Kinky has been a yard favorite from the first day he arrived at Mark’s then Headley Stud base just outside Newbury. Mark was building up his string in 2009 and Kinky joined the team as a winter 7 year old and promptly showed his class as an 8 year old by winning Hartpury CCI 2 * after the bare minimum of a few novices and an intermediate to qualify him . He stepped up the grades pretty quickly alongside his stablemate Leonidas who arrived around the same time and the next year saw him finish second in the CIC2 star at Saumur before rising to the challenge of Boekelo CCI 3 * to finish in 3rd place.
Kinky and Mark were part of the NZ Bronze medal winning team at London Olympics in 2012 which was a staggering achievement at just 10 years old after barely 2 seasons in the game finishing in individual 12th. They were 3rd after dressage and 2nd after cross country and only dropped out of the medals as a couple of rails showed Kinky’s mental exhaustion rather than a physical one. It was basically his third international run so really quite the outstanding performance.
Fresh back from a break in 2014 and he quickly won the CCIO 3 * at Houghton which was always one of his favorite events. Kinky was always quite clear about his preferences…he would happily jump Centaurs Leap ( Burghley) and the Vicarage V (Badminton) but show him a small ditch in the middle of a coffin and he would inevitably bawk at it. He never liked Bramham for this reason and could still apply the brakes at a one day if he considered the ditch to be hiding dragons.
In 2015 Kinky and Mark won Tattersalls CIC 3 * before coming 5th in Luhmuhlen. He then finished top 10 in Aachen CCIO, won Ballindenisk CIC 3* and finished top 10 at Pau. Rio Olympic year saw Mark double handed with both Kinky and Leo on flying form and a 7th place at Lexington saw him shortlisted for his second Olympics. Leo got the nod but Kinky put a smile back on everyones face after a disappointing Rio for the Kiwis with a top 10 spot at Burghley.
2017 saw his best 4 star result with a 4th at Badminton and in 2018, despite an unusual preparation for Burghley which included a spin around Keysoe OI on the preceding Friday he still finished in the top 20.
Kinky has been so much more than just a top international though. He has jumped in the popular Blenheim high Jump competition, competed in the Eventers Class at Hickstead a few times and has been ridden at nearly all of the Badgerstown Christmas Chase me Charlie comps by varying family and staff members! At 17 he is still as spooky as ever despite travelling al over the Northern hemisphere and still as sweet natured as ever. Mark’s yard manager, Jess Wilson, has a particular bond with him and his new job will involve being Carolyn’s hack, looking after the youngsters in the paddocks and generally being pampered by Jess. So many good horses don’t get to enjoy their retirement….well, this one sure is going to!
NB All class references are in the category they were prior to 2019.