By Diana Dobson
Katie Laurie may be a six-time winner of the FEI New Zealand World Cup Series, but she reckons her victory today in the opening round of the 2017-2018 series is her best ever.
She and Breeze headed home a quality 17-strong field in the Bayleys Real Estate New Zealand League World Cup qualifier at the Hawke’s Bay Royal A&P Show over a challenging Roger Laplanche-designed course.
“I am the most excited I have ever been to win a World Cup,” said Laurie, who is now based in Australia. “It has been such an amazing effort by so many to get Breeze here.”
And as gutsy as today’s win was, Laurie announced the retirement of the 12-year-old bay mare, who has been competing in World Cups since late 2014.
“We have been talking about it (her retirement) and decided this would be her last start, regardless of what she did,” said Laurie.
Breeze will head to the brood mare paddock where Laurie is hopeful she produces a future star.
“She breeds good babies,” she said. “Breeze was such a good girl out there. She tried her little heart out.”
The combination had an unlucky rail in the first round, leaving Laurie to nurse her around the second but still going fast enough to push the front of the pack.
The opening round of the World Cup class saw clears from Lucy Fell (Longburn) aboard her 19-year-old former racehorse Tinapai, and Rose Alfeld (Leeston) on My Super Nova.
Five combinations sat on four faults – “ Laurie and Breeze, Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) aboard LT Holst Andrea, Clarke Johnstone (Matangi) on Quainton Labyrinth, Samantha Morrison (Tauranga) aboard Biarritz and Lily Tootill (Karaka) on Ulysses NZPH.
Eleven combinations – those with eight faults and less – came back for the second round where clears came from Laurie, Edgecombe, Morrison and Tess Williams (Gisborne) and Sinatra II and Robert Steele who was clear but had a single time fault.
Tootill, Johnstone and Alfeld each added four faults to their tallies, with the final placings decided on time.
Laurie took the win, with Alfeld, unlucky to drop the very last fence, in second, Edgecombe third, Morrison fourth, Tootill fifth and Johnstone, on debut at World Cup showjumping level, in sixth.
It was a great all-round show for the McVean-Laurie truck. Laurie’s niece Lucy Browne was ecstatic to win her first showjumping class, the pony 85cm aboard Awhero Awatea Idaho.
In the Country TV Pony Grand Prix, Emma Watson (Morrinsville) and Maddox Fun House jumped the only double clear to take the win.
Ruby Mason (Napier), who finished third in the Pony Grand Prix with Mr Acho, took the honours in the FEI World Jumping Challenge – category A on Peggy Blue.
Ally Carson (Putaruru) and Sir Gandolf won the FEI World Jumping Challenge – category B. Carson was also sixth in the Pony Grand Prix aboard Tony the Pony.
Bayleys Real Estate Hawke’s Bay Championship – FEI World Cup Qualifier: Katie Laurie (Mystery Creek) Breeze 1, Rose Alfeld (Leeston) My Super Nova 2, Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) LT Holst Andrea 3, Samantha Morrison (Tauranga) Biarritz 4, Lily Tootill (Karaka) Ulysses NZPH 5, Clarke Johnstone (Matangi) Quainton Labyrinth 6.
Country TV Pony Grand Prix: Emma Watson (Morrinsville) Maddox Fun House 1, Phoebe Burns (Hastings) Galaxy Masterpiece 2, Ruby Mason (Napier) Mr Acho 3, Brett Horsburgh (Cambridge) Showtym Endeavour 4, Tyla Hackett (Waiuku) The Dreamer 5, Ally Carson (Putaruru) Tony the Pony 6.
FEI World Jumping Challenge – category A: Ruby Mason (Napier) Peggy Blue 1, Tyla Hackett (Waiuku) Gin 2, Leeshelle Small (Auckland) AMS Ajaccio NZPH 3, Olivia Dalton (Coatsville) Bling du Rouet 4, Vicki Ridley (Auckland) Mosaic II 5, Sarah West (Matamata) Erl Grey 6.
FEI World Jumping Challenge – category B: Ally Carson (Putaruru) Sir Gandolf 1, Molly Prenter (Havelock North) Wenrose Vertigo 2, Deanna Horsburgh (Cambridge) Smoken Up 3, Matilda Shotter-Davies (Auckland) CentaRoc 4, Rebecca Porter (Hastings) Mr Harrison 5, Danielle Maurer (Auckland) Henton Exchequer 6.
FMG Young Rider Series: Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) Fiber Fresh Veroana 1, Emily Hayward (Te Awamutu) Yandoo Lady Gold 2, Oliver Croucher (Rotorua) Waitangi Surf 3, Leeshelle Small (Auckland) AMS Ajaccio NZPH 4, Leeshelle Small (Auckland) Pasir Ris 88 5, Elise Stables (Morrinsville) SE Rumour Has It 6.
Dunstan Horsefeeds and Equifibre Pro Amateur Rider: Karen Riddle (Rotorua) LC Talent 1, Tracy Mason (Napier) WP Stella 2, Siobhan Ryan (Wainuiomata) Rosco 3, Kathryn Alabaster (Pahiatua) Cricklewood Bano 4, Sally Clark (Dannevirke) Argio 5, Kathryn Alabaster (Pahiatua) La Luna Rossa 6.
Caledonian Holdings Amateur Rider Series: Jacqui Symes (Waipukurau) Double J Recall 1, Lisa Walker (Gisborne) Miss Serendipity 2, Graeme Isaacson (Waipukurau) Fareal 3, Emma Deadman (Taupo) Avichii AF 4, Sophie Williams (Havelock North) Benedict 5, Kelly Stevens (Auckland) DiCaprio Blue 6.
Dunstan Horsefeeds and Equifibre Junior Rider Series: Sinead Dolman (Gisborne) Kiwi Lansing 1, Emma Watson (Morrinsville) Maddox Kiwi Silverkee 2, Sarah West (Matamata) Erl Grey 3, Emelia Forsyth (Clevedon) Joia Hara 4, Ally Carson (Putaruru) Letano 5, Sarah McKinnon (Wairoa) Matilda II 6.
Purepine Shavings Seven-Year-Old Series: Lucy Fell (Longburn) Faratona STS 1, Robert Steele (Dannevirke) Delta Blue 2, Duncan McFarlane (Taupo) Be Mine NZPH 3, Leeshelle Small (Auckland) AMS Mr Muscles, Rose Alfeld (Leeston) KBS The Irishman 5, Julie Davey (Hastings) JD Ruby 6.
Mitavite Six-Year-Old Series: Rose Alfeld (Leeston) Cadenza NZPH, Samantha Peters (Whangarei) Cadillac NZPH, Heloise Tolo (Wellington) Can’t Touch This NZPH, Jesse Linton (Hastings) Caption NZPH, Katie Laurie (Mystery Creek) McCaw MVNZ, Simon Wilson (Waipukurau) McMillans Whimsical WDS and Robert Steele (Dannevirke) Two Eye See =1.
East Coast Performance Horses Five-Year-Old Series: Sarah McKinnon (Wairoa) Dakota II, Logan Massie (Dannevirke) Double J Kelvin and Kim Best (Maraekakaho) LT Holst Teacher’s Pet =1.