Molly Smith on Bexley Lodge Tinkabella wins the ESNZ Show Hunter Cat B Pony of the Year, Horse of the Year 2018, Hawke’s Bay A&P Showgrounds, Hastings, Wednesday, March 14, 2018. Credit: KAMPIC / Sarah Lord

By Diana Dobson

Molly Smith is a kid on a mission.

The nine-year-old from Cave in South Canterbury snaffled the Burger King Cat B High Points Series aboard her new pony, 16-year-old Bexley Lodge Tinkabella – or Tinks as she is known at home.

Both Smith and Tinks are well-performed in their own rights – Tinks having won the Cat B HOY title a few years back and Smith taking out the Cat A series with Little Mindy Lou last year.

While Little Mindy Lou headed to her new owners, the Robertson family, just before Christmas, Smith teamed up with her at HOY to take out the Cat A of the Year title.

“I cried,” says Smith, “and that isn’t something I usually do. I just didn’t think I would be in the title class with Mindy Lou.”

Tinks and Smith had a good season leading into HOY, winning the Southland/North Otago Cat B Series.

“Tinks is pretty sassy and can be quite hot and strong,” says Smith, a year 6 student from Cannington School. “I didn’t know what to think when I first got her but once we got going it was good.”

On their first show hunter outing they won the high points class, and have continued to do well since. They’ve had 10 wins and two seconds from the 12 scores to county.

“We are a good solid combination.”

Smith is trained by mum Kelly Evans, a former grand prix showjumper, and says the two have done a lot of work with Tinks.

“I think this series title is very special because we have worked really hard with her.”

She says the pony’s lovely nature and good looks mean the family may well use her for breeding in the future.

While their success at HOY was in show hunter, they have also been dabbling in showjumping, and are going well up to 1m. Smith also has a “cool” grand prix showjumper in Sushi.



Burger King Cat B High Points Series: Molly Smith (South Canterbury) Bexley Lodge Tinkabella 1, Georgie Wilson (Taupo) Summer Fiesta 2, Amelia Newsom (Tauranga) Moonspirit Jitterbug 3, Quinn Coutts (Mosgiel) Goosebumps 4, Libby Wilson (Taupo) Waimeha Tayza 5, Lily Plunkett (Blenheim) Hikumutus BB 6.