We welcome Peter Hammond as our new Director of Equestrian at St Peter's School.
Peter comes to us with a vision: A vision of what the equestrian world will be like in the future, and how we need to prepare our students for it.
The equestrian industry in New Zealand, excluding racing, is worth more than $1 billion. Peter wants to ensure horse people of all abilities can achieve their dreams in the horse world.
"It's a huge industry but it's a very fragmented industry, and my generation can't change that but the next one can," he says.
He hopes to work with the likes of Lincoln University, Waikato University Massey University, and well-known people such as Clarke Johnstone and Vaughn Jeffries.
"We have hugely experienced people within 20 minutes drive from St Peter’s that we haven't tapped into yet, so we're going to and hope that will get some creative juices flowing," Peter says.
"Not everyone is going to become an Olympic rider, but that doesn't mean they can't have a career around horses," he says.
"It's not about pushing them in a direction, it's about giving them enough information about different subjects to help them make a decision."
The Equestrian Academy has a fantastic set up for school competitions and coaching of riders, but Peter wants to bring in more clinicians who can inspire students to get involved all aspects of horses, not just riding.
"I really want to create solid platforms for them to get into other professions such as veterinary, breeding, dentistry, nutrition, farriery. clipping and much more. I want to work with students and their individual goals to help them achieve what they want to do."
Peter has a commercial background and has worked for big companies in Singapore where he and his family lived for 19 years.
They moved to New Zealand three years ago, specifically so his two equestrian daughters - Alex and Nicola Hammond - could attend St Peter’s and join the Equestrian Academy.
The girls have both finished their time here as students, but because Peter could see the academy from a parent's point of view, he will be able to fill in the gaps.
His wife is also a show jumper. Although his family members are into specific areas of equine sports, Peter is fascinated by the equine world as a whole.
"For the last 10 years I've been a groom, a float driver, a fence maker, and a rug changer," he laughs.
Another thing he wanted to introduce was having our students work with others who may be disadvantaged or abused.
"In this country, there is a lot of focus on people who are physically disabled and giving them horse therapy, which is great," he says.
"But it's been proven to work for people who might have other setbacks as well."
Peter starts in early January and will be a valuable asset to our horse-loving students.