SQUAD HORSES - Click on the horses name for further information
BL About Time - Owned by Megan Hawkins
Penny Castle has taught since her early 20s and at 27 took over the training of the Trans Tasman dressage team. She grew up on a sheep farm in Pahiatua and horses were always around – she did Pony Club Champs and enjoyed competing in everything she could.
On leaving school she went to work for Eric Ropiha in Woodville. He was a tough task master but Castle says by “good fortune” he had broken his leg and she had to take over his three open medium grade dressage horses.
She spent four years with Ropiha, doing well competing in both eventing and dressage. At 21, she sold her top horse Silver Bridge to Vaughn Jefferis and headed offshore to improve her dressage.
In the ensuing years she worked in stables in Germany, the UK and the US where she ended up with Rainer Schmerglatt, another tough taskmaster who taught her plenty.
In more recent years she has had success with Gymstar One, despite being tipped as a possibility for the London Olympics. The horse, owned by Julie Brougham, was sold because Castles knew in her heart that despite him being a star in the Southern Hemisphere, he wasn’t likely to make the world top 20 at the Olympics.
Penny is also currently on the High Performance Sport New Zealand Coach Accelerator Programme – a three-year professional development programme aimed at increasing New Zealand’s pool of world-class coaches
2nd 2015 New Zealand Horse of the Year CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle to Music 71.525%
2nd 2015 New Zealand Horse of the Year CDI3* Grand Prix Special 67.902%
1st 2015 New Zealand Horse of the Year CDI3* Grand Prix 70.020%
1st 2015 CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle to Music 72.35%
1st 2015 CDI3* Grand Prix Special 68.588%
1st 2015 CDI3* Grand Prix 68.26%
Two time winner of the Prime Minister’s Scholarship