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Some horses have travelled far and wide to attend the GDP Classic and do that for many other great shows up and down the Country. The Mum of this Pony knew we had great shows in Australia so packed the pony up and travelled on a plane over a ditch to now call Australia home.

This is the story of Fleur DeLacour who is ridden, owned and produced by Sam Whale.

Lia as she referred to at home is by Corofino II and you can trace back Cor De La Bryere, Farnese and Ladykiller through her sire. Her Dam was a horse called Jazz . Lia was  bred by Butch and Lu Thomas. Born in 2014 she stands at 16.2hh.

For those of you who don’t know Butch and Lu Thomas, originally from New Zealand are based in California and breed a number of horses from thier base at Willow Farm. Interestingly they also bred Lia’s grandsire Lio Caylon. Their son Guy Thomas is still in New Zealand and has been extremely successful as a Show jumper himself.

Lio Caylon was very successful in the US and jumped around 1.40m to 1.50m. He loved jumping at Spruce Meadows especially. Lio sadly passed away at his home in 2019. When he was in full competition mode he would love to jump the imaginary signature jump for the audience before leaving the ring.  Lio Caylon gave 100% and this has been passed to his offspring. His offspring all resemble a great likeness to him.

Lio Caylon also produced great offspring, one of his sons competed at WEG2010 and also won the $150,00 triple crown of showjumping in California that same year.

So Lia, you have great lineage… and even though we don’t know a lot about the American jumping scene we are going to say 100% you are bred in the purple.

Lia, has a few loves. 1 being new grooms that can be terrorized another she loves a good roll in the stable or paddock after a workout. Possibly a throwback to her grandsire she loves her job jumping and loves going fast.

On the other side, she too has dislikes. And 1 is being in her own world… She is quite fond of her own personal space and will tell everyone to go away 99% of the time. She will grate her teeth in her stable bars when someone gets close - part of her other nick name the dragon.

Sam tells us “If you are brave enough to get past the dragon front she is quite the smooch”.

Much like her grandsire and his ring quirk Lia has one too…. Every time she is in a prize giving she will have a wee. She has done this since she was a 7yr old.

Lia has experienced a lot in her life and one memory that remains fondly with Sam is Jumping around the Taranaki World Cup final in a cyclone with people holding the fences up. Sam says She always tries so hard for her !  Again like her Grandsire she gives 100%.

Lia has a foal via ET by catch which Sam is very excited for and on top of that her 5yr full sister will be out at the GDP in the mighty 70cm as her first show ever!

Sam bought Lia as a 3yr old against the advice of her husband Jeremy (Sorry Jeremy perhaps you shouldn’t choose the horses, ignoring your advice has turned out very well!), Sam found her ad on trade me and soon after went down to Hawke’s Bay to try her and fell in love, she was tied in the middle of the round yard with her ears pinned because she didn’t like being tied up anywhere else. Lia was purchased from Kim and Greg Best and it was love at first sight. Jeremy (Sam’s husband) tried as hard as he could to put Sam off and also sell her along the way .

Sam tells us that Lia has ticked off so many boxes however some of favorite achievements are Winning the Takapoto 4yr champ in 2018  (apparently it was a massive class and this when Sam knew she was special). Sam and Lia came to Aus in 2022 and they won their first Grand Prix 1.50m start ever.

However Sam’s proudest achievement is actually producing her right through to World Cup.

Sam tells us placing in some big Grand Prix and World Cup classes since being here has just been the cherry on the top and there is so much more to come.

Lia your bond with your mum is strong its beautiful to read about. We cannot wait to meet you and watch you shine in the Martin Collins Australia Grand Prix, we wish the very best of Luck!

Sam and Lia would like to thank their very special sponsors for helping to make their dreams come true and keeping Lia in top top shape. Another huge thanks also goes to all the special people who help make their new home Diamond Lodge so successful.

Completely Equine, Dynavyte, Liz Malcom Equissage and our team behind Diamond Lodge


Photo Credits:

Cornege Photography

Oz Shotz

Fine Pony

Jessie Smith

Libby Law

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