Luchia Wynne-Lewis and Maxwelton Friday Flash receive a sportsmanship award from Sam Sinclair of Aniwell Credit: Stephen Mowbray

Luchia Wynne-Lewis rode off with a prize she didn’t even know she was in the running for.

The 12-year-old from Hastings was awarded the Aniwell Prize for Sportsmanship after catching the eye of course designer Marilyn Vincent during the show hunter pony equitation class today.

Luchia and Maxwelton Friday Flash parted company but the youngster’s first priority was to give her pony a pat and make sure he was ok. “It was an automatic reaction for her to be kind to him . . . it was lovely to see,” said Marilyn.

Luchia was chuffed. “He tried so hard. The striding in the double didn’t come up too well for us but he did his best. I do love him. He does everything . . . like eventing, showing, showjumping, dressage and show hunter. He is usually really good but he just wasn’t himself coming into the show.”

And it was a huge surprise to win the Aniwell prize. “I thought it was so cool. I didn’t even know I was getting it!”

Aniwell has been involved with show hunter since 2012. Initially the Kiwi company sponsored the open horse high points series but then changed to the Cat C ponies. “I felt they were up and coming young athletes,” said Aniwell chief executive Sam Sinclair. “They are a great bunch of equestrians and I really enjoy watching them.”

She’s a big fan of show hunter, saying it encourages a nice calm frame of mind for the horses. “It is a great building block for horses and riders to go on to other disciplines,” says Sam.

Aniwell was founded by Sam’s father Robin, a manufacturing pharmaceutical chemist in 1970 when he created the company’s primary total sunblocking and wound protection cream. Their products are now available across New Zealand, Australian and the United Kingdom.