Amarna | Small but Mighty

Bred in Boyanup by Jane Beynon, Amarna is a 2007 gelding by Akhenaton. Trained under Mark Bairstow, Amarna began his career in 2012 with 63 starts before retiring in 2015. Throughout his career the gelding earnt connections approximately $120,000, with eight wins and nine placings. Standing at only 15 hands, this little gelding has proven to have a big heart and a strong competitive drive in both his career on and off the track.

Jockey, Natasha Faithfull, who rode Amarna in several of his races, recalls her rides on Amarna fondly.

“He was absolutely gorgeous, such a little ripper to ride and always tried his heart out. He was a gentleman to ride on race days.” Natasha said.

In 2017, Natalya Dobias was coaching at Capel Pony Club when she came across Amarna. He wasn’t the most attractive of horses at the time, but he caught her eye regardless. After the lesson, Natalya approached his then owner, Chrssy Williams, to ask that if she ever planned on selling him on, to let her know. A few weeks later, Natalya was driving down to purchase Amarna and take him home, after his owner found themselves poor for time.

Manu, as he is now known, was a little pocket rocket. He had only recently retired from his successful racing career and was full of life. After working to ensure he was fit and healthy, Natalya began to work on Manu’s flatwork, specifically focusing on establishing a more balanced canter. The pair have overcome some challenges throughout their partnership with the help of Natalya’s expertise and lessons from Sophie Warren. Together they have developed into a strong eventing pair. Natalya likes to keep Manu fit by working him solo along the beach, avoiding other horses as he can remember his racing days and become quite competitive.

In 2022, Manu and Natalya competed in their first three-day event, competing in the 1*L class at Wooroloo CCN. Manu was a legend from start to finish, landing the pair in nineth place from 17 starters. They also finished fifth at Dryandra CCN in the 1*S class in the same year and competed at the 2022 and 2021 Equestrian in the Park events in the Diamond Class, completing the course confidently.

At 15 years old, Manu continues to excel in his new career. When Manu needs to slow down, he will retire on Natalya’s property and likely become her daughter’s mount. Until then, the pair plan to continue cruising around 1* level eventing and enjoying their time.

We look forward to hearing about their successes in 2023 and wish them all the best from the OTTWA team!

Credit to Western Racepix for the racing photo.


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