Pip Howells branching out into standardbreds

For someone who already has a loaded CV, Philippa "Pip" Howells is heading into new territory.

In the equestrian world she's been an eventer, show jumper, course designer and selector (among others).

Now she's landed a new role as HRNZ’s new Northern Education Co-ordinator.

"The job has direct parallels with what I've done in the past, especially with the thoroughbreds," says Howells, "I was a tutor and had a lot to do with apprentices, stablehands and breeders."

Her new job is her first foray into the world of standardbreds. It’s a varied role that includes encouraging youngsters into the sport, and then upskilling them through the Harness Cadet Scheme. It also encompasses other areas of equine education like animal welfare and the HERO re-homing and re-educating programme.

"It's going to be a steep learning curve," says Howells, "but a lot of what I have done and know is applicable to the standardbred world and I'm looking forward to getting involved."

Howells takes over from Brigette Solomon, who's decided to focus more on other interests which include her training commitments with husband Matty White at their Clevedon base.

It's a 20 hour a week job, which works well for Howells around her other "duties".

For as long as Howells can remember she's been around horses. Her parents Courtney and Mandy Howells run Ainsley Downs near Te Kauwhata, north of Hamilton.

In the early years there was pony club which led to showjumping and eventing as well as riding trackwork and becoming a licensed trainer, where she had seven wins. Hansell was her best winner, with four victories in the early 2000s.

She's also been, and is still, heavily involved in the family's stud - "we have traditionally bred six or seven a year and sold them at the yearling sales" - and is the country's leading FEI Show Jumping Course designer. Among her tasks was building a course at the world class Larapinta arena. It hosted the Queensland World Cup Qualifier for this year's Paris Olympics.

"In about 2000 I was asked to design for some local club days and it grew from there," says Howells.

"These days it takes up a lot of my weekends, especially between September and May."

Officiating is also in the genes, with Pip following on from her mother Mandy, who was an eventing steward at the Beijing and Athens Olympics, and her grandmother Judith Carr.

Living on the family property at Waerenga, Howell's well-placed for her new job.

Her "classroom" duties will be at the Pukekohe training centre at Franklin "40 minutes away" and then she'll working throughout Waikato and South Auckland as required.

True to form Howells isn't holding back - "I start this week and it's all go."



Related Category News

19 May 2024

Aussie News : May 19

Champion mare Ladies In Red will seek revenge at Albion Park.

18 May 2024

Dunns dominate on huge night at Addington

It was the John Dunn and Diamond Racing show at Addington last night.