Niconero – Stepping Out At The 2010 ASPR Pony Challenge

The Australian Sports Pony Registry conducted their 2010 Victorian Pony Challenge at Werribee Park on July 31st to August the 1st. There was be action-a-plenty, with the event showcasing the most talented Australian Performance Ponies.

The ASPR Challenge is a well run event with over $4,000 worth of prizes and a thoughtfully crafted program to encourage and reward the best performed ponies and give up and coming combinations the perfect show to present their talents and sharpen their skills for the open competitions which cater for all size categories.

The 2010 Dressage With The Stars 4 YO Pony winner Niconero was to make an appearance and it will be very interesting to see how he has progressed in the months since this major event. Niconero is the perfect type for Dressage and his owner Emma Copeley has great plans for his future.  For the moment Nico is being ridden by talented professional Jason James from Werribee, but Emma hopes to take over the reins soon.

I spoke to Emma and asked her to tell us a little more about the stunning black and white 5 YO.  Emma tells …

“Nico is a black and white gelding by the Dutch Friesian stallion Felipe Mauri (closely related to the stunning Django of Cacharel) and out of a paint mare, Charlotte - of unknown breeding.  Nico has derived much of his quality and presence from his jet  black Friesian dad … and the few splashes of white come from his mum.  As you can see Berni, the pictures I have sent you show that he was a beautiful foal and he has certainly grown into a striking individual.

On the 24th of December 2009 Dad had a Christmas treat in mind and we saw an advertisement for Niconero.  On Christmas Day Dad rang up and spoke to the owner and organized for us to fly up to Sydney and from there we drove to Camden. Nico was out in a paddock with no rugs on. He cantered up to the gate and showed that he had great paces. From there we watched a video … and decided to buy him.

On New Year’s Eve Nico arrived in Victoria and after two days at home with us he was sent to Jason James’ stables in Werribee to be ridden while we were away on holidays.

Our pony progressed so well that after a couple of weeks of work we decided to enter him in the 4 year old class at 2010 Dressage With The Stars. Nico was still a stallion and even though he had a great temperament, we decided to geld him, so that I could ride out and enjoy him - he was destined to be a dressage pony and we had not counted on owning a stallion or breeding.  Three weeks before the big event, Nico was gelded and he got over this very quickly and well.

Dressage With The Stars was Nico’s first competition under saddle. He worked well and scored 6.5 for his trot, 9 for his walk and 9 for his canter, 8.5 for general impression and 8 for conformation, giving him an average score of 8.2 winning the 4 year old pony class … what a thrill for us all. Visiting German riding Judge Lydia Camp spoke very favourably about Niconero and said he had a promising future in the sport.  Jason did a great job and it will be difficult to get the pony back, as he enjoys him so much!

Nico then competed at the Australian Sports Pony Challenge at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre in Sydney. He won the 4 year old pony class and 2 Preliminary dressage tests. Jill Cobcroft noted his talents and we are delighted with Niconero and his potential for the future.  On weekends I go down to Jason’s to ride Nico and on the holiday breaks he comes home.”

With a great increased interest in Performance Ponies, go to the Australian Sports Pony Web Site for more information.

Click here for the results of last weekend's Victorian Pony Challenge in Werribee Park.

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