Thursday, April 25, 2024

Young Kiwis invited to take the reins as NZ’s ‘quirkiest’ horse rider

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Competition entrants must submit a photograph or video before April 7 of themselves in action on a pony or horse. Photo supplied

The race starts today to find New Zealand’s quirkiest horse riding kid – someone who can pull off some cool and clever moves on a pony or horse.

Hampton and Harlow Equestrian, a leading Australian equestrian clothing brand, is in New Zealand scouting some of our country’s most talented young horse riders as part of its ‘Hampton Valley Hits New Zealand Kiwi Kids Casting’ competition.

“Kiwi kids are so enthusiastic about riding – whether they do it just for fun or are competitive riders – they have such a passion for it,” says Hampton and Harlow Equestrian CEO Karen Bazzan, who has been visiting pony clubs throughout the country and from today welcomes riders to visit her at the Horse of the Year Show at Hawke’s Bay A&P Showgrounds, which runs until 12 March.

Competition entrants must submit a photograph or video before 7 April of themselves in action on a pony or horse. The most outstanding entrant of the ‘Hampton Valley Hits New Zealand Kiwi Kids Casting’ competition will win $500 worth of Hampton and Harlow Equestrian clothing and become the inspiration for a new character in the equestrian brand’s comic book.

“We’re inviting Kiwi kids to show us their horse riding talents and we are excited to see their personality, style and of course any unusual or cute tricks they can perform. From what we’ve seen so far young Kiwis have a real passion for equestrian so we don’t think we will have difficulty finding a muse to base our comic strip character on,” says Bazzan.

The Hampton Valley comic strip follows quirky Australian riders Harriet and Emily and their pony Sheldon, and the first stop of their world tour is New Zealand where they will meet a Kiwi character based on the competition winner.

Bazzan, an award-winning Australian designer and businesswoman, started Hampton & Harlow Equestrian 12 months ago after noticing her four children felt uncomfortable in their riding gear.

“It was challenging to find clothing that was affordable, practical, durable, stain resistant, stylish and comfortable for my kids for our weekend riding excursions.”

She took the reins and developed a clothing brand using advanced fabric technology with children’s comfort in mind. Hampton and Harlow’s jodhpurs and breeches are made from a micro-woven fabric for comfort for stretch and cotton and polymide for breathability, structure and stain resistant qualities. Breeches have silicone knee grips or a silicone seat to provide saddle grip. The polo jeans provide the feel of moleskin and have a polyester combination. The polo shirts and long sleeve shirts are 100% cotton and knitted fabrics contain 50% wool.

“First and foremost we’re about comfort, but our gear appeals to people wanting to look fashionable on or off a horse. It’s also popular for everyday use – our comfy pants are also popular for outdoor pursuits or just chilling around home in,” adds Bazzan.

The range is already picking up pace in Canterbury where the country’s first stockist resides. Ken Wilson of Rangiora Equestrian Supplies says classic English-style design and bright colours have caught the attention of local riders. “We had never come across anything as unique as this. People love the quality and it’s nice comfortable clothing to wear.”

To get your hands on your own Hampton & Harlow Equestrian gear and feature in the brand’s comic book, enter the ‘Hampton Valley Hits New Zealand Kiwi Kids Casting’ competition today. Entries close on 7 April 2017. Simply send a photo and/or video with your contact details to, ‘like’ the Hampton and Harlow Equestrian Facebook page and visit the website for full terms and conditions.

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