Laura van Velthooven may have been the defending 4CYTE Amateur Show Hunter of the Year champ but she wasn’t feeling that confident she could reclaim the crown.
However, nine-year-old Montbelle Donahue proved her wrong, stepping up superbly to fill the boots of her 2019 title winner Sirocco Daisy. Laura and Monty were clear winners of the title class with 40.5 points ahead of runners-up Sharyn Goodwin (Hamilton) aboard Showtym Duchess. “That’s quite an achievement,” said a very happy Laura. “We did the first round and they did the call back in reverse order. My name wasn’t getting called and I was thinking ‘oh no, I haven’t made the call back’.”
But she needn’t have worried and she was the last name called out. “I couldn’t believe it, especially after our tumble in the final of the 1.15m high points. He stumbled and we went down – I was embarrassed more than anything but I guess that is horses.”
Her previous star Daisy has retired and is in foal, bringing Monty to the fore. “He was tired but tried so hard . . . he was so awesome today. I just didn’t expect to win.”
Laura says the gelding, who is by Donnerubin DC out of Wetherby Evening Way and was bred by Lara Baker, has a fantastic attitude and she simply adores him. “It’s nice to end HOY on a high.”
They were entered in the Open Show Hunter of the Year class but she scratched him. “He just feels tired so I am looking after him.”
Show hunter is certainly Laura’s thing. “I enjoy trying to get the perfect round again and again,” she said. “You’ve got to have a good eye and it keeps you sharp.”
4CYTE Amateur Show Hunter of the Year: Laura van Velthooven (Feilding) Montbelle Donahue 1, Sharyn Goodwin (Hamilton) Showtym Duchess 2, Anna Kincheff (Rotorua) Red Soxs 3, Emily Twort (Henderson) Cameo KSNZ 4, Victoria How (Taupo) Kiwi Icon 5, Ruth Steeghs (Mangakino) Prince of the Cape 6.
By Diana Dobson
13 March 2020