It’s double delight for Samantha Carrington who has added the Junior Rider of the Year crown to her Pony of the Year title yesterday.
The 16-year-old from Takapau and Double J Breeze On were one of 10 combinations from the starting 30 to go clear in the opening round. In the jump-off, rails fell freely until Margo Curtis (West Melton) and Flirtini rode a good clear in 58.05 seconds, despite a life at the Cat Walk fence. Then came Samantha aboard her nine-year-old mare who rode brilliantly, didn’t touch a pole and stopped the clock at 55.34 seconds. Francesca Corich van der bas (Paraparaumu) and Cardo gave it a good nudge with her steady effort but couldn’t match Samantha’s time of 56.19 seconds. Last to go in the jump-off was Rylee Sheehan (Te Aroha) and Bandito NZPH who flew around the course, stopping the clock at 49.35 but paid dearly with eight faults, to finish in fifth. Four of the top six in the junior title class were by Euro Sport Centavos.
Samantha has previously picked up minor placings in the Junior Rider of the Year class but this is the first time she has hoisted the Super Moth Trophy. Homebred Double J Breeze On was ridden as a four-year-old by Samantha’s mum Wendy Jacobs before being handed to Karen Bruce and then Jesse Linton. Samantha rode her a few times as a six-year-old and then as a seven before taking over completely.
“It’s really worked out well for mum because her plan was always to retire Breeze early to breed horses for us as kids at this age,” said Samantha. “It’s a dream.”
Today, she knew she had to put the pressure on the second half of the jump-off field if she was to have a chance at her second title of HOY.
“I wanted to go fast as I knew there would be at least two or three double clears,” said Samantha. “It was pretty nerve-wracking watching the last few go.”
But she needn’t have worried. “She gives so much and is a lovely mare. She gives you so much confidence because she is so confident in herself.”
And she credits the horse as making the difference to her pony riding too. “I wanted to do well but I was already happy (with her HOY) with one title and even at the start of the week with my second place in the Five-Year-Old of the Year with Double J Hurricane.”
There’s a standing joke at the Carrington-Jacobs farm. Double J Breeze On and Pony of the Year Colours of Lansing paddock together the family think there’s a fair bit of rivalry that goes on – when one wins, the other has to go one better . . . they could have something there.
Junior Rider of the Year (part of the Equifibre Junior Rider Series): Samantha Carrington (Takapau) Double J Breeze On 1, Francesca Corich van der bas (Paraparaumu) Cardo 2, Margot Curtis (West Melton) Flirtini 3, Rosa Buist-Brown (Christchurch) Vali 4, Rylee Sheehan (Te Aroha) Bandito NZPH 5, Isabelle Jameson (Whangarei) Di Caprio CSNZ 6.
By Diana Dobson
15 March 2020