My name is Ghost Rider (Paddy for close ones). I am a 15-year-old pony born in Ireland. I specialise in show jumping. At the moment, I compete in As Pony Elite with my owner Jade Fleur Calaque, we are getting ready for the Wierden CSIOP! We have been working as a team since February 2016 and I must say that our partnership is rolling! Can you imagine that I started my professional career in fox hunting! But I was then directed towards show jumping and it happened to be a wise move! I won the Irish Championships (130) with my first rider who was Irish and reached the 2015 European Championships final in Sweden with Ines de Melo my previous Swiss rider. As you can see I am a well-travelled pony…
This month Tacante is meeting with a flying pony: Ghost Rider a member of the Tacante Family. He has been selected with his owner and rider Jade Fleur Calaque for the Wierden CSIOP (Netherlands) taking place in June. He opened his door for us and agreed to tell us more about his everyday life as a champion!
Where does your name come from?
I don’t know but most probably from my ghostly coat! And my nickname Paddy is for my Irish teddy side.
Do you prefer to work with a male or female rider? Why?
I prefer female riders as I am scared of men. I don’t like when they come near me even my coaches whom I’ve known for a while! On one occasion, I made Jade’s dad run after me in the paddock for an hour in the rain! He was trying to catch me to go back to my box. I don’t mind the rain I am Irish after all! I really enjoy being in the paddock and it’s not my style to be caught easily! Jade had to travel for 1:15 hrs to come and help her dad! I was hiding behind a tree to play hide and seek but apparently it was not the right time to play…
Where do you live?
I have a grand life as a pony at Eric Muhr Haras des Templiers where I have a super big box and a daily outing in the paddock! From my box, I can see the schooling yard and observe the other ponies. I am a bit of a gossip… I also like to doze with my head in the sun. Jade says that I am really cute especially when I snore!
What do you like most about your stable mates?
Quick my next door neighbour, Jade’s piebald pony. We are at opposite poles character wise but we are inseparable. He is like my pillar even if deep down I am quite independent, shy and an introvert. I must admit that Quick can lead me astray… I can easily fall under his influence. He is a bit of a runaway whereas I am not. But watching him gives me ideas and one day I escaped my box (Jade had left the door open so I took it as an invitation) and I dug into the granules container! I knew it wasn’t a good idea so when Jade caught me I kept quiet… My latest trick is to give little kicks with my bottom like Quicky, it is meant to be funny not nasty. However I know it is a bad habit so I stop straight away.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Apples and hay briquettes especially during competitions!
What is your favourite colour?
Black Only because I like plain colours. However I sometimes like to brighten up my coat with orange the same colour as carrots!
Which dream would you like to come true in your life?
To become European champion! Jade and I are keeping our fingers crossed and we are working hard to get there!
What is your favourite discipline?
I am a show jumping pony but I also love rides and trotting sessions especially in the woods in Fontainebleau! Last time I was yearning to jump over the tree trunks like in the good old days! Maybe I could give a go at eventing but Jade is a little scared…
What makes you feel the happiest?
My friend Quick. When we are attending jumping competitions and the granules have been poured for both of us, I always wait for him. And yet when I have done my round you can spot me heading straight to Jade’s mum and DEMAND MY CARROTS!
What do you dislike most in the world?
I have an easy-going personnality but I am always in a bad mood in the morning (exactly like my rider) and I can not stand being bothered. But Jade can not help covering me with kisses which is rather annoying! But hey I keep my cool and I grumble… My morning routine is as follows: I eat my granules and I go back to sleep and DO NOT DISTURB PLEASE! I can not stand exercising in the yard at home. Jade knows this so we usually go for trotting sessions to get some fresh air. There is something else I find extremely annoying: when people take the little mark I have on my nose for dropping. It is so embarrassing…
Which natural gift would you like to have?
If I could fly that would make my life much easier! Fly over the fences and fly to steal carrots incognito…
What has been your best memory?
I was very proud after Bordeaux Showjumping in February and also in Fontainebleau not so long ago. I thoroughly enjoyed myself on the grass circuit, it is a nice change from sand you feel as if you are in a giant paddock! But most of all the presentations of the prizes remain my best memories. At that moment I can show how proud I am so I try to look taller and I hold myself really high and straight!
Which frame of mind are you in at the moment?
I am very serene and steady at the moment. I am a joyful and very happy pony. I stay true to myself.
Do you have a life motto you would like to share with us?
“I am not chewing I am thinking!” I am a philosopher. I was probably a wise old man in a previous life…
How can we keep up to date with your news?
Mainly on Jade Facebook and Instagram, but also on competitions and especially Wierden. I am impatient to be there! I love to travel and CSIOs. The atmosphere is totally different, it reminds me of good times…