With looks and the name to match, there was never any doubt that Jayde Whitehead's home-bred pony, JDL Stop N Stare, was going to attract attention.
And the eye-catching Welsh Cob has not disappointed the Jindera mum of two with outstanding performances at regional and state dressage championships in the past year.
Their hard work and dedication was recognised at the Jindera Equestrian AGM and annual awards evening on February 6 when the pair took out both the EA Novice and Elementary championships in the club's Horse of the Year awards.
The wins come on the back of receiving the inaugural Mandy Lewis Memorial Award at REA Wagga Dressage Club in October 2023, after scoring an "outstanding" 80 per cent in a 6yo Young Pony Qualifier Test.
"Your relentless passion, resilience, and commitment have been truly awe-inspiring," the club wrote after announcing Jayde as the recipient of the award.
"You have not only displayed exemplary skill and talent, but also embodied the values and spirit that we hold dear in memory of our beloved Mandy."
Stop N Stare was bred by the Whiteheads' resident stallion Abergavenny Achilles (Imp UK), who has also sired JDL Queen of Hearts - a young mare at the start of her dressage career already winning ribbons.
In her report prepared for the AGM and in speaking afterwards to the Border Mail, JEA president Kerrie Wise spoke of the challenge of battling to remain viable against increasing costs.
"The committee has been continuously trying to keep entry and membership fees as low as possible whilst offering competitions and training days," Ms Wise said.
The returning president said Dressage NSW had again stepped forward to support the club from its Regional Championships Fund, which assists in bringing in interstate judges for championships events.
She said the dressage championships on November 25 and 26 had attracted an impressive line-up of FEI combinations.
"Whilst it is great that we have a good mix of entries at all levels, it is fantastic to see this number of FEI entries and they were all regional combinations," Ms Wise said.
But the mainstay of any good club is its members and supporters.
Ms Wise praised the co-operation and help from riders and volunteers - including, scribes, judges, stewards, arena builders and "all those who pitched in when required" - in continuing to make events a success.
The next official competition will be held on March 10.
Jindera Equestrian Horse of Year Award Winners for 2023:
Preparatory Champion: Alyson Helmich - Peggy of Skullduckery
Reserve Champion: Jayde Whitehead - JDL Queen of Hearts
Preliminary Champion: Charlotte Richardson - Vancouver Park Remember Me
Equal Reserve champions: Cathryne Gookier - JCB Vogue, and Maryann Schiller - Pajingo Royalty
Novice Champion: Jayde Whitehead - Stop N Stare
Reserve Champion: Susannah Doyle - Ironbark Tutu Tango
Elementary Champion: Jayde Whitehead - Stop N Stare
Reserve Champion: Andrea Williams - Leawarra Prince Romeo
Medium Champion: Jodie Dunstan - Cooramin Fuerstenblume
Reserve Champion: Katrina McMaster - Adloo Reba
Advanced Champion: Kelly O'Keeffe - Tarburra Storm Hit
Reserve Champion: Lucy McNutt - Thamesbourne Solaria
FEI Champion: Kelly O'Keeffe - Tarburra Storm Hit
Equal Reserve champions: Leah Trodahl - Clyro Rufus, and Jodie O'Sullivan - Regal Legenderry
The newly elected 2024 JEA Committee includes:
- President - Kerrie Wise
- Vice President - Sophie Anderson
- Secretary - Paula Harrington
- Treasurer - Janice Naisson
- Event Secretary - Maryann Schiller
- Judges Co-ordinator - Paula Harrington
- Volunteer Co-ordinator - Charlotte Richardson
- Other Committee Members - Jodie Dunstan, Andrea Williams, Jayde Whitehead, Naomi Hodges and Tina Anderson.