Maree Mcateer (USA/NZ)
EaSE OF HANDLING
Maree McAteer is a well respected international Working Equitation trainer, rider and judge based in both New Zealand and Colorado, USA. She is a key influence in developing this discipline as a sport within New Zealand.
Maree grew up in New Zealand in a horse crazy family. She started in Pony Club, was an Eventing rider then settled passionately into Showjumping. Twice winner of Lady Rider of the Year and also representing New Zealand against Australia. At 17 yrs old she flew two horses to England to compete for a summer. Highlights being 4th in Welsh Derby and competing at the Horse of the Year show in Wembley.
In 1983 Maree flew with horses from NZ to the United States and took on a position as a professional Showjumping rider. After many years of ‘life on the road’ all over the US and Canada, the draw to spend more time training got stronger. This started a fascination with all the different horse ‘training systems ‘. Classical Dressage, competition Dressage, Natural Horsemanship, Doma Vaquero, California Vaquero, Philippe Karl School of Lightness, as the main ones studied. Twenty years ago Maree discovered Working Equitation at the time that it was first adopted into England from Europe. The format impressed her in that it gave people from all different training systems a place to show off their horses. All this together with a growing understanding of how horses work through dissection science and the biomechanics of both horses and riders leads to the present day of this exciting and ongoing journey.
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Ease of Handling
Belinda Rodriguez is a WENZ qualified judge and has been riding since young, in the last 6 years turning to classical training with Working Equitation as a main equestrian discipline. She served on the Working Equitation New Zealand committee as a founding member and for the initial two years as the Marketing and Communications officer as well as the Health and Safety Officer. She has travelled to many parts of the North Island of New Zealand to introduce the sport and encourage new riders to the discipline.
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Vicki Nelson (NZ)
Vic is a lifetime horse woman who has competed with distinction and trained horses to Advanced Medium Dressage, Intermediate Horse Trials, Show Hunter and Grand Prix Show Jumping.
In the late 1980s she went to Auckland to train with Kay Love and along with Maree and Val McAteer was involved in the start of Show Hunter jumping in New Zealand. Along with her father Rex Nelson, she brought this sport to the South Island of NZ. Show Hunter jumping is now a sought after tittle at HOY (Horse of the Year) and it is with much pride that Vic recognises her part in its birth in NZ.
She has trained many young rider and development teams for both Eventing and Show Jumping. In Dressage, Vic won the first NZ Young Rider title and riding for the South Island and was a member of the winning team at the inaugural NZYR (New Zealand Young Rider) Horse Trial team event. Having trained with some of the best coaches in the world, in Australia, USA, England and NZ, she now has her own business, Vic Nelson Equitation, and enjoys sharing her knowledge ‘for the better of the horse’ from her property near Geraldine. Inspired by Maree McAteer, she took an interest in Working Equitation and for the last 5 years she has been focused in this discipline. Vic competes at Introductory and Novice on two of her horses as well as training both horses and riders with classical methods in mind. She is a ‘C’ level judge with WEDU (Working Equitation Down Under), a founding member of SCWE (South Canterbury Working Equitation), on the committee for WENZ (Working Equitation NZ), enjoys building obstacles and courses and runs shows for VNE (Vic Nelson Equitation).
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Carolyn Jones (NZ)
Carolyn was a horse mad kid in a non-horsey household in the Eastern suburbs of Auckland. As a child she and her younger sister would bicycle out to nearby paddocks that had horses and hang around feeding them grass over the fence. Aged 17, and working two part time jobs after school, Carolyn finally got her first horse, a quiet ex-pacer called Diane Scott.
Once Carolyn joined the work force and had an income, horses became a major part of her life. She started off eventing, but soon discovered that she was not that flash in the jumping phases, but seemed to do well in the dressage. This prompted a switch to pure dressage, and a lifelong addiction.
Since then Carolyn has ridden and trained a number of horses through all the grades, from Level One Prelim, to Level 9 Grand Prix. In her early 40’s Carolyn was fortunate to have the opportunity to buy a 14 year old ‘green’ Grand Prix trained Appaloosa/TB cross called Virtuoso II. The next three years were the highlight of Carolyn’s riding career, learning how to ride a tricky horse through GP movements, and competing him on the North Island circuit.
Following his retirement Carolyn took a break from the competition circuit and focussed on other parts of her life, including a move from Auckland to Invercargill. Now based in the South Island Carolyn has discovered Working Equitation as a sport and is loving every minute of learning new skills, and training her green cross-bred mare, affectionately known at home as Little Horse.