The win of the day went to Wellington’s Sophie Scott when she took out the FMG Young Rider class at the Tavendale & Partners NZ National Show Jumping Championship in Christchurch.
Sophie and Steffi Whittaker (On the Point Eve) were the only two clear in the first round, but the jump-off didn’t go according to Steffi’s plan, and she ended up on the ground instead of jumping the wall. Sophie just had to jump clear to win, and she did that with style on Lakota.
Sophie is also still competing in the pony ring, but has stepped up well to the horse arena with her super coloured gelding. The pair are into their second season together. Sophie is a frequent visitor to the South Island and will be staying down for the Canterbury Show Jumping Championships next weekend. She will then home and then on to the Horse of the Year show in mid March, where she will target the Young Rider class and the Norwood Gold Cup.
Tayler Nalder’s Icebreaker II is a favourite of many and there was a lot of applause when the lovely big grey jumped a clear round in the jump off with a fast time to win the Dunstan Horsefeeds Equifibre Junior Rider class (sponsored by Pegasus Communications. Icebreaker is actually Tayler’s father’s horse but he is only allowed to use him in the winter for hunting. The 14-year-old is still quite “naughty” at home. “He likes to jump out all the time,” Tayler said. “He has so much character. He normally has to have a stable at the shows because of that and he has to be in a deer fence at home.”
Leeston’s Rose Alfeld had a good start to her day when she won the first class of the day, the East Coast Performance Horses Five-Year-Old class (in conjunction with Platinum Performance). She won on her promising young horse Eye Catcher NZPH. “He’s super consistent,” Rose said afterwards. “He’s been such a good horse all season, so it is pretty exciting. I think he has a bright future, he has some really great breeding behind him and he is showing heaps of potential.”
Rose is another with plans to head to the Horse of the Year show. After the Canterbury Championships, Rose is taking her team of horses to the North Island for a few shows and Eye Catcher NZPH will be on the truck too.
The Mitavite Speedi-Beet Six-Year-Old class was won by Peita Milne on Global PH Mylorde. The pair haven’t done many of these age classes, and Peita wasn’t expecting to win at the Nationals so she was super happy with the results. Peita has only been riding the big mare since November, so the pair look like they will have a bright future. “After the Canterbury Champs, we are off to Takapoto and then on to Horse of the Year, where we hope to jump in the six-year-old class there” said Peita.
Kate Cavanagh thought she had blown the win when she and Wallflower had a bit of a miscommunication at the last, but despite the four faults, she was good enough to win the Matthews Hanoverians Seven-Year-Old series (in conjunction with the Rider Shop). Kate is another who is planning to head up to the Horse of the Year show where she will target the age class as well as the Pro-Am. Kate and Wallflower won the Amateur class at last year’s HOY. Kate described her as a “busy” horse at home. “I have my hands full with her at home some days, so our training can sometimes be a struggle, but she seems to come out and perform ok!”
The Dunstan Horsefeeds and Equifibre Pro-Am class is always a hotly contested one, and this class was no different. Seven went through to the jump off but it was Queenstown’s Icey Storm, ridden by Lauren Buckley who took out the honours, posting a time of 34.88 and a clear round. The others all had four faults until the last horse into the arena, Eireann Bandoola, ridden by Gail Richardson, also produced a clear round but with a time of 37.19 putting them in second place.
Lauren had targeted this class at this event after winning the National 1.20m Championship at last year’s event. “He is on form at the moment,” Lauren said afterwards. “He’s absolutely loving competing, showing and travelling around.” Despite that, Lauren doesn’t have any plans on travelling up north for other shows. “He’s on form enough to go up there, but it is a long trip and a lot of travel for an amateur rider. I will get a few horses to take up on a trip one day.”
Tomorrow Lauren will be at the show to spectate and “do her helper jobs” so there may be a little celebration tonight, and the sponsor donated a magnum of their Moa product to help out!
The show continues tomorrow with the final rounds of the National titles. The ground conditions are very good, producing some fine jumping. There was a good crowd enjoying the lovely sunny day today and it is hoped even more will be out watching tomorrow.
Saturday 2 February, 2019