Shanghai Noon | This Gelding Has Some Moves!

2008 West Australian bred gelding, Shanghai Noon by Cape North (NZ), had fifteen starts before retiring in 2013. Grant and Alana Williams trained the then three-year-old gelding for his first two starts, before moving into the stables of Tracey Frizell and then Len Healey. Shanghai Noon retired having earned connections $4,235, with two seconds and one third. After retiring, this Cape North gelding rested for twelve months before commencing his new career.

Tameka Ellard took up the ride upon Shanghai Noon whilst completing her final years of study for medical school in Port Hedland. He was brought to Perth by his then owner, Sarah Penney, who allowed Tameka to continue riding. Tameka soon began to lease the talented gelding and later made the move to Albany with Shanghai in tow. It was halfway through that year that Tameka was offered the opportunity to purchase Shanghai Noon and she accepted happily.

Tameka describes the start of their partnership as quite the learning curve; Shanghai Noon was quite green, and Tameka was just getting back in the saddle after a long hiatus. He has since travelled all over the state with Tameka, and they have formed a successful connection, learning together and moving through the dressage levels. They now currently compete at medium level.

“… he is the sweetest horse to ride and train. He really does not have a mean bone in his body,” Tameka says of Shanghai Noon, affectionately known as Cappa.

Now a true gentleman, Tameka recalls that Cappa could be quite hot and spooky as a young horse but thankfully has calmed with age. He is a quick learner and tries his heart out.

Tameka and Cappa have found remarkable success in the dressage arena. The pair won Off the Track Medium Champion at the 2022 EWA State Dressage Championships, where Cappa proved his honest nature after travelling up from Albany in tricky weather for the event.

They were honoured to be also invited to the Penny Hill Park Rising Star series a few years ago. Having never previously sat a flying change, Tameka has now learned to produce them upon Cappa.

Outside of training and competing the pair also enjoy a good beach trip together, and Cappa loves a good ear scratch.

For 2023, Tameka and Cappa hope to continue to have a smooth sailing season after overcoming setbacks in 2022 due to injury. As a personal goal, they hope to improve their flying changes as they continue to compete through medium tests. Tameka credits her progress with learning to produce successful flying changes to her coach and mentor Victoria Hamilton, who is continuing to help Tameka fine tune her aids and contact connection for the upcoming dressage season.

We wish Tameka and Cappa all the best in the 2023 season.

  • SWB SPORTS Photography

  • SWB SPORTS Photography