Kaitlin Brown could be forgiven for a few nerves before the final of the Aniwell Cat C – she only teamed up with her special grey pony Tawa 10 months ago and they headed into the final at the top of the leaderboard but with others hot on their heels.
As it turned out, Kaitlin held on for the win by just three points. “I only started doing show hunter when I got Tawa,” she said, “and for a while I didn’t even think I would get to HOY. This just feels amazing.”
The 14-year-old from Feilding got her first pony at four but until Tawa has been farm riding, doing Pony Club and just generally having a whole lot of fun. Understandably, she is over the moon with the efforts of her pony. “I just love him,” she said. “He’s so cruisy and cool. It means everything to me to win this. I have been looking at magazines since I was a kid, dreaming of winning and now it has happened.”
Nerves are not usually an issue for Kaitlin but today was different. “This was just so big for me and things just didn’t go the way we planned. I just want to get through this week and am hoping to get into the top 10 of the title class . . . we’ll see.”
She plans to give her beloved pony a break after HOY and look to consolidate their partnership next season. Kaitlin is trained by Gail Goodwin.
Amelia Newsom (Tauranga) and Mr Mexico rode off with the honours in the final class today, with Emily Watson (Cambridge) aboard Glenardon Summer Breeze second and Emma Gillies (Oamaru) on Moccachino third.
Aniwell Cat C High Points Series: Kaitlin Brown (Feilding) Tawa 56 points 1, Emma Gillies (Oamaru) Moccachino 53 points 2, Victoria Mitchell (Kumeu) Nickelodeon 47 points 3,
Molly Coutts (Palmerston North) Apsleys Woodys Image 41 points 4, Summer Borrie (South Canterbury) The White Mouse 29 points 5, Jaime Hogg (Wairarapa) Step It Up 28 points 6.
Final class: Amelia Newsom (Tauranga) Mr Mexico 1, Emily Watson (Cambridge) Glenardon Summer Breeze 2, Emma Gillies (Oamaru) Moccachino 3, Hollie Falloon (Masterton) Farleigh Catterick 4, Michaelee Head (Cambridge) Chantilly Lace III 5, Sophie Grenfell (Hastings) Kaspers Gold 6.