The A&A team met the lovely Laura Wallace and her handsome gelding Van Heck (aka Hector), from Burwood Eventing in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, at the recent Wandin International Horse Trials. Laura had us intrigued with stories of Hector's quirky personality and when we saw him fly across the cross country course like a machine, to claim 6th in the CIC***, we knew we had to interview him...
How long have you been with your human Laura and what were you doing before you found each other?
I’ve been with my human for 3 years this May. Before she found me I was eventing in New Zealand.
Did you have much success as a racehorse?
I was a dreadful racehorse on the flat. They then attempted to produce me as a steeplechaser but I am a believer that brush fences are for jumping not brushing through so they gave that away quite quickly!
Congratulations on coming 6th at the recent Wandin International Horse Trials CIC ***, and on keeping your human onboard. Were you pleased with your performance?
Yes, I was pretty fancy. I think dressage is quite exciting and often don’t like to walk but I managed to which started it off well. One rail got in my way when I wanted to go fast down a line in the showjumping but Laura let me go faster cross country than usual, so that was good fun. She’s told me that this season I’m allowed to go fast now she’s got rid of her granny knitting needles!
What is your favourite phase of eventing and why? Is it also your human’s favourite phase?
My favourite phase is cross country - I love going fast and proving I can jump the height of the flags the whole way round. I think it is also Laura’s favourite phase with me.
Your human has a number of other talented horses in her team, do you think that you are her favourite?
Laura says she doesn’t have favourites but let’s be honest I know I’m the one she likes best. I’m the first horse she rode back at 3* level after she had a bad accident in 2012 so I think that makes me pretty special.
Do you have any special talents outside of eventing?
Champion eater of treaties and remover of fly masks.
What would you consider to be the scariest thing of all time?
Being by myself in a dressage arena away from the warm up - you never know what might happen when you’re all alone out there!
Would you rather be sleeping or eating?
Definitely eating, preferably hand fed - Nutri-Grain, licorice, sugar cubes and carrots.