Kaimanawa Challenges

Major Milestone

Equidays is excited to announce a partnership with Kaimanawa Heritage Horses (KHH) to launch New Zealand’s first wild horse challenge, the Major Milestone.

This ambitious event seeks to place 25 wild and untouched stallions with the nation’s leading horse trainers who will compete for $15,000 in cash and prizes. KHH created the challenge to highlight the talent and trainability of wild Kaimanawas through a national training initiative.

After being selected, trainers are randomly assigned an adult Kaimanawa stallion (over three-years-old), which will then have to be gelded to be eligible to compete. Trainers will have 150 days to build trust and develop a relationship with their horses to ensure the best possible performance in the halter and/or ridden classes.

Trainers will then go on to compete in the Stallion Makeover Challenge at the 2015 Horse of the Year Show. The excitement will be huge as the top ranked stallions battle it out in the Premier Arena during the Friday Night Extravaganza, with a sizeable purse on offer for the top six finalists.

‘We have a tremendous base of trainers and supporters and have decided that 2014 is the year to put the equestrian world on its heels,’ said a spokesperson for KHH. ‘The challenges promise to be a win/win formula for the horses, trainers, and the survival of the wild herds, many of which would otherwise go to slaughter during the biennial musters.’

The challenge was named in memory of Major KH, who was believed to be about 17 years old and was rehomed to the Wilson sisters in the 2012 muster. He made his first and only public appearance at the 2012 Equidays and delighted the crowds with his ability to embrace domesticated life.

Although Major passed away only five months after he was mustered, the remarkable stallion made a huge impact both nationally and internationally, challenging every preconception about what an older wild stallion should be like.

‘He was a true Kaimanawa hero who touched the hearts of so many and inspired a new generation to love wild horses,’ said Elder Jenks, Chairperson of KHH. ‘This new training initiative will save countless wild stallions from slaughter in coming years and will ensure his legacy is never forgotten.’

The Major Milestone will debut at the 2014 Equidays and will be limited to 25 stallions. For further information visit the challenges webpage.

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