‘It’s a great family thing this horse gig’

Family looking forward to a good showing in Gisborne

Family looking forward to a good showing in Gisborne

FAMILY AFFAIR: Jo Bell and Geordie Bull with their children Henry and Lottie and horses Finn McCloud and Rewae.

Picture by Paul Rickard

Geordie Bull loves driving into Gisborne for the Poverty Bay A and P Show. His father Martin is from the region. He is remembered by many as a great horseman who did a lot of breaking and shepherding, and hunted the hounds in Mahia and Hawke’s Bay before moving to Taupo when he got a ballot farm in the 1960s.

Geordie is here this year from Taupo with partner Jo Bell and their children Henry (9) and daughter Lottie (8). The Show is very much front and centre but it is also a chance to catch up with his many relations. Henry and his pony Finn McCloud were the first combination out in the pony 80cm class in ring two yesterday morning . . . and they won a ribbon.

Bell has brought her horse Rewae and is competing in the amateur and 1.15 to 1.2-metre classes. Bull has Forest Hill in the 1.4m and Grand Prix classes as well as youngster Gruffy in the smaller classes. Lottie is the chief cheerleader.

Henry’s efforts are all the more impressive because this time last year he hadn’t even cantered on a horse, let alone jumped a jump. He headed to pony club and progressed rapidly from there. It is, however, in his genes to jump well.

Bull is using the Show as a build-up for Forest Hill’s first World Cup start next week in Hawke’s Bay although it is as much for the rider as it is for the horse. Bull last jumped a World Cup round about 30 years ago. He was at the top of his game and even trialled for New Zealand for the Seoul Olympic Games. Life then got busy and the dairy farmer didn’t compete for around 15 years.

“I didn’t think I would ever compete again,” he said. “When I started jumping again, 80-centimetres (jumps) terrified me.”

Not any more, and he is looking forward to a good showing here in Gisborne, followed by an even better one next week.

“It’s a great family thing this horse gig,” says Bull. “If I didn’t do this I would need to find some other hideous form of exercise.”

He and Bell both hunt and it probably won’t be long before their children join them.

Geordie Bull loves driving into Gisborne for the Poverty Bay A and P Show. His father Martin is from the region. He is remembered by many as a great horseman who did a lot of breaking and shepherding, and hunted the hounds in Mahia and Hawke’s Bay before moving to Taupo when he got a ballot farm in the 1960s.

Geordie is here this year from Taupo with partner Jo Bell and their children Henry (9) and daughter Lottie (8). The Show is very much front and centre but it is also a chance to catch up with his many relations. Henry and his pony Finn McCloud were the first combination out in the pony 80cm class in ring two yesterday morning . . . and they won a ribbon.

Bell has brought her horse Rewae and is competing in the amateur and 1.15 to 1.2-metre classes. Bull has Forest Hill in the 1.4m and Grand Prix classes as well as youngster Gruffy in the smaller classes. Lottie is the chief cheerleader.

Henry’s efforts are all the more impressive because this time last year he hadn’t even cantered on a horse, let alone jumped a jump. He headed to pony club and progressed rapidly from there. It is, however, in his genes to jump well.

Bull is using the Show as a build-up for Forest Hill’s first World Cup start next week in Hawke’s Bay although it is as much for the rider as it is for the horse. Bull last jumped a World Cup round about 30 years ago. He was at the top of his game and even trialled for New Zealand for the Seoul Olympic Games. Life then got busy and the dairy farmer didn’t compete for around 15 years.

“I didn’t think I would ever compete again,” he said. “When I started jumping again, 80-centimetres (jumps) terrified me.”

Not any more, and he is looking forward to a good showing here in Gisborne, followed by an even better one next week.

“It’s a great family thing this horse gig,” says Bull. “If I didn’t do this I would need to find some other hideous form of exercise.”

He and Bell both hunt and it probably won’t be long before their children join them.

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