Nogo Kal

Nogo Kal, Champion Agility Horse

Nogo Kal, a gelding by Saxon out of Sylvia’s Smile, was bred by Mr G J Edwards and foaled on the 13 September 2008. The gelding was trained by Neville Parnham, however did not show much promise on the track, only having two trials, and ran last at both attempts.

Nogo Kal was retired from racing in 2011 where he started his off the track journey. In 2015, Beau as he is fondly known was purchased by Phillipa Wood.

Beau spent some time on agistment with Phillipa’s mother, Julie. Julie found herself spending a lot of time with Beau and she really enjoyed having Beau around.

During this time, Phillipa acquired another off the track horse, so she suggested that Julie could have Beau to try some horse agility. Agility is something that Julie had been wanting to try, however she thought she was nearing the end of her equestrian involvement and this gave Julie the perfect opportunity to stay connected, and she jumped at the chance.

Now with Julie, Beau competed under the show name of MPM Charisma. The pair joined the International Horse Agility Club (OLHA). Beau and Julie started entering monthly competitions held by OLHA, which involved building set courses and submitting videos to be judged. Points are awarded based on level and places. By the end of 2017, Beau and Julie were sixth on the leader board and in 2018 they were awarded World Champion Online and Australasian Online Champions from a leader board of top 100.

Julie required a hip replacement at the start of 2018, and unfortunately she suffered some nerve damage during the operation, so the pair can currently only enter the walking classes. Beau is learning to trot while Julie walks beside him, and next year they are hoping to be able to compete in open classes.

After Julie’s hip replacement, it took her a little while to accept that she was no longer going to be able to ride Beau. The pair would often head out on trail rides in between practising for their competitions. After the operation, while still trying to enjoy riding, Julie would hold up the bridle and Beau would come from the other side of the paddock and wait patiently while Julie got on and off slowly. In the end it was too painful for Julie and she came to the conclusion that Beau enjoys his life and would not miss being ridden as long as he got attention, was fed, had a warm stable and rug, and carrots of course! Beau must enjoy his work, as when Julie now opens the gate to the arena and invites him to come and play, he never fails to accept the invitation.

In 2019 Beau and Julie also started competing in the liberty class and ended the season as reserve champions. The pair are currently still holding onto first place in the Platinum level, which is graded as the most difficult.

Agility is a mentally stimulating sport and it is inspiring working with Beau. The pair go for liberty walks around the property and in the middle of nowhere Beau will wait when asked, then when called, pop over logs and trot to Julie. Julie says “it gives an incredible buzz to have a horse be with you when they are not restrained.” It has taken a lot of work from both Julie and Beau to get where they are now.

Beau can be a cheeky character and the occasional stubbornness brings Julie back to earth. Once Beau learns a course, he sometimes likes to ignore Julie and change the order of obstacles. He does the obstacles perfectly, watching Julie out of the corner of his eye as he does his freestyle. It’s hard not to laugh, and Julie tries to turn her back on him and ignore him, however he does know when he is being filmed and although they have had a fair few bloopers, Beau obviously has a lot of very good courses under his belt. One of Beau’s favourite obstacles would be the seesaws, flipping it up and down by stepping back and forth. He also passionately loves the ball, chasing it and kicking it or pushing with his nose. He has learnt to restrain himself and follow instructions such as push, kick, or most frustrating for Beau, being told to just touch it.

Julie never imagined in her riding days that she would enjoy horse agility, but it has given her the opportunity to continue to learn, stay fit and enjoy working closely with a horse who she considers to be the third heart horse in her life. In that, Julie considers herself very lucky.