Riding High (New Zealand TV series)

Riding High is a television series from New Zealand. The series is based on the comics of the German Wendy [de] magazine.

Riding High
Genreteen, drama, romance, animals, horses
Written byPeter Allison, Kirsty Cooper, Karen Curtis, Alannah O'Sullivan, Liddy Holloway, Dianna Drake, Doug Coutts, Brenda Kendall, Libby Magee, Ben Marshall, Jan Prettejohns, Gavin Strawhan, Alan Brash
Directed byGrant Fenn, Laurence Wilson, Dave Morgan, Simon Bennett
Theme music composerPeter Blake
Country of originNew Zealand
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes65
ProducerRichard A. Barker
Production locationNew Zealand
Running time25 minutes
Production companySouth Pacific Pictures
DistributorHIT Entertainment
Original networkTV2
Original release31 December 1995 (1995-12-31) –
27 June 1996 (1996-06-27)


The 15 year old Wendy Thorburn lives on the Lindentree horse farm. She takes care of the horses and has a lot of adventures with her friends.


Riding High is based on the comics of the German Wendy magazine.[1] The series was filmed in New Zealand and premiered on television on December 31, 1995 on TV2. The series was translated into German[2] and Italian.[3] From 1996 to 1998 the German Franz Schneider publisher published nine books based on the television series.

Riding High is not the only TV series based on the Wendy comics. A second series, Wendy, based on the comics, was published in 2013. It is an animated series.


Character actor/actress notes
Wendy Thorburn Marama Jackson Wendy is a 15-year-old girl who lives on the horse farm Lindentree. She has two horses Penny and Miss Dixie.
Bianca Frazer Natalie Dennis Bianca is Wendys best friend. She is the adopted child of the police officer Paul Frazer and Jeannette.
Vanessa Wilde Tyler Jane (as Rebecca Jane Clark) Vanessa is Wendys cousin. She is interested in beauty and clothes.
Flavio Scalini Chris Widdup Flavio works at the stables of the horse farm. He is secretly in love with Vanessa.
Charles Thorburn Paul Gittins Charles is the father of Wendy. He owns the horse Onyx.
Helen Thorburn Jean Hyland Helen is Wendys mother.
Harry John Cairney Harry is the neighbour of Wendys family. He is interested in naturopathy.
Ingrid Wilde Kerry Gallagher Ingrid is the mother of Vanessa and Wendys aunt. She owns a beauty farm.
James Westwood Karl Urban James is Wendy's and Vanessa's love interest.
Mark Benson Joe Conway Mark is a riding instructor at Lindentree. He is fancied by a lot of girls.
Michael McKenzie Peter Muller Michael becomes a riding instructor when Mark leaves Lindentree.
Cathy Madeleine Lynch Cathy is a riding instructor at Lindentree.
Steven Brighton Kieren Hutchison Steven is Wendy's first boyfriend.
Alice Thorburn June Bishop Alice is Wendy's grandmother.
Alexa Thorburn Charlotte Saunders Alexa is Wendy's sister who studies fashion design.
Paul Frazer Geoffrey Dolan Paul is Bianca's adoptive father and a police officer. He also has a son, Peter.
Max Alistair Browning Max is the love interest of Ingrid.
William Westwood Tim Lee William Westwood is Gunnars friend and enemy. He had an affair with Helen, before Helen and Gunnar got married. He is the father of James.
Casey Rainer Matt Davison Casey is a successful tournament rider.


Riding High was well received by viewers in Germany. The series was still repeated on German television years after it was first broadcast.[4]

Antje Wessels praises the luxurious landscape shots and exciting scenes from the everyday life with the horses. However, the series is orientated more towards older children and teenagers. Therefore, it is less suitable for the very young viewers and more for the whole family. The series covers topics such as horses, friendship, love and growing up.[5]

Lisa Ludwig from Moviepilot adds that Riding High is the perfect mixture of a daily soap, Gossip Girl, 90s nostalgia and riding stable romance. She also praises Karl Urban's performance as Jerry Kiesemann (James Westwood).[6]

Lorella Joschko thinks the series has depth and at the same time lots of fun and joy. The series is her absolute highlight.[7]

Julia Fahl thinks that the Wendy series is a must see for horse fans. As a teenager she was particularly fascinated by the horse Miss Dixie.[1]

See alsoEdit

  • Wendy (2013), another TV series based on the Wendy magazine


  1. ^ a b Julia Fahl. "10 Pferdefilme und -serien, die man unbedingt gesehen haben muss".
  2. ^ "Wendy".
  3. ^ "Le redini del cuore".
  4. ^ "20 Jahre "Wendy": Das Pferdemagazin für Mädchen feiert Geburtstag". Archived from the original on 23 May 2009. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  5. ^ Antje Wessels (16 March 2016). "Verlosung: Wendy – Die Original TV-Serie".
  6. ^ Lisa Ludwig (28 July 2022). "Wendy bei Amazon ist Gossip Girl mit Pferden – und die perfekte Zeitreise zurück in die 90er".
  7. ^ Lorella Joscho (26 September 2018). "Die besten Pferdeserien".

External linksEdit