Australian Brumby Challenge ©
VBA Ballarat is a five year old, brown mare who was caught from the Bogong High Plains regions of the Alpine National Park in Victoria in winter, 2014. Ballarat came to our Brumby Junction sanctuary and lived with her herd here whilst she got used to life on a farm. Ballarat's trainer in the Australian Brumby Challenge is Amanda Wilson.
Amanda Wilson's partnership with her famed pintos has cemented her as one of New Zealands most promising showjump riders. Showtym Viking first brought her into the public eye by winning the 2010 Pony of the Year Grand Prix before going on to win many Young Rider and Grand Prix classes to 1.5om. More recently she has produced Showtym Cassanova to success at Grand Prix, Super League and World Cup (1.40 – 1.60m) level and the duo have won and placed at the highest level.
Amanda has a passion for young horses because she loves to start with a blank canvas. Her gentle approach to working with horses produces highly effective results and she has earned a reputation for producing some of the best young horses on the showjumping circuit in New Zealand. In 2013 she was runner up in the 4 Year Old title at the National Breeders Championships and in 2014 she won the National 5 Year Old Series on Showtym Rebel who she started under saddle as a stallion the winter before.
In 2013, alongside her sisters, she won the FEI Solidarity Award in 2013 for her work with wild Kaimanawa horses and together they have trained almost 30 wild horses over the past three years. In 2015 Amanda travelled to America to compete in the Extreme Mustang Makeover, but when her mare was vetted out of the competition due to a pre-existing injury she went on to train another two mustangs.
Amanda has spent the past three years raising awareness for the plight of wild horses in New Zealand, making a significant increase in public awareness and greatly reducing slaughter rates. She has extensive experience working with adult wild horses, both mares and stallions directly from the wild, and has a huge public following. She hopes her work with wild horses makes some positive difference in the lives of the horses she trains, and that they become ambassadors for the breed to increase awareness of Brumbies in general.
You can follow Amanda on Facebook at Amanda Wilson NZ.