have been lucky enough to have nice ponies. Our chosen field is showing, which takes a lot of time and effort to keep them looking good and in the condition that is required. However, not everyone has to strive to attain the same level as others – it’s a sport that can be enjoyed by anyone who loves their horse and loves to pretty them up and make them look good for the show ring. Above all, having fun and making good friends is the best part about it for the kids, as well as feeling the joy of being acknowledged for their efforts.
In terms of being a parent of two children who both ride horses and show horses, it is very time consuming and a lot of money and effort goes into it. We travel a lot – I bought a horse truck so we can all be together and maintain a little bit of comfort when we are away. The children need to enjoy it, so in order for them to perform and be on their game, I like to keep them as comfortable as I can, so they don’t have to worry about anything other than their job. They are both very dedicated and committed so my family are willing to keep enabling them to do what they love while we can.
- Tonia Taylor