Comic strip stardom beckons coolest Kiwi horse kid

Hampton and Harlow's Hampton Valley comic strip "Emily and the horsehair allergy".
Part of Hampton & Harlow’s Hampton Valley comic strip “Emily and the horsehair allergy”. A young New Zealand rider is to feature in the strip following a competition to find the quirkiest young Kiwi horse rider.

A Kiwi kid could become the star of an equine comic book in a competition by an Australian clothing brand to find New Zealand’s ‘quirkiest’ young horse rider.

The winner of the competition, by Hampton and Harlow Equestrian, will also win $500 worth of equestrian gear.

The ‘Hampton Valley Hits New Zealand Kiwi Kids Casting’ competition is scouting for a youngster who can pull off some cool and clever moves on a pony or horse.

A young Kiwi rider with her new Hampton & Harlow jodphurs.
A young Kiwi rider with her new Hampton & Harlow jodphurs.

Hampton and Harlow Equestrian CEO Karen Bazzan has been visiting pony clubs throughout the country and is at New Zealand’s Horse of the Year Show in Hastings.

“We’re inviting Kiwi kids to show us their horse riding talents and we are excited to see their personality, style and of course any unusual or cute tricks they can perform. From what we’ve seen so far young Kiwis have a real passion for equestrian so we don’t think we will have difficulty finding a muse to base our comic strip character on,” Bazzan said.

Competition entrants are asked to submit a photograph or video before April 7 of themselves in action on a pony or horse. The most outstanding entrant will win $500 worth of Hampton and Harlow Equestrian clothing and become the inspiration for a new character in the equestrian brand’s comic book.

“Kiwi kids are so enthusiastic about riding – whether they do it just for fun or are competitive riders – they have such a passion for it,” Bazzan said.

The Hampton Valley comic strip follows quirky Australian riders Harriet and Emily and their pony Sheldon, and the first stop of their world tour is New Zealand where they will meet a Kiwi character based on the competition winner.

Bazzan, an award-winning Australian designer and businesswoman, started Hampton & Harlow Equestrian 12 months ago after noticing her four children felt uncomfortable in their riding gear.

“It was challenging to find clothing that was affordable, practical, durable, stain resistant, stylish and comfortable for my kids for our weekend riding excursions.”

Hampton & Harlow Equestrian founder Karen Bazzan.
Hampton & Harlow Equestrian founder Karen Bazzan.

She took the reins and developed a clothing brand using advanced fabric technology with children’s comfort in mind. Hampton and Harlow’s jodhpurs and breeches are made from a micro-woven fabric for comfort for stretch and cotton and polyamide for breathability, structure and stain resistant qualities. Breeches have silicone knee grips or a silicone seat to provide saddle grip. The polo jeans provide the feel of moleskin and have a polyester combination. The polo shirts and long sleeve shirts are 100% cotton and knitted fabrics contain 50% wool.

The Hampton Valley crew.

“First and foremost we’re about comfort, but our gear appeals to people wanting to look fashionable on or off a horse. It’s also popular for everyday use – our comfy pants are also popular for outdoor pursuits or just chilling around home in,” adds Bazzan.

The range is already picking up pace in Canterbury where the country’s first stockist resides. Ken Wilson of Rangiora Equestrian Supplies says classic English-style design and bright colours have caught the attention of local riders.

“We had never come across anything as unique as this. People love the quality and it’s nice comfortable clothing to wear.”

To enter the competition, send a photo and/or video with your contact details to All entrants, or the entrant’s parent/guardian, must then ‘like’ H&H’s Facebook page. Entries close on April 7. Terms and conditions.

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