Hollywood may have the glitzy Oscars but High Performance Sport in New Zealand has the Halberg awards and they are just as prestigious if not always quite so well documented by the world press!
Jonelle has been nominated for the HPSNZ Sportswoman of the Year which is an amazing achievement in itself. It’s all about the girls and winning back to back 4 stars at Badminton and Luhmuhlen this year on Classic Moet ( Molly) and Faerie Dianimo ( Maggie May) but in reality its a nomination for the whole team at Mere Farm. Sir Mark Todd won a Halberg award after his back to back double Gold medals in the 80’s and Andrew Nicholson has also been nominated in the past.
The awards were set up in 1963 and were the brainchild of former Olympian athlete Sir Murray Halberg who wanted a way to publicise and fundraise for his Halberg Foundation which promoted sport and recreation for physically disabled young Kiwis. Today, 50 years on, they have become the hallmark of sporting excellence in New Zealand and simply to be nominated is a huge honour. Jonelle is in a big category.. there are 22 other nominees coming from all kinds of sports from rugby through to sailing and snowboarding. We have to wait until February 21st to see how the panel votes but in the mean time massive congratulations to Jonelle!
And its girls, girls girls again for the equine awards too! Lucy Nelson’s lovely homebred Hester has been awarded a prize by the British Hanovarian Society for the horse to have amassed the most eventing points in 2018 from its studbook. Lucy will be presented with it at a dinner in London in early January and it is not only a very satisfying award for a breeder but hopefully some small compensation for watching her burlesque mare become transformed into a svelte eventer over 2018!
And lastly, never far from the headlines is Joanne Pullan’s wonder mare Cekatinka who is up for the KWPN Horse of the Year award which is voted for by the public over the stallion show at the end of January. It is, again, a huge achievement for an eventer to make the nominations as the KWPN studbook is more geared towards the Dressage and Showjumping stars. To put it into perspective, this is an award that Valegro has won! We will post the link to vote nearer the time but we do need everyone to act on this…it would be very fitting for Joanne and Grace Pullan if they could see their lovely mare pull off such a dazzling win in such amazing company at the start of 2019.