If you’re looking for the inspiration to make your passion a reality, then look no further than the Wilson Sisters. Vicki, Kelly and Amanda are three Kiwi sisters all with a passion for horses, especially Show Jumping.
However, in the last few years they have been using their passion for horses to raise awareness about the plight of wild horses in New Zealand, America and Australia.
It takes something more than ‘luck’ to achieve what Kelly and her sisters have achieved. With two bestselling books with two more due in the coming weeks, a hit reality television series, two documentaries, along with the vast collection of awards, the Wilson Sisters have achieved more so far than most do in a lifetime. And they say this is only the beginning.
When asked what is one of the biggest ‘pinch yourself’ moments, they say taming wild Mustangs whilst road-tripping 5000km throughout the Wild West of the USA in 2015 has to be a collective stand out. For Kelly, who is not only a talented rider but also a photographer, having the first book she wrote, For the Love of Horses, hitting No.1 on the New Zealand Bestseller List was also a personal favourite.
The ingredients to the sister’s success has come down to hard work, long hours, creating opportunities, and self-drive mixed with determination. Kelly has recently noticed these qualities in two kids at their current horse camp, so much so that the kids remind the sisters a lot of themselves growing up, with their tenacity and attitude to grow, lateral thinking and initiative. Rather than settling for the instant gratification many hope for when it comes to success, Kelly believes it’s in the delayed gratification and putting in the hard yards which makes success possible, and even more enjoyable.
These qualities aren’t recent habits. Since 15, Kelly has been pursuing photography. Even though it meant using a video camera for still photos to start out with, the passion was cemented. Using some prize money from a school enterprise competition, she went on to buy her first camera. Her talent behind the lens and hard work lead to a scholarship at AUT for a Bachelor of Design degree, where Kelly also minored in photography and marketing.
Over the years her photography has evolved with the help of various mentors both in NZ and abroad, as well as photographing professionally for various magazines. Kelly’s inspiration comes from seeing beautiful images and wondering how the photographer captured that image.
Anyone with good horse welfare is an inspiration for the sisters. But the horses themselves have been the biggest inspiration and educators, they believe every horse teaches you something different, if you are open to letting them.
While working hard the trio equally play hard, utilizing their need for adventure and adrenaline. With so many things already ticked off the bucket list, it’s hard to believe that there is anything Kelly and her sisters haven’t yet achieved.
But that hasn’t stopped them from setting the benchmark higher. A fifth book, recently being commissioned by Kelly’s publisher Random House, about the sister’s current working with the Australian Brumbies. It will follow Vicki, Kelly and Amanda alongside their equine partners during the Australian Brumby Challenge, as they transition from being completely untouched, through domestication to the competition finale at Equitana in Melbourne. One of the biggest equine events in the Southern Hemisphere.
When they aren’t training wild horses they are working with their large team of Show Jumpers from their home base in Hukerenui, 30 minutes south of the Bay of Islands. They have recently launched a new initiative called Team WS. This is a Joint Ownership venture with the mission to acquire an elite group of horses from which to produce one of the best team of Jumpers ever seen in New Zealand.
Team WS is an unprecedented venture in New Zealand, that has been developed over the last six months to help make Vicki and Amanda’s Olympic dream a possibility. With the first three Team WS horses arriving in the country mid-October, excitement is building to see what can be achieved with horsepower of this quality in New Zealand.