Vicki, Kelly and Amanda Wilson are prominent figures on the international equestrian scene, renowned for their successes at the highest levels of showjumping, taming wild horses across the globe and their world-class horsemanship.
Their passion for showjumping has established them as some of New Zealand’s most competitive riders, with both Vicki and Amanda competing to World Cup level and having won many of the nation’s most prestigious classes and national titles. Unlike her sisters, showjumping is just a hobby for Kelly, who has competed to Pony Grand Prix and 1.30m level; she equally enjoys photography, writing and taming wild horses.
Since 2012, the Wilson sisters have spent their off-seasons travelling the world to tame wild horses and advocating for New Zealand’s Kaimanawas, the American Mustangs and the legendary Australian Brumbies. Their work is featured in the hit-rated television show Keeping Up With The Kaimanawas and two documentaries, as well as Kelly’s bestselling books For the Love of Horses, Stallion Challenges, Mustang Ride, Saving the Snowy Brumbies, Ranger, the Kaimanawa Stallion and the junior fiction series Showtym Adventures.
The Wilson sisters’ gentle, yet effective, methods of training horses have seen Vicki catapulted onto the world stage, winning back-to-back titles in Road to the Horse, the US$100,000 World Championships of Colt Starting, in 2017 and 2018. Her extensive knowledge of all things equine, along with her ability to relate to audiences of all ages, has lead to her attending some of the world’s leading equestrian events as both an educator and an entertainer, as well as hosting clinics worldwide.
Vicki, Kelly and Amanda’s humble upbringing and down-to-earth personalities have made them admired role models, inspiring and encouraging people of all ages. Known for their determination, passion and clean-living lifestyle, these three Kiwi sisters are committed to improving horse welfare on a global scale.
After working her way up from local gymkhanas, Vicki has now won more awards at the New Zealand Horse of the Year show than any other rider in history. Winning the World Cup in 2014 took her showjumping career to another level, and she’s now one of New Zealand’s most successful riders. Vicki has represented her country in the winning Trans-Tasman Young Rider team three times and has also competed under the New Zealand flag in Europe with many wins and placings.
Vicki now travels the world to educate and entertain. She has performed all over New Zealand and Australia in bridle-free, bareback stunts. She has jumped to 1.82m bareback and 1.95m in a saddle in Puissance events. As one of the three ‘Wilson Sisters’, Vicki runs the much-loved Showtym horse camp with her sisters and has co-starred in television documentaries and the hit series, Keeping up with the Kaimanawas, about New Zealand’s wild horses.
Outside of the competition arena, Vicki is one of the country's top horse trainers. She has a special talent for working with ‘difficult’ horses and can start any young horse in any discipline from western to dressage to the domestication of wild horses. She is hugely proud of her work with the local Kaimanawa wild horses, the wild brumbies of Australia and American mustangs. Vicki has started hundreds of young horses and has a very specific philosophy that puts the welfare of the horse first and produces “a happy horse that loves its work”.
In 2017 she was scouted to compete in Road to the Horse, the World Championships of Colt Starting, which she won in history making style. In the wake of her success in 2017, Vicki took to the Kentucky Horse Park once again to defend her World Championship of Colt Starting title at the Road to the Horse 2018. Vicki was competing against two former Road to the Horse champions, this time starting two colts instead of one. Vicki cemented her place as one of the world’s most highly respected horse trainers after winning for the second time running. Vicki now holds the title of double World Champion of Colt Starting.
Having grown up with horses in rural New Zealand, Kelly showjumped to Pony Grand Prix level before focusing on her creative talents. After winning a scholarship to the Auckland University of Technology, she graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design before going on to become an award-winning photographer and designer.
In 2012, alongside her sisters Vicki and Amanda, Kelly began a journey to raise awareness about the plight of wild horses around the world. Their work taming New Zealand’s wild Kaimanawas, the American Mustangs and Australian Brumbies features in two documentaries and the hit-rating television show Keeping Up With The Kaimanawas which was watched by over half a million New Zealanders, as well as screening in Australia and the UK, making them a household name.
In 2013 Penguin Random House commissioned the Wilson sisters’ autobiography For the Love of Horses, Kelly’s first number one bestselling title. Since then, their adventures taming wild horses has resulted in another three bestselling non-fiction titles; Stallion Challenges, Mustang Ride and Saving the Snowy Brumbies, as well as the number one bestselling children’s book Ranger, the Kaimanawa Stallion.
Back in 2012 when their journey with the Kaimanawas began, Kelly had no idea where her affinity for wild horses would take her. Now, alongside a long list of bestselling books and award-winning photographs of wild horses, Kelly is the only trainer in the world to have achieved top 6 finishes in the Extreme Mustang Makeover, Kaimanawa Stallion Challenges and Australian Brumby Challenge.
She is grateful for the opportunity to have learnt from three iconic wild horse breeds, and is the first to admit that none of it would have been possible without her family or their unorthodox childhood. Born into a family recovering from near-bankruptcy, Kelly and her sisters learnt to ride bareback and had to train wild and difficult ponies, for want of the money to afford anything else. The work ethic, passion and determination that they learnt in those early years, which saw them overcome both their financial and social circumstances, has been captured in Kelly’s most recent work, the number one bestselling junior fiction series Showtym Adventures, which unravels the Wilson sisters’ early years growing up with horses and their inspirational rise to success in the competition arena.
Amanda has a passion for young horses, as she loves to begin with a blank canvas. Her gentle approach to working with horses produces highly effective results and she has earned a reputation for producing some of the best young horses on the show jumping circuit.
Amanda has an equally strong passion for film. In 2012, together with her sisters, Vicki and Kelly, she saved 11 wild horses from slaughter and filmed their journey for the documentary Wind Eaters, which was her directorial debut. The documentary attracted the interest of New Zealand's leading television network, and the Wilson sisters' work with 12 horses from the 2014 muster was filmed to create the top-rated television series, Keeping up with the Kaimanwas, with Amanda as second cameraman. In 2015, she filmed her second documentary, Mustang Ride, which follows the sisters' journey taming American Mustangs. Amanda also has a love for writing and is currently writing her first fictional novel.