It was a decidedly fresh-faced podium in the third round of the FEI World Cup New Zealand Qualifier at Manfeild in Feilding this evening.
Leading the pack home was Emily Hayward aboard Belischi HM notching her first-ever World Cup victory. “Finally,” said the 19-year-old part time dairy farm worker from Te Awamutu. Taking second place was Taupo teen Briar Burnett-Grant on Fiber Fresh Veroana with Fraser Tombleson (Gisborne) on his homebred mare Mea I third in just their second start at World Cup level.
The first round of the 10-strong class saw clears from Emily, Fraser and Logan Massie (Dannevirke) aboard Intellect. In the second, Emily picked up a single time fault to finish on one. Briar had the only clear slate in the round but finished on four from her rail in the opener with Fraser dropping two rails for a final tally of eight faults in a slightly slower time.
Emily was ecstatic with the efforts of her nine-year-old Australian bred thoroughbred. It was just their third World Cup start together but Emily has been competing in the series since early 2017.
“Belischi is pretty green so I just wanted to give him the best ride I could,” said Emily. “I don’t think there are many horses with a heart as big as his. This win just means so much to me – I have had him since he was a very green six-year-old and slowly brought him up. He just keeps getting better and better.”
She bought the horse from Australian internationals Peter and Michelle McMahon. “I was at Elysian Fields just having a look at the show because I was planning to take some horses over the year after and was keeping an eye out for a project horse. He has been really cool. His technique may not be the best but he has all the scope in the world. He is still learning where to put his legs.”
And while he is very consistent for Emily, with 11 placings already this season, tonight’s win was just his second ever. His last triumph was as a seven-year-old two years ago.
Emily had plenty of praise for course designer Gary Sinclair. “The course was nice and inviting at the start with a couple of big ones through the middle and at the end. It was a really good confidence building track.”
This was the third combination to win in as many qualifiers leaving the table wide open for a number of riders. The World Cup Series will continue to Taupo’s Christmas Classic (December 13-16), and the Central and Southern Hawke’s Bay Showjumping Show (January 4-6), before the final being held on January 14.
The winner of the series has the opportunity to represent New Zealand at the world final next year.
It was a rather dramatic end to the FMG Young Rider Series class when a power cut saw the lights go out just as Emily Hayward (Te Awamutu) aboard Yandoo Lady Gold, Nicola Hammond (Cambridge) on Carlo I and Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) with Fiber Fresh Veroana were about to jump off. In the end the riders and judges decided the three would be first equal.
New Zealand FEI World Cup Qualifier (third round): Emily Hayward (Tauranga) Belischi HM 1, Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) Fiber Fresh Veroana 2, Fraser Tombleson (Gisborne) Mea I 3, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Mandalay Cove 4, Logan Massie (Dannevirke) Intellect 5, Melody Matheson (Hastings) Graffiti MH 6.
Country TV Pony Grand Prix: Emma Watson (Morrinsville) Maddox Fun House 1, Georgia Bouzaid (Cambridge) Redcliffs Bill 2, Katie Bridgeman (Auckland) Tallyho Scoundrel 3, Maddison Greatorex Spotified 4, Rylee Sheehan Tony the Pony 5, Karis Spurway Kabo Cappesh 6.
FMG Young Rider Series: Nicola Hammond (Cambridge) Carlo I, Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) Fiber Fresh Veroana and Emily Hayward (Te Awamutu) Yandoo Lady Gold =1, Blake Davis (Palmerton North) Giggles 4, Nicholas O’Leary (Wanganui) Obeone Kanobe 5, Sophie Scott (Wellington) Lakota 6.
Dunstan Horsefeeds and EquiFibre Junior Rider Series: Brayden Aarts (Pukekawa) Binverter 1, Sarah West (Matamata) LC Talent 2, Samantha Carrington (Takapau) Double J Breeze On 3, Ella Harkness (Napier) Kiwi Mildee 4, Alexandra Mitchell (Wellington) Sir Arthur 5, Olivia Apatu (Waipukurau) Astek Napoleon 6.
Hinterland Amateur Rider Series: Victoria Grey (Taranaki) Dusseldorf 1, Vanessa Brownie Saltaire Andy’s Boy 2, Dean Morgan (Te Awamutu) Sobraon Park Coldplay 3, Graeme Isaacson (Dannevirke) Pokere 4, Sofie Dever (Gisborne) Sentra 5, Julie Spence (Whakatane) Driving Ambition 6.
Dunstan Horsefeeds and EquiFibre Pro-Am Rider Series: Amy Roydhouse (Hawke’s Bay) Carino NZPH 1, Tracy Mason (Napier) WP Stella 2, Emily Fraser (Palmerston North) Voila 3, Christine Cornege (Cambridge) Varekai SL 4, Sally Clark (Dannevirke) Victoria’s Secret 5, Todd Gloyn (Palmerston North) Air Hill Bambi 6.
Matthews Hanoverians Seven-Year-Old Series: Robert Steele (Dannevirke) Two Eye See 1, Ashley Hart (Hastings) Kiwi Cheroso 2, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Central Park 3, Amanda Wilson (Hikurangi) Showtym Burrow 4, Nicholas O’Leary (Wanganui) Centiare 5, Annabel Francis (Canterbury) Cherokee NZPH 6.
Mitavite Speedi-Beet Six-Year-Old Series: Parys Marshall (Taranaki) LG Whata Balou, Jeremy Whale (Cambridge) Dolce NZPH, Sally Clark (Dannevirke) Sun Flake, Sophie Scott (Wellington) Glenbrooke Rich as Roses, Melody Matheson (Hastings) Enya MH and Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) Fiber Fresh Delphine NZPH =1.
East Coast Performance Horses Five-Year-Old Series: Jeremy Whale (Cambridge) Fleur DeLacour, Rose Alfeld (Leeston) Eye Catcher NZPH, Fraser Tombleson (Gisborne) Eye See Ruby, Georgia Massie (Dannevirke) Jay-Z GNZ, Lucy Olphert (Tauranga) Atlanta WWPH, Jackie Jermyn (Matangi) Chalo ECPH and Tayla Mason (Palmerston North) Westlink =1.