Annabel Francis and Carado GHP showed size really is of no consequence when they soared to victory in the Gold Tour Final at Takapoto Estate Show Jumping in Cambridge.
The teen from Taupo and her Aussie import headed off 25 other combinations to take the honours and pocket the $15,000 winner’s cheque. The field had all qualified over two rounds earlier in the show and started the final with clean slates.
“The plan was always to gallop to the last – I did see the long stride but when I got there I did have a moment . . . he really helped me out,” said Annabel who only got the horse from Australia two months ago. “We are the perfect match because we are both so small but it’s no disadvantage. He is a bit of a show-off and if he thinks there’s a crowd he does like to clown around.”
While the 16-year-old is fiercely competitive, she admits to not thinking they would actually win the class.
Twenty-six started the class over the course designed by German great, Frank Rothenberger, with 13 combinations on four faults and less coming back for the second round – eight of them on zero faults. Seven had clears in the second but more importantly four of them finishing double clear. The perennial Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) and Mandalay Cove were the first to go double clear, stopping the clock on 56.08 seconds. Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) and the very consistent LT Holst Andrea were next and their 50.44 second time edged them ahead. Aussie visitor Kate Hinschen and FF Cadel gave it their all and a massive jump over the last saw them home all clear in 49.6 seconds. Which left it to the youngest – and smallest – in the field to reclaim the class for the Kiwis.
The pocket rocket combo romped their way around the course, galloped into the last and fairly flew over it to take the win in 46.85.
Australian senior champion Amber Fuller (Aus), who finished seventh extended a huge thanks to Mitch and Kate Plaw for hosting them at the show and looked forward to more “trans Tasmaning” in the future. “It’s been a great two weeks and we are looking forward to coming back,” she said.
The rest of the line-up reiterated her thoughts, many saying how lucky New Zealand was to have such a world-class venue for competition.
The event has run over the past two weeks and attracted more than 700 combinations.
Gold Tour Final: Annabel Francis (Taupo) Carado GHP 1, Kate Hinschen (Australia) FF Cadel 2, Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) LT Holst Andrea 3, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Mandalay Cove 4, Claudia Hay (Tokoroa) Euro Sport Centavos 5, Nakeysha Lammers (New Plymouth) Resolution 6.
Silver Tour Final: Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) Double J Monarch 1, Emily Hayward (Cambridge) Belischi HM 2, Emelia Forsyth (Clevedon) Henton Faberge 3, Steffi Whittaker (Christchurch) On the Point Eve 4, Emma Watson (Morrinsville) Letino 5, Nicola Hammond (Cambridge) Carlo I 6
Bronze Tour Final: Rachel Malcolm (Cambridge) Henton Excalibur 1, Nakeysha Lammers (Whanganui) Balboa NZPH 2, Samantha Morrison (Tauranga/Australia) Corfu 3, Kirsten Worker (Clevedon) Melanie’s Choice 4, Jaime Campbell (Cambridge) Lanice van de Heffinck 5, Annabel Francis (Taupo) Cherokee NZPH 6.
Anne Symes Memorial Derby: Emma Gaze (Ohaupo) Woodland Bug 1, Karen Riddle (Rotorua) LC Telepathy 2, Bernard Denton (Manawatu) Horsesports I Am Walter 3, Sarah West (Matamata) Oaks Centurian 4, Amanda Pottinger (Havelock North) Good Timing 5, Vicki Ridley (Karaka) Mosaic II 6.
Junior Tour Final: Zara Waldin (Havelock North) U Can Dance NZPH 1, Maddison Hale (Rotorua) The Minginui Kid 2, Shyanne Eagle (Tauranga) Prestige 3, Isabella du Plessis (Karaka) George Jetson 4, Maya Denis (Mexico) Cadenza 5, Madison Smith (Cambridge) SK Halo 6.
Amateur Tour Final: Rachael Bentall (Tauranga) SB Smokescreen 1, Megan Schischka (Waiwera) Hollywood Wannabe 2, Danielle Wheeler (Clevedon) CP Aurelio 3, Kelly Smith (Foxton) Corlinka 4, Tim Bruce (Waikato) Limousine 5, Paxton Conder (Whatawhata) La Fonteyn 6.
Global Amateur Tour Series: Kelly Smith (Foxton) Corlinka 105 points 1, Paxton Conder (Whatawhata) La Fonteyn 103 points 2, Alexander Dattelkremer (Brazil) Double J Beyonce 100.5 3, Danielle Wheeler (Clevedon) CP Aurelio 98.5 points 4, Rachael Bentall (Tauranga) SB Smokescreen 98 points 5, Kelsey Leahy (Cambridge) Showcause 94 points 6.
Pony Tour Final: Harriet Stock (Ashburton) EB Esperanza 1, Tyla Hackett (Waiuku) The Dreamer 2, Keira Page (Waiheke Island) Redcliffs Colour Me In 3, Brooke Hawthorne (Cambridge) Easy As 5, Peita Milne (Nelson) BG Lennox 5, Dan Harkerss (Kaikoura) Cocamo 6.