Zero To Hero: a WOW performer

28-1-pete-nakedZero To Hero (‘Pete’) was originally produced by David Wadge BHSI. He had a WOW saddle fitted from the start – few other saddles were suitable for his unconventional conformation.

David competed successfully at Prelim and Novice with him from 2004. Kim Young, a talented local rider who juggles her love of dressage with a busy dog grooming business, got him on loan in 2006. She soon asked Gaynor Ranshaw to treat him with shiatsu techniques, and help with his training. Kim thoroughly enjoyed riding Pete, and the partnership was very successful.

28-1-meet-peteShe bought him in 2007 in spite of him failing the vet, complete with WOW saddle – she always says he was free with the saddle!

From 2007 to 2011 Kim competed Pete from Novice to Medium, winning virtually everything they contested, including various regionals and Pet Plan festivals. She was also well placed at nationals on many occasions. Her support team included Jill Grant, who trained Kim from 2009, and Gaynor who had a dual role, continuing to shiatsu him and also work with them mainly on freestyle.

Pete was increasingly influential in Gaynor’s life. As a result of seeing the benefit of a WOW saddle at first hand, she trained as a WOW fitter, and now has a busy practice covering central & southern Scotland and the far north of England. Find her at And when in 2011, Kim thought he had reached his limit & needed an easier life she offered Pete to Gaynor on long term loan.

28-3-meet-peteGaynor hadn’t competed for 5 years, but decided that as both Pete and herself were eligible for down grading they could have some fun at the lower levels. In 2012 the pairing won the Pet Plan Open Novice [& 3rd?], qualifying for the Championships at Open Elementary, and won the Open Novice Scottish Championships. Success continued in 2013, including reserve Scottish Champion at Open Elementary and Scottish Veteran champion. 2014 was a stunning year for the duo, dual winners at the Petplan Festival (Open Elementary and Medium), reserve medium Scottish Champion, and Veteran Scottish Champion again. In 2015 he contested 20 Mediums, winning 15 and coming second in the other 5. Gaynor’s principal trainer is Jo Graham, plus occasional clinics with Charlie Hutton.

28-4-pete-posie-trot-webAt the age of 18, and having been Scottish Veteran Champion three years in a row, Pete has now asked for some special dispensations: not to be ridden in awful weather, and voting to spend the night in his own stable, not on the road. But he is still fit, going well, and will be contesting Medium & Medium Freestyle classes in the spring.



Gaynor says:

“I am so lucky to have inherited such a fantastic horse, and have been able to benefit from the excellent grounding he had from David Wadge and Kim Young. The combination of my shiatsu and subsequent WOW fitting skills means I have been able to keep him going happily for the last 5 years, and hopefully for some years to come.”