It’s been another big day of competition at the Land Rover Horse of the Year Show with new champions crowned in the Young Rider, Seven and Five-Year-Old classes.
Briar Burnett-Grant has finally added the Bayleys Young Rider crown to her trophy cabinet.
The 19-year-old already has the Olympic Cup and Pony of the Year titles to her credit and figures she’s had five cracks at the winning the Big Red Trophy and admitted to being rather relieved to finally pull it off.
Twenty-one started the class with seven combinations on five faults and less coming back for the second. Briar and Fiber Fresh Delphine NZPH were the best of the bunch, sitting on just two time penalties, with four on four and two on five. It had been a bit of a hairy start after Delphine pulled a shoe in the warm-up.
“It was all a bit stressful – I didn’t have a chance to see anyone else go and had no idea what anyone else had done.”
Running in reverse order, Briar was the last to go. Everyone else had added at least four penalties to their tally with eight the score to beat. Briar rode a lovely clear to finish the class on just her two time penalties from the opening round.
It wasn’t the day for last year’s champ Emily Hayward (Te Awamutu) who parted company with Yandoo Lady Gold early in the course.
“I am really happy,” said Briar. “I was tossing up between the seven-year-old and this – I think I made the right choice. It is a big weight off my shoulders!”
She admitted to feeling a little pressure coming into the class. “The Young Rider is one you always want to have under your belt – it is a big goal and one you only have limited time at.”
Briar has had the mare since she was rising five. “She is quite feisty and highly strung to ride but I do like them like that. I think she has a great future ahead.”
Next for Briar will be the Silver Fern Stakes aboard Fiber Fresh Veroana and then the Olympic Cup.
Briar’s plans to head to Germany for the winter with the bouncy roan have been dashed thanks to the Coronavirus. “It’s just not worth it – there is too much that can go wrong.”
Today’s class is part of the FMG Young Rider Series.
Vicki Wilson (Havelock North) was guaranteed two ribbons in the HB Contracting Seven-Year-Old of the Year title class but turns out she won on the horse she least expected to. She had both her stunning steel grey stallions in the 31-strong class, with Carpaccio TWS one of five to come through to the jump-off. The rather exuberant Daminos TWS was the fastest of the four-faults and just missed out.
As first out in the jump-off, Vicki knew she had to set the scene and while she took a rail after a tight turn, she stopped the clock at 45.90 seconds. Next was Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) and Campari who had the same fence down and were slightly slower in 46.88 with Vicki Prendergast (Matamata) and Selena C taking the first of the double and crossing the flags in 49.68 to round out the top three.
“I am very lucky to have two exceptional stallions,” said Vicki. “It was a very good field and I knew I would have to go forward and give it a good try. It was a long wait to see how everyone else did. It is an incredibly competitive seven-year-old (series) this season.”
Waffle as he is known at home thanks to his Belgium roots, has a very soft nature and Vicki said she always felt he would be the better horse, he just needed time.
Both Carpaccio and Daminos were bought at Brightwells Auction in Europe as two-year-olds. Vicki and sister Amanda were on a buying mission with instructions from their other sister Kelly to bring home just two. However, best laid plans don’t always pan out and Vicki fell in love with Carpaccio TWS and it was a trio of horses that came home.
Vicki would love to return to Europe to compete the horses in the future but in the meantime is very excited at the young stock they are both leaving on the ground.
Today’s win was not Vicki’s first HOY title but she says it is just as special.
In the 4CYTE Five-Year-Old of the Year (part of the East Coast Performance Horses Five-Year-Old Series) Jesse Linton (Hastings) reinforced himself as the king of speed with a slick jump-off aboard Keltern William to head home the 31-strong field. Fifteen came back for the jump-off where the top five all kept their slates clean but it was Jesse’s 47.28-second effort that won the day ahead of Sam Carrington (Takapau) and Double J Hurricane who came home in 48.25, just ahead of John MacLennan (Waipukurau) on Tolley in 48.82 seconds.
Keltern William was bought as a two-year-old and is owned by Kim and Greg Best and Jesse, who has done all the work on him. “He is extremely brave and can turn very tightly,” said Jesse. “I thought the jump-off would suit me.” The pinto gelding is by Mustang’s Bandit out of Fergie who is by His Royal Highness. “William still hasn’t really had to try. He pops around a 1.2m for a warm-up and finds jumping easy. There aren’t many five-year-olds who could do that. He’s not flashy but nothing has been hard for him so far.”
Twenty-six-year-old Jesse felt the non-warmblood type horses most definitely had a place in the sport. “They are so brave and easy to ride.” It’s not the first time the Hastings rider has won the Five-Year-Old crown, having previously claimed it with Mustang’s Mac who is related to Keltern William.
Bayleys Young Rider of the Year (part of the FMG Young Rider Series): Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) Fiber Fresh Delphine NZPH 1, Leeshell Small (Ramarama) AMS Glenbrooke Archie Bunker 2, Oliver Croucher (Cambridge) Waitangi Surf 3, Kate Herdson (Clevedon) Idol D 4, Brooke Hawthorne (Cambridge) Ziggy Stardust GNZ 5, Ciel Butler (Tauranga) Matawhero Luciano 6.
HB Contracting Seven-Year-Old of the Year (part of the Matthews Hanoverians Seven-Year-Old Series): Vicki Wilson (Havelock North) Carpaccio TWS 1, Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) Campari 2, Vicki Prendergast (Matamata) Selena C 3, Peita Milne (Nelson) Global PH Mylorde 4, Alex Loiselle (Ocean Beach) Haupouri Da Vinci 5, Vicki Wilson (Havelock North) Daminos TWS 6.
4CYTE Five-Year-Old of the Year (part of the East Coast Performance Horses Five-Year-Old Series): Jesse Linton (Hastings) Keltern William (by Mustang’s Bandit out of Fergie) 1, Samantha Carrington (Takapau) Double J Hurricane (by Euro Sport Heartbreaker out of Double J Breeze) 2, John MacLennan (Waipukurau) Tolley (by Euro Sport Heartbreaker out of Mrs Murphy) 3, Logan Massie (Dannevirke) Cassio Xtreme (by Cassiano out of Corodette Xtreme) 4, Michelle Wakeling (Wellsford) BMW Braveheart (by Bravado Ego Z out of Belcam Aaracadia) 5, Anna Trent (Plimmerton) Joopiter (by Euro Sport Centavos out of Just Joop) 6.
By Diana Dobson
13 March 2020