Photos in this article by author Joanne Verikios except where indicated.
As a major benefit to owners, the Australian Warmblood Horse Association (AWHA) Ltd now offers Colt Selections at a venue convenient to the owners, in addition to the centralised Colt Selections which have been the norm in the past.
This innovation was successfully trialled in the picturesque Southern Highlands region of NSW on 12 December 2016.
Two beautifully presented, well-trained and well-mannered young stallions were assessed on their respective home grounds. One of these youngsters is destined for a dressage career and the other has recently begun competing with success in showjumping.
The highly experienced selection panel comprised Silvia Ahamer and Lesley Archer from NSW and Joanne Verikios from QLD.
“We were pleased to see both of these young stallions pass Colt Selection and we congratulate their connections,” said Head Classifier, Lesley Archer. “Passing colt selection means that the youngsters have qualified for lifetime AWHA Ltd Breeding Permits. If they subsequently meet AWHA Performance Requirements in open competition, their status can be upgraded to Licensed Stallions.”
Ms Archer noted that the new “at-home” process had worked smoothly because both properties were equipped with the necessary facilities to safely accommodate AWHA Ltd Colt Selection procedures. These include:
The newly Approved Colts are:
In her capacity as AWHA Ltd Federal Registrar, Ms Ahamer noted that the two colts represent a boon for the local gene pool because their respective bloodlines had previously been available only via imported frozen semen.
The fourth paragraph in the Acknowledgements section of my book Winning Horsemanship begins with these words:
“The men and women who have influenced my equestrian, breeding and judging endeavours – knowingly or unknowingly – have my deep appreciation”.
Listed amongst them is the late, great Vince Corvi.
Vince passed away all too soon on 29 November 2016 and tributes have been flowing ever since. I expect there will be a huge turnout at the Memorial Service to be held at the Queensland State Equestrian Centre, Caboolture, on 11 December 2016.
As early as my Pony Club days in the mid 1960s through to the early 1970s, Vince was already a legend in the show ring and a household name in horsey circles. It was a pleasure to watch him ride. A gifted horseman and teacher, Vince sat every horse with a depth of seat and stillness that is rarely seen. He also excelled at showing horses in hand. Superbly mounted on his immaculate, trademark hacks, Vince was a formidable yet gentlemanly competitor.
You can imagine my excitement when I learned that “Mr Vince Corvi” was to be a guest instructor one wonderful Sunday at the Downs Pony Club in my home town of Toowoomba! At the time I must have been aged about 13 or 14 and actually thought of him as rather old – it was only upon his untimely death last month that I learned he was a mere 13 years my senior.
I especially remember two things about those couple of group riding lessons. One was that he missed nothing and worked us very hard on the basics of an independent seat and correct leg position with giving hands. The other was an unforgettable turn of phrase, spoken like a true Queenslander. “Bend your horse like a banana!” was the simple but effective catchcry as he drilled us kids in the art of flexion and impulsion.
When Vince retired from show hack and gentleman rider classes, he took up driving hackneys and excelled at that as well. In recognition of his enormous contribution to the pleasure horse industry, Vince was inducted into the Furlong Stud Equine Hall of Fame at the Toowoomba Showgrounds in 2009.
I am sure that Vince rode through the Pearly Gates, centred and straight, astride a magnificent horse which he had, as always, fed, conditioned, trained, polished, plaited and quarter-marked to perfection.
Vale, Vince Corvi. Thank you for extending your generosity to a horse-mad teenage girl and her pony.
From a very early age I have been able to tune in to what horses and ponies were thinking and what they were likely to do next.