Olympian Clarke Johnstone had a good start to his Land Rover Horse of the Year show in 2019 when he took out the Horse 1.30 show jumping class on Watermill Glenneagle.

Another having a great first day was Emma Gaze who not only was runner up to Clarke with Woodland Bug, but was also fifth in that class on Fire Bug and then won the Horse 1.20m class on Kowhai Bug.

There are plenty of South Island riders up here, and there was a South Island quinella in the Aspiring Rider 16yrs & under 21yrs over 1.25m when Kate Beattie (Dunedin) won with Smartymarty, and Molly Buist-Brown (Canterbury) was second with Vali. Another South Islander, Jaimee Bird was fourth, with Nicolas O’Leary on Centiare in third place.

Vicki Wilson, who will be one of the stars on Friday night’s Hastings Heart of Hawkes Bay Extravaganza, was a star today in the show jumping arena, winning the Horse 1.10m-1.20m. The class was also the qualifier for the hotly-contested Amateur rider of the year.

Out competing today was another Olympian, Blyth Tait (pictured). He was in the 1.20m show jumping class on the horse he will be using to take on fellow Olympians Tim and Jonelle Price and Jock Paget in the Land Rover 4* eventing class. It was a good start to his partnership with Cor Jet, they finished 8th. He also finished 12th on his own horse, Havana, who he is also riding in the Land Rover 3* eventing class.  Many of the eventers used this class as a build up to the eventing, which starts on Thursday with the dressage.

The pure bred Welsh in hand exhibit of the year went to Fenncourage Chirons Touch, for Amy Vujcich.  Ty Gwyn Royal Monarch, with Tracee Powell was the part bred Welsh In hand exhibit of the year.

In the dressage, Gaylene Lennard and Jax Johnson took out the first Level 5 5C class from Wendi Williamson and Bon Jovi MH.

Over in the show hunter arena, Danielle Duncan and Rhythm N Gold won the Category A Open Pony 60 cm class. The 70cm class was won by Zara Gordon and Shadow Moonshine. Libby Wilson and Waimeha Tayza won the Category B 70cm class and Stephanie Schweizer and Kaimai Hippy Chick won the 80cm. The Category C 80cm class was won by Hollie Faloon and Farleigh Catterick.

Alison Harold and Freedom Fighter won the 5yo, 6yo & 7yo Hunter 1m and Stephie Joustra-Smith and Disney won the Amateur 1m class. Macey Gill and Astin Martin II won the Open Hunter 1.05 and Ella De leeuw and Bling Du Rouet won the 1.10 class. The 1.15 class was won by Adante and Georgia Alexander.