Haonrsdes happıness THE PERFECT BALANCE
Many riders say they couldn’t cope with a partner who also rides, but for these loved-up couples a shared passion for horses is a recipe for happiness, as HELEN FIRTH discovers
Living, working and playing together would be a challenge for a lot of couples, but show jumpers Craig Sullivan and David Collett have apparently struck the perfect balance in their relationship. e well-respected riders are almost joined at the hip, running their own equestrian business and working all hours to pay the bills. Yet a conversation with this gorgeously amusing couple is peppered with peals of laughter, as they mock each other good-naturedly and nish each other’s sentences.
David, who freely admits he is the more nervous competitor of the two, says Craig is such a joker it’s almost o -putting at shows. “He’ll be yelling ‘ride it like you stole it!’ as I’m coming into the rst fence,” he says. “Well, you know, just to lighten things up a bit,” says Craig cheekily. “He’s such a show pony, he sits there looking pretty, and I’m like, you’ve got to ride the thing.”
Craig (50) and David (28) run Westridge Equestrian in Kumeu, north west of Auckland, o ering breaking-in, schooling, jumping training and lessons. Craig is a former World Cup show jumper, while David has been competing in Pro-am and Grand Prix Super Series classes this season. Together, they make a super team.
“Craig knows how to challenge me to be a better rider and that’s what I really love,” says David. “He pushes me in such a positive way, especially if I’m nervous. If I’m going into a big class and getting wound up, Craig will say ‘What’s the worst thing that can happen – you could have a rail. Who cares?’ He’s always known how to calm me down.” Adds Craig: “Davey tends to over-think and I probably don’t think enough. To me, it’s just a fun day out.”
Naturally, the couple met through horses. David says he had actually known Craig for years as they moved in the same circles. However, for ages they were just