5 Strides With Thunder D’Azure

Thunder D’Azure and Kenzie Chang. Photo by Grandprix Photography

An “interview” with the pony jumper (via his rider of three years, Kenzie Chang!)

The 14-year-old Connemara buckskin gelding, who goes by Thunder or Tutu at the barn, qualified for Pony Finals in 2021.

1. What’s your favorite thing about doing the pony jumpers?

I am very competitive; I play to win. I know if I get extra grain in the morning, it’s game time. I like speeding through the courses. (Speed classes are my favorite.) I know if I do a great job, Kenzie will have treats waiting for me.

2. Do you think ponies can do anything horses can do? What can ponies do better?

Of course! Ponies are small, so we can make tight turns. I also have a big stride. Bonus!

Photo by Ruth Marie Photography

3. If you could eat any human food, what would it be and why? 

My mom thinks I’m “super picky.” I only eat apples and watermelon if they’re cold. Bran mash? Not for me. I wanna try sushi; it looks colorful and cold. 

4. What’s your life like at home when you’re not training or competing?

I love the turnout. What’s not to like? I get to roll around in the sun all day, drink water, and do absolutely nothing. I exercise every day, but my favorite activity is sleeping.

5. Tell us what you enjoy about having a junior rider on your back vs a professional/adult?

I know my job. Since Kenzie is much lighter, it makes my performance easier. She just needs to point me in the right direction! 

*This story was originally published in the August 2021 issue of The Plaid Horse. Click here to read it now and subscribe for issues delivered straight to your door!