Megan Finlayson’s win in the AMS Saddlery CCI1* Open was particularly special for the full time horsewoman.
“My dad died in November so I know he will be smiling from above,” she said.
Finlayson (Kerikeri) and 13-year-old Greensleeves took a single rail in the showjumping to finish on 38.7 penalty points, but still finished comfortably ahead of runner-up Clay Harris (Aria) aboard All in Time on 46.1, Francesca Silver-Carter (Martinborough) aboard Case in Point third on 46.3 and Denise Rushbrook (Whakatane) aboard Astek Gadzuks fourth on 46.9.
Her father was a huge supporter of her equestrian career and always accompanied her to competitions.
Finlayson was ecstatic with her win today.
“He is my gorgeous boy,” she said of her 13-year-old thoroughbred gelding who she has had since he was a weanling.
“The cross country was tough going. I felt we were galloping around a 2* for much of it and really had to push on to get the time. He’s not massively fast but he has a big stride.”
A full thoroughbred, Greensleeves is by Aberland, out of Darleen. They didn’t have a very busy spring but have placed in every autumn start. They have previously competed successfully at 2* level and Finlayson plans to start him back at the level next season.
“We lost all that work in spring and then he got a virus.”
It’s not Finlayson’s first success at Taupo – she has twice won the CCI3* national champs aboard Lionheart and twice the CCI1* trophy.
Eleven of the 16 combinations in the CCI1* Open completed the class today.
For full results, head to www.equestrianentries.co.nz