JHT Equine – John Thompson and Holly Leach
Top New Zealand Dressage Riders
Fiber Fresh is pleased to announce our new Team Fiber Fresh ambassadors with JHT Equine. JHT Equine is owned and run by John Thompson and fiancé Holly Leach and are based in Gordonton, Waikato on 15 acres where they are producing some of New Zealand’s top dressage talent as well as future stars.
Being able to ride before he could walk set John on the pathway to becoming one of New Zealand’s top dressage riders.
“My Mum and Dad are both horsey, Dad’s family owns Rich Hill Stud and Mum was a showy, it was in the blood that I was always going to ride!”
Recently being named in the New Zealand team destined for the World Equestrian Games at Tryon is just one of the many highlights of John’s young career.
“Being reserve for Rio Olympics and breaking into the top 100 world rider rankings early last year have definitely been highlights. Also, being the former National Grand Prix champion as well as the former Horse of the Year Grand Prix champion is right up there.”
Holly has also been having huge achievements with her stallion HP Fresco. Not only did they take out the New Zealand five-year-old Championship, but they also traveled to Australia where they were the five-year-old Reserve Champion making HP Fresco possibly the most successful five-year-old in Australasia. This year Holly has stepped him up to level five and they have won every start so far, leading John and Holly to have strong hopes that he might have a chance to be in the lineup for Tokyo in 2020.
Kelly Stewart, Marketing Manager for Fiber Fresh says “We’re excited to bring John and Holly onto team Fiber Fresh and to add a dressage element to our portfolio of sponsored riders. It’s great to support riders that are as passionate about our product as John and Holly and we look forward to working with them in the future.”
John and Holly have been using Fiber Fresh for about three years and are extremely happy that they’ve been able to take their horses off Ulcer Guard since using Fiber Fresh products.
“JHT Antonello is a very tricky eater and he’s thrived on it. Normally he would eat one in every three feeds and he now cleans it up just because it feels so much better on his tummy.
“Clients always want to know three things: what gear do we ride in, what saddles do we ride in and what do we feed. We just love Fiber Fresh, it’s so great to be a part of the team when you really believe in it.”
As for what the future holds,
“We’re hopefully leaving in June to head for Aachen which is a bit of a dream and doing a few of the bigger shows before heading to the World Equestrian Games in America.
“It’s all looking really good for WEG, I think it’s probably the strongest New Zealand’s ever been at Grand Prix level so it’s a great opportunity for us to showcase where we’ve developed in the sport.”
Samantha Felton – Top New Zealand Eventor
With adventure born into the blood after being raised on a sail boat cruising around the South Pacific in early childhood, equestrian eventer Sam Felton was destined to push the limits.
As a current member of the New Zealand Talent Development squad and the latest sponsored rider for Team Fiber Fresh, Sam has championed seven national titles since 2009 and also represented New Zealand in 2012 to win team gold in the Young Rider Trans-Tasman Challenge.
Sam and her family are based in Matangi, Hamilton, with Sam Felton Eventing including a team of six horses, coaching clinics and also recently started buying, schooling up and sell horses.
In 2014 Sam was crowned the National CIC two-star Horse of the Year champion, winning five of the six FEI two-star events she entered and placing second in the other.
She was crowned National One Day Eventing Champion in 2012 and 2013, as well as the Individual Young Rider National One Day Champion in 2012.
In 2011 Sam won the National Senior Individual NZPCA U21 event, winning the National Pre-Novice One Day Championships the previous year (2010) and the four year old Young Event Horse National Championships in 2009.
“We’ve been using Fiber Fresh feeds for a long time because it provides really good condition, energy and stamina for cross country and three-day eventing.
“Our horses are often competing three weekends in a row, with only a couple of days’ recovery, so their muscles are consistently tested –Fiber Fresh helps their muscles regenerate and the horses always do really well on it.
“With competitions, horses are out of their home environment for such a long time, which makes it even more important to feed them well. Our horses never come away from events worse off than when they started and always maintain their condition.”
Sam also uses FiberProtect on horses with suspected ulcers, especially if they’ve come from the racetrack and FiberEdge.
“It’s for all the scientific reasons that we feed Fiber Fresh, but as riders we look at the end results.
“It’s so exciting to be part of the Fiber Fresh team.”
Long term, Sam aims to follow in the footsteps of equestrian greats such as Mark Todd, Caroline Powel and Jonathan Paget by representing New Zealand at the World Equestrian Games and Olympics.
“The support from Fiber Fresh gives me that competitive edge to continue this New Zealand legacy on the international stage.”
Briar is a very accomplished young lady who now competes at Young Rider level and has recently had success at Grand Prix. She has enjoyed numerous success over the years, winning her first Horse of the Year title at the age of 10 in the Pony 6 Bar Competition, where she cleared a height of 1.60m and began competing in the Pony Grand Prix Series at age 11, winning and placing in nearly all her events.
She is the only rider in NZ and Australia to have won the FEI Children’s International Qualifier in three consecutive years, 2012, 2013 and 2014. At the World Championships in 2013 Briar competed against the top 32 riders in the world in the finals in Mexico. As the youngest international rider, she was placed fifth individually overall and was a member of the team that won gold.
In the 2013/14 season Briar began competing on horses in the Junior Rider Series and in Open Classes against adults. At the 2014 Horse of the Year, she placed third in the Pony of the Year, third in Junior Rider of the Year and fifth in the Speed Horse of the Year against adults.
Briar’s long-term goal is to compete in the Olympics for New Zealand.
“I’ve been using Fiber Fresh for years and it’s a product our family are really behind, so partnering with Fiber Fresh is pretty exciting. The horses go so well on it and they always look fit and well.”
Donna Edwards Smith
Donna Smith is an international event rider and trainer who rode for New Zealand at the 2006 World Equestrian Games. One of the most sportsmanlike and professional riders on the local circuit, Donna has produced many, many horses to Advanced level, such as Balmoral Sensation, DSE Tangalooma, DSE Mr Hokey Pokey, Henton Executive, Just Chocolate to name a few!
Donna and her wife Elise are based in Waerenga in the heart of the Waikato. Their aim is to once again represent New Zealand at the World Equestrian Games and the Olympics. They are big fans of FiberEzy and have been using this versatile high nutritional fibre for many years to meet the nutritional requirements and act as the base feed for all their horses.