Member Showcase: Amy Walpole


Recently joining SPPHA, I am still learning what this great club is all about and all that they have to offer but it’s so great to see a group of devoted individuals providing, enabling and advocating a life after racing and also loving homes for Standardbreds across the board and it’s through this group that I found my next project pony and much loved fur baby.

I really do believe horses and humans have a way of finding their way to each other without much cause or intent. ‘What is meant to be will be’… This is exactly the case for both Timmy and myself as in all honesty, prior to knowing about him I wasn’t even thinking about adding to the family in any way or form but yet here we are.

Having been married in March this year, you tend to get asked the question quite frequently ‘so when is the baby coming along’? Thankfully my husband and I are on the completely same page where starting a family of our own is still far away on the horizon yet, which means we can focus on expanding other areas of our life such as our fur babies. It all began with harmlessly scrolling through Facebook (as you do) and an advertisement for a quiet, compact and cute black Standardbred graced my phone screen. It’s hard to describe but looking back on that distinctive moment it was something about his Black Beauty (soft eyes) look alike face that caught my attention and prompted me to ask the question ‘could we?’. Through the motions of discussing the possibility with my husband, close friend Ingrid (SPPHA President), Amanda (SPPHA rehoming contact) and of course Alison (Timmy’s previous owner), it was starting to look quite likely that Timmy and I were meant for each other.

For a young horse that had not done much prior to ending his racing career, I was quite surprised to see how quiet and comfortable Timmy was particularly around strangers who he had never met before. He was definitely cheeky and had a mischievous glimmer in his eye but also had this beautiful nature inside and out. After spending time with him, I started visualising our life together and thought it could really work so the decision was made, he loaded on the float without much reservation and such began the journey to his new home.

I hadn’t really told Chester (my beloved older TB gelding) that he was getting a younger brother that day, so if I could have captioned his facial expressions it would have read something like ‘that thing isn’t staying here permanently is he???’. But despite a few races around the paddock, they settled into life together rather well.

It is your typical big brother v little brother dynamics though and so cute to see Timmy absolutely doting on Chester and in return I think Chester has a really soft spot for him because whenever Timmy is taken away he does call out to him, which is rare. My vision for Timmy is for him to become my all-rounder of a horse, and we not be restricted in any way or form in what we want to do. So far we have been able to attend a local hacking show and managed to place in every class we entered, plus he handled the competition environment like a pro as well as our first trail ride (and third ride overall) – which I should note he is still not broken in to saddle, just harness from his racing days. There really is a lot to be said about Standardbreds, such undervalued breeds that have so much to offer and give.

Everything that I have thrown his way he has taken completely on board and his ability to cope, learn and mentality to please never ceases to amaze me. Timmy is a very intelligent, young and quirky Standardbred and I thank my lucky stars every day that we came to find each other. I cannot believe how far Timmy and my partnership has grown in the short time we have come to know each other and begun this journey and I am very excited to see what else we can achieve together. Timmy has the biggest heart and I absolutely adore him.

A huge thank you to Ingrid for your support and counsel throughout the whole process, Amanda for ‘matchmaking’ us perfectly and of course Alison for entrusting me with your special boy. I look forward to becoming more involved with SPPHA, meeting fellow members through competitions or events and further supporting in general life after racing for Standardbred’s because what a great cause it is.



Why you need to become an SPPHA NSW member today!

standardbred show horse



Membership of SPPHA NSW is a requirement if you wish to adopt a Standardbred through the adoption program or register a Standardbred with the association.

For SPPHA NSW members we also run several High Point competitions and offer Sponsorship. To be eligible for these awards, you must be a financial member of SPPHA NSW and compete on a Standardbred horse. A presentation for all awards is held towards the end of each year.

Horse Placement

The Horse Adoption/Placement program is the most important aspect of SPPHA NSW’s work. Our main goal is to promote the Standardbred horse in equestrian activities beyond their lives in Harness Racing and to find homes for them when they finish their racing careers.

As well as being a member of SPPHA NSW, you will need to complete an Adoption Application form and pay a $150 Adoption Administration Fee.

You can read the Terms and Conditions here and also browse through our available horses searching for their home after racing.


SPPHA NSW has run a registry for Purebred and Partbred Standardbreds for more than 20 years.

The types of Registration available through SPPHA NSW include: Purebred Registration; Partbred Registration (DNA testing is required); Transfer of Registration; Unbranded Standardbred Registration (DNA testing is required).

Registration of horses with SPPHA NSW is not mandated except for the following:

  • National High Point Showing Competition;
  • Sponsorship – where the horse is unnamed with HRA or is shown under a different name to that registered with HRA.

You can view our registration page here.

N.B. For adopted horses, registration automatically occurs at the end of the lease period.


New South Wales State Showing High Point

The NSW State High Points Showing Competition encompasses all NSW shows that include Standardbred classes. The show season begins with Hawkesbury Show (April/May) each year. Competitors must be financial members of SPPHA NSW and must present (lead and/or ride) the horse/s to have their results included. Once the season has finished, results are tallied and a presentation is usually held towards the end of the year.

National High Point Showing Competition

Each year each state SPPHA/SAQ offer a National High Point competition to their members.

For a maximum entry fee of $40, the competition requires SPPHA NSW members and their SPPHA-registered horses to contest at 4 nominated shows and submit their results via the NHPC performance card after attending the final show. The 4 nominated shows must include Led classes to Supreme and Ridden Classes to Champion; only Open Ridden classes are eligible (i.e. must include canter). The nominated shows will be advised by SPPHA NSW before the start of the competition.

With sections for junior members (mares and geldings) and senior members (stallions, mares and geldings) in led and ridden classes, sashes are presented to the Top 5 in each section, as well as Championship sashes and 2 National Performance Horse – Junior National Performance Horse and Senior National Performance Horse – braided neck sashes and rosette. Where possible, vouchers are also offered as prizes to the major winners.

Harness Racing New South Wales Off The Track Series

New and exciting series promoted through the Standardbred Pleasure and Performance Horse Association of New South Wales. The Harness Racing New South Wales Off The Track Series consists of 9 qualifying classes over the 2017-2018 showing season with each Champion and Reserve Champion automatically qualifying for the Harness Racing New South Wales Off The Track Grand Final at the Standardbred Pleasure and Performance Horse Association of New South Wales State Championships. More information can be found here.

Upcoming competitions with Standardbred classes can be found on the SPPHA NSW Showing Events Page. 

New South Wales State Dressage High Point

The competition year is 1st May of the current year to 30th April of the following year. Any level of dressage test, open/competitive or restricted/unrestricted, is acceptable.  Average scores calculated from the tests at each level will be used to determine prize winners. The award categories are:  Highest average score per level (Preparatory, Preliminary, Novice, Elementary, etc.); Highest score overall; Best Rider award (based on the collective marks); Encouragement Award(s).

To participate you must be a financial member of SPPHA NSW. All members will be notified by SPPHA NSW after 30th April to send in copies of your test sheets (scan and email, or copy and post) to determine the winners.


New South Wales State Endurance High Point

Points are collected from participating in endurance rides run by the NSW Endurance Riders Association from 1st May to 30th April of the following year.

Accumulation of points is based on:

  • one point for every successful kilometre completed;
  • the final fitness grading of the horse.

There are no points for placing in the rides, in keeping with the endurance philosophy of “to complete is to win”.

The competition is split into 2 divisions:

  • Social division (20km and under)
  • Open division (40km and over)

To take part you must be a financial member of SPPHA NSW. You will be notified by SPPHA NSW after 30th April to send in copies of your endurance cards (scan and email, or copy and post) to determine the winners.


SPPHA NSW will provide sponsorship for current SPPHA NSW financial members who have been competed with their Standardbred horse(s) at a minimum of 3 events in Open competition for a minimum of 12 months. The emphasis is on the commitment to compete on equal terms, to strive for continuous improvement and actively work towards reaching the next level of your chosen discipline(s).

The criteria for each discipline are as follows:

  • Show Horse – non-breed Ridden classes in full open competition;
  • Dressage – Preliminary level and above;
  • Eventing – Newcomers (60cm) and above;
  • Jumping – 60cm and above;
  • Endurance – Training level (40km) and above;
  • Carriage driving (competitive);
  • Other disciplines will be accepted but must be at a competitive level considered above Beginner/Basic i.e. Standardbreds compete with the same expectations as any other horse (e.g. ARC competition days, Pony Club, Interschools, Western, Sporting, Team Penning, Campdrafting).

The form that Sponsorship will take is at the discretion of the SPPHA NSW committee. Sponsorship may be a package and may include some of the following: one-off payment towards entry fees; monogrammed rug to be used on competition days; monogrammed saddle cloth for competition days; promotional T-shirt and cap.

Additional information including an application can be found here.



Personal Accident Insurance Cover

Current financial members of SPPHA NSW are eligible to take advantage of the Personal Accident (PA) Insurance offer available through Equestrian Sport Insurance (ESI). This insurance provides 24/7 cover when taking part in hobby/pleasure horse–related activities (i.e. not earning money from horse riding/handling).

The initial application and payment will be made through SPPHA NSW, with annual renewals (due 1st July each year) being processed via ESI. To be eligible for renewal you must remain a financial member of SPPHA NSW.

The commercial cost of this PA cover is currently $169.50, taken out through the Australian Horse Industry Council (AHIC). SPPHA NSW has received generous sponsorship to affiliate with AHIC, which activates a price reduction of the annual fee to $95 for adults and $75 for those under 18 years of age.

As well as the price reduction to members, SPPHA NSW will receive a small administration fee for managing the insurance listing. So, while members can enjoy 24/7 personal accident insurance cover at this generously reduced cost, SPPHA NSW will also benefit through receipt of the administration fee – a winning situation for both members and the association.

This insurance can be purchased directly online at

Just answer yes that you are an AHIC Affiliate and select Standardbreds and you are on the way. This replaces the need for states to gather the information from members and send the information to ESI.


Public Liability Insurance Cover

All current financial SPPHA NSW members are covered by the Association’s Public Liability Insurance for travel to and from any event or show or holding Standardbred classes that is listed on our webpage (

For example: if you were travelling to a show and had to stop and unload your horses due to a flat tyre, if your horse got loose and caused an accident, you would be covered by SPPHA NSW’s Public Liability Insurance for the damage caused.

SPPHA NSW Membership forms can be downloaded here

Additional information about the SPPHA NSW Membership can be found on our Membership Page