Answers by Jamie Carson.
1) Name, age and breeding?
Elmdale Park Flash Dants. We call him “Monty Diamonds” as his name has always been “Monty” but there was a radio presenter with the name “Monty Diamonds” on air just after I purchased him and is has stuck! He is out of Yarramee Ants Pants and by Mirinda Field of Dreams. He is rising 6 years old.
2) How long have you owned Monty and what made you decide he was the horse for you?
I decided to purchase Monty in January 2013. I officially took ownership of him after Sydney Royal that year, but the deal had been done a few weeks prior to Barastoc. I had seen him in hand at Summer Royal as a yearling and thought he was beautiful, but hadn’t seen him again until Greg Mickan showed him under saddle and won Newcomers at SHCV Horse of the Year in 2012. He looked spectacular under saddle and I think a lot of people took notice!
> I had no intentions of buying another horse, as I still owned Willowcroft Chance Encounter at the time, and had recently purchased a young horse who became HB Beautiful Encounter (Peach). I had purchased Peach to ride myself, and had sent her to Greg & Terry at Romsey Park just to break in and ride for a little while, but they thought she was going to be something special and asked to keep her on to show. Seeing as that left me with nothing to ride I asked them to speak to Christine Frost (his breeder and owner at the time) about the possibility of purchasing Monty, and that was that!
3) Major performances?
He had a very successful career in hand as a colt, winning Champion In-Hand Riding Pony Colt at Melbourne Summer Royal as a yearling and Champion Colt & Supreme Champion Riding Pony at Adelaide Royal, when he was a two-year-old. He was also 2013 Champion Led Riding Pony Gelding at Summer Royal and 2013 Best Led Gelding at Sydney Royal when he was still owned by Christine, in addition to being 2012/13 Champion Newcomer at SHCV Horse of the Year, Barastoc and Summer Royal and winning his Novice and Best Childs Galloway at Canberra Royal 2013. With me he has also won 2014 Champion Led Gelding at Summer Royal, 2014 Champion Senior Led Riding Pony at the Riding Pony Nationals and 2014 Barastoc Ridden RP Show Pony of the Year. He also qualified for the 2015 Grand Nationals at the 2015 SHCV Autumn Classic.
4) How does he handle the big shows?
Better than I do! He is actually very quiet for a young horse, sometimes he get a bit tense if there is atmosphere but he isn’t spooky at all. It is more a matter of me riding him enough at the show so that I am relaxed on him in the ring – I need the working down, not Monty!
5) What is it that you love the most about Monty?
He is absolutely beautiful to ride! I have been lucky enough to ride some very beautiful and very successful horses, and I can honestly say the vast majority of them look a lot nicer to ride than they actually are, but riding Monty is as fun as it looks! He is very trainable, and he is easy to handle and do everything with around the stables, as long as he is in work and getting attention. If he is on a spell he can get a bit frisky bringing him in from the paddock, and has throwbacks to his stallion days!
6) If you could change one thing about him, what would it be?
I wish he would keep his dark dapples and not go any whiter!
7) Describe an average week for Monty?
Over winter he goes on holidays, as I travel quite a lot for work and it is too difficult to work him consistently when it gets dark early. During the show season his schedule can be a bit inconsistent if I am travelling, or I have to work out-of-hours which happens fairly regularly. Ideally he will get worked, ridden or lunged, 3-4 times in a good week and then do a show on the weekend. Luckily he was very well schooled from breaking in, so having time off here and there doesn’t seem to affect him, only me! He is stabled at night and gets to go out in a nice big paddock during the day. I agist him at Cavalli Park, which is primarily a show jumping facility, so it is quite funny to see him looking so tiny compared to all the big warmbloods!
8) What does the future hold for Monty?
He is already qualified for the 2015 Grand Nationals, so I plan to take him up there. The Royal Shows can be difficult for me because they usually require at least a week off work, which just isn’t practical most of the time. I hope to take him to as many big shows as I can this year, I didn’t get to any shows until the week before Summer Royal last year so hopefully we can do better than that this season! I just plan to enjoy him, he is a really nice horse to have around and lots of fun to show, and hopefully I can show him off to his best!