Three former Australian National Champions who excelled in their own class, moved on to a life of stud duties and peaceful retirement. So where are they now and how has life changed for these much-loved horses?
Anglo mare, Sienna Ericca was Australian Champion Arabian/Arabian Derivative ridden Sidesaddle in 2007 and 2009.
Owner Alandi Durling said: “Ericca was special and had a beauty about her when she was born. This was why we sent her to Kate and Doyle Dertell as a yearling to be shown. It was the best decision we could have made and has led to the success I achieved with her in the ring.
“Sired by our Arabian stallion Warr Of The World, she is out of a Thoroughbred mare, Quentel. At just under 16hh, she has always had a high opinion of herself and was quite the princess at times when we showed her! She has mellowed but is still quite demanding when it comes to feed time.
“I retired her from the show ring after the 2009 Australian Championships when she took six championships, one reserve championship and a top ten at the show. She had achieved everything I had aimed for with her and I felt she had done enough in the ring. I put her in foal in 2009 to ConchertoFF (Burren-Dah The Wizard exp NZ x Aloha Symphony) who at the time was a successful young show stallion I had liked from an early age.
“Ericca’s first ConchertoFF foal was a lovely brown colt, Sienna Maestro, sold as a foal at foot. He was gelded and has now been exported to the United Arab Emirates for endurance. She had three more ConchertoFF foals, all fillies. I am currently riding her daughter, Sienna Conchetta, and she will be starting her saddle career this year. She has already been successfully shown in-hand and will definitely be shown sidesaddle in the future. Another filly, Sienna Confettii has been sold to an endurance home in New South Wales and I am looking forward to following her career. This foaling season she presented me with another beautiful filly and she will be retained as a future show hack.
“Ericca loves carrots and having her tummy scratched and is probably happiest being a mum and can be found with all the foals hanging out with her.”
Anglo Arabian stallion Burren-Dah The Wizard (Manning Kadabbra x Burren-Dah Alirah) is 15.1hh and was born in 1997.
Purchased by Leesa Anderson of Regent Park, Wizard was exported to New Zealand after his last win at the Aussies, where he won 2007 Champion Led Anglo Stallion and Champion Derivative Ridden Stallion.
“He has not been shown since arriving in New Zealand and we have concentrated on breeding him to Thoroughbred and Riding Pony mares to produce hacks and galloways for open company,” Leesa said. “We only stood Wizard at public stud for his first season in New Zealand when he bred 30 mares that season.
“Wizard is a sire of numerous Australian and New Zealand National Champions, led and ridden, at Arabian shows. He is also sire of many supreme winners, led and ridden, at open shows and is the sire of two consecutive New Zealand Supreme Youngstock Led Show Horse of the Year, which is the biggest open show on the New Zealand circuit.”
Leesa went on to say: “I feel extremely lucky to have been given the opportunity to purchase Wizard. He has made a huge impact on my stud. At 18, he still takes my breath away as he trots across his paddock. He will do anything for carrots or food but especially carrots. He has a big grassy paddock where he can oversee the whole farm. We did try to move him to a paddock with more grass without success. He didn’t like that and ran all night, as he couldn’t oversee the goings on. He is definitely the king of Regent Park and likes everyone to know it! Wizard loves life in New Zealand. I have retained most of his daughters for the future and one stallion.”
Keely Bisset proudly takes up the story of Arabian Warmblood mare, Anngrae So Dazzling.
“At her first Australian Arabian Championship in 2009, Anngrae So Dazzling won Australian Champion Ridden Arabian Warmblood Mare, Show Hunter Hack, Amateur Owner Led Derivative Mare, Amateur Owner Ridden Derivative Mare and Amateur Owner Show Hunter Hack.
“Salina (her stable name) is by the talented Anglo dressage stallion Aloha Bobby Dazzler and out of a black Warmblood mare, Anngrae Sadonie. At 15.2hh and solidly built, people thought she was a lot bigger than she actually was.
“Salina’s personality was always very quirky. She would shy and snort at dark spots, different coloured grass or, on one occasion, at a one-inch piece of yellow tape in the grass. So things were always interesting in the show ring! She was quiet but never an easy ride, a loving horse that only trusted a few people.
“In the show ring she worked out that as soon as she got a garland it was time to go home. Photos were hard to get because she would start cantering on the spot and just wanted to go.”
“Her favourite treats were carrots,” stated Keely. “We would buy a bag of carrots on the way home from a show if she won supreme. At the Victorian Championships one year I had pancakes for breakfast. I was sitting out the front of her stable eating one, when she leaned over the stable door and ate the remainder of my pancakes and then wanted more!
“Salina loved having her eyes and ears rubbed. It would calm her and make her go to sleep. If you were in the paddock, she liked to just come and hang out with you and loved human company, often over that of other horses.”
Virtually unbeaten from 2009–2012, Salina competed in 2014 with a youth rider and was unbeaten in the youth ring, retiring as a broodmare late in 2014 due to injury.
“Salina has two foals on the ground, both fillies: EBL Razzle Dazzle by Rubin James and Tyra Banks TA by Royal Hit. Razzle Dazzle was a successful saddle mare and Tyra competed as a foal and is now growing up in the paddock.”
Salina is now owned by Robert Haywood and Adrian Redlinger at Nullabor Park Arabians, in the Hawkesbury. They plan to continue breeding with her.