Hobbyhorsing on Waiheke Island is quite a quirky ride

Emma Wilton, 11, with her 'stable' of hobbyhorses.
Christine Wilton

Emma Wilton, 11, with her 'stable' of hobbyhorses.

Who said you need to own a fancy, expensive horse to compete in show jumping or dressage?

Definitely not Waiheke High School student Emma Wilton - who is bringing New Zealand's first-ever organised Hobbyhorse competition to the island, a 35-minute ferry ride from Auckland. 

If you have not yet heard of it, Hobbyhorsing is a quirky new trend sweeping across the globe in which teenage girls or boys straddle a stuffed horse head on a wooden stick and compete in national dressage and show jumping competitions - with judges scoring their performances. 

Waiheke High School student Emma Wilton, 11, has heard from adults who want to join in the fun too.

Waiheke High School student Emma Wilton, 11, has heard from adults who want to join in the fun too.

The obscure sport captured the world's attention earlier this year when Oscar award-nominated director Selma Vilhunen shone the spotlight on the craze in her documentary Hobbyhorse Revolution.

   *Global stone painting craze rocks Waiheke
   *My favourite Auckland: best playgrounds
   *Fidget Spinners the latest craze to hit NZ as kids rush to buy them 

Wilton, 11, shared her idea of a Waiheke Hobby Horse Championships on the Waiheke Community Facebook Page and was overwhelmed with the interest she received. 

Waiheke Island Pony Club, in Blackpool, has offered its facilities for the Hobbyhorse event.
George Gardner

Waiheke Island Pony Club, in Blackpool, has offered its facilities for the Hobbyhorse event.

Numerous school students want to compete, The Waiheke Pony Club have offered the use of their facilities and adults have volunteered to help where needed.

Mum Christine Wilton said she and her daughter were immensely grateful to the pony club and would be using its jumps but would be holding the event in the grounds of Blackpool Old School.

So, the Waiheke Hobby Horse Championships is pencilled in for 11am on June 25 for ages eight to 14 at the old school.

The event will run similarly to a regular horse show - there will be different fence heights for jumpers and tests/ levels for dressage riders and winners will receive ribbons and awards.

Ad Feedback

Competitors do not need any prior experience but need to bring their own Hobbyhorse.

Emma Wilton said the sport was a fun and affordable way to ride horses but her favourite aspect of Hobbyhorsing was freedom.

"Firstly, free in the way that you do not have to worry about the horse biting you or falling from very high up. 

"But, your imagination is also free, I love that you can make-believe anything you want," Wilton said.  

For example, along with naming, feeding, decorating and grooming their Hobbyhorse, many young enthusiasts give their steeds personalities and backstories. 

Wilton has even made her Hobbyhorse a stable and places a horse cover over its wooden body at night while it sleeps. 

Christine Wilton said not only was it fascinating to watch the level of creativity but the sport could also be athletic.

"Some adults could not complete the obstacle courses these kids create - a jump can be over one metre high," she said. 

Call 021 324747 for more information.  

 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers

Fog hits Auckland flights

Seven regional flights had been delayed by fog at the country's busiest airport. (File photo)

Fog disrupts flights at Auckland Airport and morning commute for motorists.

Owha's new home video

Leopard seals are apex predators and can be aggressive, people are warned not to approach them.

One long-term resident leopard seal has scientists scratching their heads - are there more of them out there?

Peninsula Club knits for Kiwi kids

The knitting club in action.

"These ladies knit with skill and precision, but most of all, heart."

'I'm just the vessel'

Sir Graeme Dingle was knighted for his services to youth at Government House in Auckland.

Adventurer Graeme Dingle knighted for bettering thousands of young Kiwi lives.


Phoenix flies for young designer

Jayda Fairweather-Ponga's design is a bodysuit with tulle skirt, inspired by a phoenix.

Eleven-year-old hopes her stint at Fashion Week is just the beginning.

Fighting to demolish

The flats were built in the 1950s, and are a rare example of high-rise social housing built under a National government.

Vice-chancellor to challenge court ruling on Wellington's "architectural faux pas".

Delays after Paekakariki crash

Two early morning crashes are causing significant traffic delays north of Wellington.

Two early morning crashes are causing significant traffic delays north of Wellington.

Cover too provocative?

Amazon has banned Kapiti author Shona Moller from advertising her book on its website because its imagery is ...

Hint of cleavage too much for web giant Amazon, as it refuses ad for Kiwi's book.


Still heliski 'dancing' at 88 video

Christof, 88, and Britta Wieser, 78, are avid heli skiers who travel from from Austria to Methven for up to two months ...

Christof Wieser is nearly 89, but still jumps in a helicopter every time there's powder.

'Bizarre' crime path video

Douglas Roake has been jailed for more than 13 years for six pub robberies around Canterbury and shooting two women at ...

How did a man with no criminal history become a "disgusting, cowardly" armed robber who shot two women?

Stink over weedkiller

A new organic weedkiller with a "more pleasing smell" has been rolled out after the last one caused a stink.

Christchurch council scrapped Roundup for an organic spray, but it got up people's noses.

Apology rejected

Canterbury District Health Board chairman Mark Solomon has rejected an apology from Treasury over its release of ...

Mark Solomon will not accept Treasury's belated apology to Canterbury health leaders.


Calls to rein in sexist jibes

'It's just got to stop,' Councillor Angela O'Leary says of sexist comments and jokes which go too far.

Councillor calls on mayor to clamp down on boys' club atmosphere.

Two bodies found

James David Fleet, 25, (pictured) and his uncle Raymond Joseph Fleet, 51, were last seen by their families on August 7.

Two bodies found in Mamaku Forest are believed to be Raymond and James Fleet.

Gunman's ex wanted

Police are searching for Irene Scanlon.

Irene Scanlon, 43, is believed to be helping alleged Morrinsville gunman Rollie Heke.

See how the other half live

This Gordonton home is part of the Fine Homes Tour, where people purchase tickets to view 10 houses in the Hamilton area ...

Once again, 10 homes in the Hamilton area open their doors for charity.


Sit back and enjoy the sunset

17082017 News Photo ANDY JACKSON/STUFF.  Black Sand Pizzeria & Bistro located inside the NPOB surf club in Oakura.  ...

Pizza only needs five ingredients - water, salt, flour, yeast and love.

Voting: FPP or STV?

The inaugural meeting of the New Plymouth District Council's new Te Huinga Taumatua Committee was held on Thursday.

The inaugural meeting of the Te Huinga Taumatua Committee discussed freedom campers and the voting system.

Crafted chaos in the kitchen

Todd Emerson (Peter Hudson) and Chris Parker (David Halls) don't plan to give up anytime soon.

Peter Hudson and David Halls come back to life for four nights at the Taranaki Arts Festival.

Nasty letters were hers

Handwriting analysis played a key role in determining the role a New Plymouth woman had in writing a series of nasty ...

Handwriting expert fingers grudge-bearing woman who penned critical letters about her ex-employer.


Mum: 'I thought she was gone' video

Jodeci Day, 6, was hit by ute on Highbury Ave and is recuperating in Palmerston North Hospital.

When Casey Bush saw her daughter lying motionless, she thought she was dead.

Gorge fix needed

Drone shot of Manawatu Gorge slip that closed State Highway 3 in April.

Whatever it is, the region's economy needs it quick, says Horizons' chairman.

Smith toilet tryst inquiry video

Aaron Smith has been training with the All Blacks ahead of the Bledisloe match in Sydney this weekend.

Lawyer to investigate Aaron Smith claims, despite All Blacks saying they'd dealt with it.

Youth involved in police pursuits

One of two police chases in Palmerston North on Friday morning happened at Pioneer Highway.

Two stolen vehicles were spotted, with both pursuits ending within minutes.


Kindy teacher in Mongol top 10

Mongol Derby riders completing the race sharing sixth position. From left Marie Palzer, Rebecca Hewitt from Australia, ...

Marie Palzer has finished "the world's longest and toughest horse race" in sixth place.

Figures 'up in the air'

A new programme of work is en route for the Queen St upgrade project at Richmond.

The delayed upgrade of Queen St could result in a $500,000 overspend for TDC.

Mumps outbreak hits Nelson

Some people with mumps get a fever and headaches, and can spread the virus by coughing and sneezing. (File photo)

Two cases of mumps have been reported in Nelson after an outbreak in Auckland.

Hospice nurses heaven sent

Nelson Tasman Hospice nurse Brenda Watson, centre, visits Jim and Mollie Pascoe at their home in Stoke.

Jim Pascoe thought he'd be "dead by Christmas". Thanks to the Nelson-Tasman Hospice, he's still going strong.


Log hauler crash death

A Department of Conservation walking track at Blowhard Ridge.

The worker was operating a log hauler when it came off the road in Wairau Valley.

'Zero room for error'

The Spring Creek roundabout has taken shape this week, with traffic taking to the $4.3 million intersection.

Tight turn sends truckies around the bend on multimillion-dollar roundabout.

Producers under the spotlight

Complaints to MPI have triggered 39 investigations into Marlborough cider and wine producers over the past five years.

Bottles of Marlborough cider and wine have been pulled from the market eight times over the past five years.

Devils, MBC playing on home turf

The Marlborough Boys' College First XV will play Lincoln Combined in the UC championship Bowl semifinal in Blenheim on ...

Two high-profile Marlborough rugby sides at opposite ends of their season will provide the feature games in Blenheim on Saturday.

South Canterbury

'Stolen' toilet found nearby video

17082017  News JOHN BISSET/STUFF. TeMoana Gorge. Toilet that was missing has been located in the river bed

E-loo-sive public toilet found - 100 metres from where it was supposed to be.

Clean air cash unspent

Homeowners can upgrade their woodburners with the Hot Swap loan scheme, and those who qualify for the Rates Rebate ...

Timaru election candidate says ECan must spend clean air fund cash.

Rape charge dismissed

Ashburton man Angus Mackenzie had a charge of rape dismissed at the Timaru District Court due to a lack of evidence to ...

Ashburton man on trial in Timaru for rape has charge against him dismissed.

'Hidden' homelessness up

Timaru Salvation Army corps officer Lieutenant Jacob Howan says more than 30 people with housing issues have presented ...

Not many people are officially homeless Timaru but some families have nowhere to call their own.


Award-winning dog

Dog handler John Taylor with his border collie Rusty, after winning the 2017 Dave Galloway Innovation Award for bio ...

The velvetleaf-detecting dog, Rusty, is making waves again, this time winning an award for his sniffing skills.

Minister responds

Associate Finance Minister Amy Adams has indicated she will meet with former Community Trust of Southland trustees who ...

"I will respond about arrangements for a meeting shortly." Minister Amy Adams.

More opposition to plans

Staff and governance from the organisations leasing 10 Deveron St, Graham Fletcher, Lois Conway, Candace Bangura and ...

Youth services provider Number 10 and the Invercargill Secondary Schools Network Trust do not want to relocate.

Big electorate challenge 

Hamish Walker at the National Party meeting  in Winton, where he was named the Clutha-Southland MP candidate to replace ...

New National candidate Hamish Walker takes on big electorate challenge.

Ad Feedback