The Thoroughbred Club – WINNER – Melanie Heygate & Tango

Congratulations to our 2019 Winner, Northbridge Riding Club Off The Track Thoroughbred Of The YearTANGO (race name Tangalang) owned by Melanie Heygate.

It was an absolute honour to meet this incredibly passionate woman.

Here is a brief overview of Tango’s race history:

Tangalang, then named Pacific Odyssey after his racing career or Tango to his friends is a bay Thoruougbred gelding that finished racing in 2009 after 3 starts for $0 prize money. Tango was sold on to start a career as a show jumper.

Melanie tells her story on how she came to own Tango:

Tango was sold on to start a career as a show jumper after a bit of a very unsuccessful racing career. He was purchased by Australian Olympian Ron Easy and then sold to a young rider in Queensland competing in young rider classes at a 1.30 prior to being sold to me. I have a another OTT now 25 years old and retired from jumping, the most lovable, gorgeous old boy anyone could ask for but when it came down to me wanting to jump bigger fences I decided to keep him on for my husband to learn riding on and look for my next superstar and there was Tango.

Tango was not exactly the horse I was fist looking for, I had imagined a big, chunky warmblood with a thick tail and mane so when my coach introduced me to Tango I was a little disappointed at first to be honest.

Tango was stabled at yandoo equestrian with Jamie Winnjng and Jamie Kermond and I was also trialing one of their horses, a striking big bay warmblood gelding. I hopped onto Tango thinking I’ll just have a quick ride and then move over to the other gelding but not long after jumping on, I couldn’t stop the smile on my face and new this horse was something special.

I changed over horses but didn’t even get to jump the other gelding, I had fallen in love with Tango, the OTT Thoroughbred gelding, with hardly any tail and not looking like the chunky warmblood I had dreamed off.

So it was Tango that was going to be my next Showjumping superstar!

Today I couldn’t have asked for a better horse to move up the grades. Tango has been the best horse anyone could wish for to sit on and gain confidence in the ring jumping bigger heights. He is known for his braveness, nothing will ever stop him!

Today we have achieved more then I could have ever asked for. Our highlights up to today would have to have been:

  • competing several times at the Sydney Royal Easter show;
  • being crowned runner up amateur champions Elysian Fields Aquis Tour Queensland;
  • currently runner up Amateur Champion NSW;
  • Runner up amateur of the year in NSW; and
  • in December last year at the first Thoroughbred Showjumping event at the Sydney Summer Classic supported by the Thoroughbred Association Australia – we won overall Champion Thoroughbred.

Wow, never did I imagine us coming this far but we have.

It’s been beyond easy but all the sweat, money, tears have been worth it and I am so proud how my Tango has shown the Showjumping world out there that it is not the warmblood you have to have to do well in this business.

Tango certainly is one very special OTT but they are out there and with help of a good coach and their guidance anything is possible.

What discipline does Tango now excel:


Personal story about Tango:

Mostly I love Tango for his braveness in the show jumping ring.  He has his quirks at home and is not always the easiest to handle on the ground but he does have a heart of gold. One time at a show at SIEC I got a call from someone walking their dog on the cross country course asking if I own a bay gelding by the name of Tango.  Lucky Tango has a dog tack with his name and my number on his halter at all times. He made his way from the float all the way onto the course happily munching on some grass. Who knows how he got past so many people without being noticed!!!!

Thank you Melanie

We at Thoroughbred Events Australia and The Thoroughbred Club wish you all the success in the world because of you we know our beloved race horses are being cared for.

Our Trophy takes a special place in Melanie & Nick’s home