By Rebecca Harper
Series finals didn’t quite deliver the result West Melton’s Harry Feast was hoping for, but the overall Dunstan Horsefeeds & Equifibre Horse Grand Prix Series win made the long trip up worthwhile.
Harry and Double J Bouncer went into the final as series leader and, despite a fall, the pair still came out on top.
The class was won by fellow South Islander, Tegan Fitzsimon and Windermere Cappuccino, who kept her slate clean over two rounds and delivered the fastest time.
“It definitely wasn’t my day,” a philosophical Harry said after the class. “It felt like I was a bit off it and didn’t quite make the back rail, he stumbled on landing and I didn’t quite manage to stay on.” Luckily, both horse and rider emerged unscathed.
“It’s not quite the finish I was hoping for, but it’s still awesome to manage to take out the series.”
He really went after the series just after Christmas. “I was sitting pretty well on the leaderboard and I thought it would be a cool thing to try to take out the series, and it all came together.”
The 22 year old, who manages riding five or six horses a day alongside his fulltime job for Seahorse Supplements, was in Hawke’s Bay for HOY three weeks ago, returning home and then making the trip north again for series finals.
“It definitely takes a lot of organising, but it was worth it to give it a go. The other horse I have here, Double J Barman, who is Bounce’s full brother, is sitting in second place in the Mitavite Six-Year-Old Series, so I had two horses sitting handy in the series. Plus, it’s always a great show here.”
Double J Bouncer, bred by Robyn and Wendy Jacobs from Double J Sporthorses, is a nine-year-old by Double J Repicharge, out of the mare Double J Chatalanie. Harry purchased the horse as a four-year-old and this is their fifth season together.
“He’s been very consistent, he won the seven-year-old series and was competitive in the five and six-year-old series. I stepped him up to Grand Prix last season and he finished about fourth in the series with only a few starts. This season he’s been very consistent for me.”
Harry says while he is busy with both work and horses, he’s lucky to have plenty of people to help him, sponsors and very supportive parents. He also gets a lot of help from Fiona Gilles.
In the final, just two combinations managed to post two clear rounds, with Tegan having the edge on the clock over Lucy Olphert and Eve Saint Laurent, the other double clear. The win moved Tegan into third place overall in the series with Windermere Cappuccino, just edging out her other mount, Double J Monarch, who placed fourth overall in the series and sixth in the final.
Nakeysha Lammers and Resolution were the fastest of those who finished on four faults, placing third in the final and taking second overall in the series – just one point behind Harry Feast.
Dunstan Horsefeeds and Equifibre Horse Grand Prix Grand Final: Tegan Fitzsimon (Christchurch) Windemere Cappuccino 1, Lucy Olphert (Tauranga) Eve Saint Laurent 2, Nakeysha Lammers (Whangerei) Resolution 3, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Mandalay Cove 4, Danielle Maurer (Auckland) Madam Coco 5, Tegan Fitzsimon (Christchurch) Double J Monarch 6.
Dunstan Horsefeeds and Equifibre Horse Grand Prix Series: Harry Feast (West Melton) Double J Bouncer 72 points 1, Nakeysha Lammers (Whangerei) Resolution 71 points 2, Tegan Fitzsimon (Christchurch) Windemere Cappuccino 64 points 3, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Mandalay Cove 52 points 4, Nicole White (Invercargill) LS Samson 48 points 6=, Simon Wilson (Waipukurau) McMillans Fredrika RE 48 points 6=.