A STALLION noted for his temperament and good looks heads for New Zealand this month to hopefully become the mount for a leading disabled dressage rider at the next World Equestrian Games.

Maximus, a bay 16.2hh Warmblood stallion owned by Norm Clark of Tatura, has competed successfully in dressage and showjumping.

He will be leased in New Zealand to Jo Jackson, an ex-patriate Great Britain winner of three gold medals in Paralympics grade IV, three gold medals in world Para Equestrian championships Grade IV and winner of the NZ Para Equestrian Championships grade IV in 2007 and 2008.

Jo is now a permanent resident of New Zealand.

She hopes to qualify the big horse for next year's World Equestrian Games.

Jo rode Norm Clark's Welsh Cob stallion Barnon Imperial Jack at Riding for the Disabled Australian championships in 2008.

She also rode Maximus on a recent visit to Tatura and believes he fills all the criteria for a Para Olympic champion dressage horse.

Jo rides with one artificial hand and also suffers from the crippling Complex Regional Pain Syndrome condition which means she has a constant tingling pain through her entire body.

Her coach, NZ Para trainer Kate Honour, said Maximus was perfect for the job. "He's a high-quality dressage horse, which is hard to find, so we have high hopes for the pair," she said.

Norm Clark said he would be sorry to see him go.

"In New Zealand he will stand at stud as well as competing for Jo, and if he makes the New Zealand team for Kentucky and the London Olympics in 2012 it will be a real thrill for all of us."







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