“It’s my third time back but it’s no less daunting in terms of the challenge” explained defending Road to the Horse World Champion Vicki Wilson. Wilson’s strategy coming into Road to the Horse 2019 is simple: “Build trust, ask them to give me their all and never quit when the going gets tough.”
Vicki Wilson has always had a passion for riding and started her career in an unorthodox fashion at 3 years old, riding and training the family sheep. A few decades on, Vicki is one of New Zealand’s most successful and well-respected show jump riders, being known for her competitive edge and her ability to produce happy horses. She has won countless classes at the highest levels, right through to World Cup, and has consistently been in the winner’s circle since she won her first national title in 2004. At Horse of the Year, Vicki has won the Lowry Medallion five times and the Nationwide Cup nine times – more than any other rider in history. She has represented New Zealand in the winning Trans-Tasman Young Rider team three times and has ridden under the New Zealand flag in Europe, with many wins and placings.
Well regarded for her versatility, Vicki has won many national titles across the Show Jumping, Show Hunter and Showing disciplines, while creating a name for herself in the Southern Hemisphere through bareback and bridle-less demonstrations and jumping displays. Vicki amazed crowds in 2011 jumping a 6ft puissance wall bareback, in 2012 she jumped a car and in 2013 another horse.
Outside of the competition arena, Vicki is one of the country’s top horse trainers. Her specialties lie with fixing problem horses, the domestication of wild horses and colt starting, having started hundreds of horses over the last twenty years. She has a strong philosophy based on producing happy horses who love their work, and takes a holistic approach to horse welfare. Over the years she has developed a reputation for successfully rehabilitating sore and difficult horses, having learnt that horses generally only show negative behavior as a reaction to pain or fear, and aims to foster confidence; working to find solutions rather than punishing symptoms.
Since 2012, alongside her sisters Kelly and Amanda, Vicki has become widely known for her work with wild horses, having tamed and advocated for the plight of New Zealand’s wild Kaimanawas, the American Mustangs and more recently the legendary Australian Brumbies. The Wilson Sisters made their reality television debut with their top-rated series Keeping up with the Kaimanawas, which has been followed by two documentaries and four best-selling books sharing their experiences working with horses around the globe.
Vicki Wilson quickly became a fan favorite at Road to the Horse 2017, showing the grit and grace of a true champion. Wilson returned to defend her title at Road to the Horse 2018, narrowly defeating Dan James and Nick Dowers. Wilson will be vying for her third consecutive Road to the Horse World Championship title in 2019.