When Finn comes trotting up to the fence to say hello, most people just stand there in silence. For some it’s his flowing black mane and tail blowing in the wind. For others it’s his imposing arched neck and sculptured head beckoning an introduction. Whatever the reason, most people are taken aback at the beauty of this animal when first introduced. He is a majestic example of a New Zealand station-bred horse standing a little over 17hh. He exudes charm and shows off every rippling muscle forged on the side of the mountains of his first home. He has a mix of Thoroughbred and Clydesdale breeding that is evident in his long legs and huge high-stepping feet. To complete the memorable introduction, Finn has a boy-like gentle enthusiasm for people who simply find him irresistible to touch. And he just loves the attention.
Finn was brought across the ditch in 2013 and has thrived since taking the role of principle hunting mount for Boyce. For his sheer size, Finn demonstrates outstanding agility and responsiveness when on the hunt and has learned to settle himself amid the noise of hoofs, horns and hounds.
Boyce has high hopes for Finn and is looking forward to completing a full hunt season with him in 2015 set to commence in June.
Jake belongs to one of the second generation of Deverell riders and has proven himself to be Mr Reliable. He is a 16.1hh Clydesdale cross with a likely addition of Stock or Quarter Horse blood given his chestnut roan coat, striking blaze and four even white stockings. Jake has clocked up a long list of achievements since joining the The NRG Team stables in early 2000 including several hunting seasons and has even featured in a High Country proposal and a resulting wedding ceremony.
Jake joined the Deverell family as a 4 year old with an enthusiasm for trail riding, a short career in Western Horsemanship and a relaxed temperament. As he soon realised, being a mount at the The NRG Team stable means many kilometers of exercise training along the forest tracks and rail trails to prepare for the rigorous demands of the hunting seasons. Jake’s temperament also made him the perfect training partner for new or nervous horses along for the ride. Not much fazes Jake. And he’s equally content as a trail buddy one day or contributing to NRG product research and development the next.
But what a pay off! Rolling green hills to graze, rugs whenever he needs it, stables on hand for cold nights, all the best health and grooming products he could want, and a family that loves him. Yes indeed, Jake is one blessed animal.
Kessey, or otherwise known around the farm as ‘Nugget’, has become a treasured member of The NRG Team since joining the ranks in 2014. Having played the crucial role of ‘first pony’ for many generations of young riders around Coldstream, Kessey now spends his days relaxing on the green slopes of Seville while looking after the next generation of young riders on the weekends.
Kessey is a Shetland Pony that has done everything from Pony Club, shows, kids parties and weekend paddock playmate for over 20 years. He is the quintessential childs pony….nothing fazes him. And he takes special care when the really young ones are buzzing around him. One situation that surprised all the adults was when the 2-year old ‘horse-mad’ toddler of the NRG family got away from supervision for 30 seconds. For a few frantic seconds the adults leaped around the stable area to find him leaning over at the back of Kessey, lifting one hoof off the ground with one hand, a hoof pick in the other, doing his level best to clean out the pony’s feet. And Kessey just stood there, relaxed as you like, as the 2 year old got his head around hoof picking.
The NRG Team is privileged to have such a special pony in the family and can see another generation of young riders being blessed by this little ‘black and white’ diamond.
Felix the Donkey represents the fulfillment of a childhood dream for NRG Team owner Boyce Deverell who himself learned his riding skills as a young boy on board a donkey. In fact, the interest in Donkey’s for Boyce also relates to his father who was known throughout their local Irish community as the colourful character who rode alongside the fox hunting parties aboard his own donkey…and he even managed to keep up!
When Felix arrived at the NRG Team property, he was an extremely shy, lice infested fellow who had been left alone in a quiet paddock in Gippsland. His previous owner had said Felix had been broken to saddle and even threw in a sulky and harness for a small fee as part of the deal.
Felix spent his first weeks at his new home as an inquisitive but wary spectator – his ears often popping up over the stable door with his eyes just high enough to gaze at the other horses being groomed and saddled. He took his time to build trust with all the new activities and people around the farm and preferred one-on-one time rather than noisy groups around him.
With a lot of head scratches, cuddles, good nutrition and repeated lice treatments, Felix has now relaxed in to his new home beautifully. His favorite paddock buddy is Jake and his ongoing feud with Nugget has finally settled down to a point where the two can now share a paddock without Nugget wanting to jump the fence to escape the presence of this odd long-eared character.
The NRG Team has high hopes for Felix with Boyce already half-way through training him to harness and is looking forward to putting some miles aboard the sulky along the Warburton Trail.