4 Mar 2016

Kaimanawa King

From Country Life, 9:29 pm on 4 March 2016
Tina Fagan and Kaimanawa Horse Rockstar

Tina Fagan and Kaimanawa Horse Rockstar. Photo: RNZ/Carol Stiles

Rockstar is living up to his name.

Just ten months after being mustered from the foothills of the Kaimanawa Range the former feral horse strutted his stuff at last year's Horse of the Year Show and took the top prize in the Kaimanawa Heritage Stallion Challenge.

Tina Fagan, who prepared Rockstar for stardom, says he loves the limelight and isn't at all fazed by loud music or cheering crowds.

She says it's incredible given he had not seen a person, a vehicle or a fence before he was mustered by helicpoter in 2014.

"I can only imagine what a horse sees us as the first time it sees us. I mean we must look like some sort of an alien creature."

Tina owns a Sports Horse stud at Pukekawa in Northern Waikato and was leading Rockstar around just a week after he had been msutered. Within three weeks he was being ridden.

Thirteen trainers were allocated a wild Kaimanawa stallion to train. Tina says the Stallion Challenge showcased training techniques and also promoted the breed.

Every two years the Department of Conservation musters Kaimanwa horses to keep the wild population at 300.

Following the 2014 muster 147 horses found homes and 15 were sent to slaughter.

This year's muster is scheduled for late May or early June and counts suggest 200 horses will be coming in from the wild.


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