Julie grew up in a farming family where her mother loved horses and enabled herself, her older sister, Maren, and younger brother, Nigel, to ride. Starting at the age of 4 years on Shetland pony, Timmy, progression to Pony Club duly followed and then onto Showjumping and One Day Eventing. Once married to David, horses initially took second place to his Medical Studies. However, on returning to the Manawatu having finished Medical School, David learnt to ride and together they hunted for two seasons, while Julie also returned to some Eventing. But once again David’s Medical career had to take priority and the family headed overseas, much of this time being spent in England. Upon returning to New Zealand Julie decided to make the move from Eventing to the Dressage world as it was a better fit with family commitments. The rest, as they say is history.
The farm, ‘Karere Bells’, is south of Palmerston North on fairly sandy soils which is ideal horse country. The stables are very adequate for purpose, as are the horse friendly paddocks and yards. The sheltered arena is 60 x 20m and is half covered by a roof. This is a good compromise both in winter and summer. The arena surface has recently been changed to the World renowned Martin Collins Stability Fibre surface using CLOPF fibre and Pinaki sand from Dargaville. It is here that Julie trains her current horses – Vom Feinsten, Furst Fellini and Donna Hope. Clinics with outside trainers are held – currently Andrea Raves on a very regular basis and Peter Storr when he is visiting twice yearly from England. Julie also gives lessons to a small group of riders.
Education: B.A. (Soc.Sc.) Massey University.
Family: Husband – David; children – Katrina and Nicholas.
Services: Julie is available for coaching for all levels of riders.
Future Challenge – 2018 World Equestrian Games at Tryon, North Carolina
Having competed Vom Feinsten in Europe and at the Rio Olympics in 2016, the next goal is the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina. Recent successes at the 2017 Australian National Champsionships, Equitana, Auckland and most recently being crowned the 2018 National Grand Prix Champion have helped Julie and Vom Feinsten to qualify and achieve selection. Julie and Steiny travel to New York in July 2018 and will compete at the Saugerties (NY) C.D.I.3* on 16-18 August and then at Tryon, WEG on 12-13 September.
Summary of Major Successes Nationally and Internationally
2015 Horse of the Year Grand Prix Champion
Created a new Australasian Grand Prix Musical Freestyle record score of 76.1%
Horse of the Year Grand Prix Reserve Champion
Winners of the Grand Prix, score 70.7%, and the Grand Prix Musical Freestyle with yet another new Australasian record score of 76.3%, which still stands today.
Representing New Zealand in Europe
Vom Feinsten and Julie travelled to and resided in Aachen, Germany, from March 2016 to September 2016 based at Hof Rossheide with the de Ridder family. They then spent a final
month in England before Vom Feinsten went into quarantine in Newmarket and subsequently travelled back to New Zealand arriving early November.
In Europe they campaigned extensively at International C.D.I. 4 star Dressage competitions throughout Germany, Austria and Slovenia. Vom Feinsten was consistently in the Prize-Givings. These competitions were at Mannheim, Germany; Munich, Germany; Lipica, Slovenia; Achleiten, Austria; Cappeln, Germany; and Aachen CHIO, Germany.
Highlight 1 – competing at the Aachen CHIO and finishing 7th in the C.D.I 4* G.P. Kur.
Highlight 2 – competing at the Munich International Horse Show and finishing in 5th place in the C.D.I.4* Grand Prix Special in the company of Jessica Bredow-Werndl and Unee BB; Dorothee Schneider; Victoria Max-Theurer and Beatriz Ferrer-Salat and then having behind them such German stars as Fabienne Lutkemeier, Benjain Werndl, Pia Laus-Schneider, Mathias Bouten and others.
Representng New Zealand at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games
Vom Feinsten and Julie were New Zealand’s sole representative in dressage at the Rio Olympic Games and achieved a new NZL record score of 68.54% in the Grand Prix.
(NB; to date NZL has only had two other representatives in Olympic dressage.)
Representing New Zealand in Australia
Having successfully represented New Zealand in Australia on four previous occasions, Julie and Steiny returned in October 2017 to compete in the Australian National Champs at Boneo Park, Victoria. They placed a very close 3rd in the Grand Prix, 2nd in the Grand Prix Kur and won the Grand Prix Special.
In November 2017, Vom Feinsten made a clean sweep of Equitana Auckland winning both the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Musical Freestyle with above 70% scores.
Bates New Zealand National Dressage Grand Prix Champion
Vom Feinsten is New Zealand’s current National Grand Prix and Burkner Medal Champion.
Horse of the Year Reserve Grand Prix Champion
Winners of the Grand Prix; placed 2nd in the Special and GP MFS.
Grand Champion – “The Way to WEG” CDI 3*, Taupo:
Winner of all three Grand Prix classes.