Five Questions- By Amy Collinson

Five Questions- By Amy Collinson

Five Questions- By Amy Collinson

Who is your favourite rider and why?

One of my favourite riders is the American rider Laura Kraut. She has achieved so much on many different horses over a long career. I admire her for being a female rider consistently at the top as the top level of the sport is dominated by men. I have been at a few of the same shows as her recently and noticed she is very humble and friendly. She always says hello to everyone and of course has a great work ethic. It takes a strong character to stay in this game for such a long time.


Who is your favourite horse and why?

My favourite top horse I have never ridden would be “Clooney 51” ridden by Martin Fuchs – Clooney seems to have it all the look, the scope, he is careful and a winner. Martins groom Sean Vard describes him as Intelligent, Brilliant and Hilarious.


My favourite horse of all time is the one and only Capello – My pretty grey nicknamed Angel Boy, he is the horse who I started with on my European journey. I do not think I would have survived in Europe this long without him. I would also describe him as Intelligent, Brilliant and Hilarious. He retired in February last year and is living in the green fields of Normandy about 30mins from my new base Haras du Ry.


What is the most important thing you have learnt in Europe?

There are no short cuts or quick fixes to success. You have to stay on top of all the basics, you can never slack off. It has also shown me that it is important to dream big but it is also important to be content with where you are at and not to compare yourself to others. Look at how far you have come personally and stay focused on your own journey.


More recently I have learnt the importance of having solid basics and why perfect practice is so important. When you build your basics brick by brick it gives you the security to work on harder skills. It also gives you a safety net when things do not go to plan. Also having a detailed plan for each ride to work on specific skills will increase your progress dramatically compared to cantering around in circles on autopilot.


Why are the European riders so good?

The reason so many of the top riders in the world come from Europe is because of the history and the size of the population. Most of the top riders come from generations of hard working riders. Many of the top rider’s father or grandfather set up an original base – then over the years it grew, from that they get more opportunities.

Yes, there are also top riders who come from a family with no background in horses, however they are in the right environment to get a chance early on. The number of professional stables in Holland, Belgium, France or Germany alone is far greater than NZ. Then try think of the combined total of riders in all the European countries compared to NZ. This environment makes it the most competitive place to be. This then sends more riders from other country’s to compete with them. That makes the European circuit get even stronger – cycle keeps going – success builds more success – snowball effect.

People often ask me about what I think of the quality in NZ vs Europe. They are worlds apart you just cannot compare. That does not mean there’s anything wrong with NZ. You just cannot compare the numbers and the history. I think NZ is pretty good considering its size and distance from the rest of the world.

What has been your favourite country to live in and why? 

Over the past seven years I have lived in Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and France. My favourite has to be France. Many people question me on this! They say “really you like France??” Ok, the culture is very different and the language is also difficult. However, the people are actually very nice once you understand the culture plus the food is amazing. For the horses it is the closet to how it is at home. In Normandy it feels like the Waikato, covered in big green fields with horses living outside. Haras du Ry is also only 10mins from the ocean that is something else I really appreciate.



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