Daniel Webb has had to wait more than 35 years to bag his first Horse Grand Prix win, but all the stars aligned on Sunday when he took out the ESNZ-sponsored class at the Clareville Classic Jumping Weekend in Carterton.
The 50-year-old farmer from Hunterville steered WSJ Centaur to the only double clear, inside time in the 16-strong class.
“My last Grand Prix win would have been a long time ago . . . probably on Talamanca in my last season on ponies,” said Daniel. “This is a very special and somewhat emotional win. My father died earlier this year and he was an avid supporter of us. It would have been good for him to see that.”
The season hasn’t been without its challenges. Daniel had hoped to start nine-year-old WSJ Centaur in the POLi Payments FEI World Cup Series at Hawera in November but only managed to get over a single fence. “I had a doctor and physio trying to get my back right for the class but just no luck.”
The injury sidelined him until mid-February. “I am only just nursing it back in. It is a careful game with the back. I had 20 years away from riding horses and in that time shore sheep and drove bull dozers . . . so this is my body paying me back for my living.”
Daniel bought WSJ Centaur as a two-year-old and has produced him through the grades. “We were never very successful in the series classes but he came good as an eight-year-old and we had some really good classes at the Horse of the Year Show last year. We did the Norwood Gold Cup and the Premier Stakes and picked up a ribbon in both – he has just got better and better as he got older.”
While the horse is very opinionated, Daniel says he is lovable and everyone likes him. “He definitely is the boss of the stable but he knows his boundaries and where to push them to. He is a funny horse – he knows when it is time to do a big class and just relaxes.”
The combination had a good opening day at Clareville, winning a class with a speedy jump-off. “I didn’t really mean to do that. We were last to go and it just happened. So, I did think he would possibly be a little flat on Sunday.”
They were mid-field to go in the five-strong jump-off. “I knew there were a couple of good ones to come after me. It was pretty emotional to win to be honest. Fifty before I get my first Horse Grand Prix win . . . most of the kids are winning them these days!”
Coming in for second yesterday was Katharine Van Tuyl (Palmerston North) and Centavino who were clear but had a single time fault. Both horses are by Eurosport Centavos.
Daniel and wife Chrissy farm mainly bulls and horses in Hunterville, producing five or six foals each year. Centaur is one of the few they have bought.
Chrissy and Daniel’s children are both offshore – Jack showjumping in Germany and Megan just about qualified as a saddle fitter in Scotland.
In the Country TV Pony Grand Prix, 11 started with five coming back for the jump-off. The top two were both double clear with Molly Moffatt (Christchurch) aboard Te Ngaio Raggamuffin coming home in 46.81 seconds to edge out Johanna Wylaars (Christchurch) and Wembleybrook Tiffany who crossed the flags in 49.92.
The show was hosted by the Wairarapa A&P Society and held at the Clareville Showgrounds in Carterton over the weekend.
ESNZ Horse Grand Prix: Daniel Webb (Hunterville) WSJ Centaur 1, Katharine Van Tuyl (Palmerston North) Centavino 2, Sophie Scott (Wellington) Lakota 3, Robert Steele (Dannevirke) LT Holst Bernadette 4, Lucy Fell (Longburn) Big and Rich 5, Nicole White (Invercargill) LC Samson 6.
Country TV Pony Grand Prix: Molly Moffatt (Christchurch) Te Ngaio Raggamuffin 1, Johanna Wylaars (Christchurch) Wembleybrook Tiffany 2, Annie Moffett (Napier) Piripi 3, Penny Borthwick (Masterton) Foxden’s Merlot 4, Hollie Falloon (Masterton) Buzzie Bees Max 5, Dylan Bibby (Onga Onga) Daisy Patch 6.
East Coast Performance Horses Five-Year-Old Series: Louise Bowie (Pahiatua) Kiwi Embrace, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Centra Edition, Hana Bognuda (Hunterville) WSJ Ritchie, Luce Williams (Masterton) Grossendale Enzo, Kimberley Carrington (Takapau) Double J Typhoon, Ash Hart (Hastings) Kiwi Royal and Anneke Van Rooyen (Taumarunui) Awaroa Just a Dream =1.
UltraMox Six-Year-Old Series: Daniel Webb (Hunterville) WSJ Apache, Samantha Carrington (Takapau) Double J Hurricane, Shanae McKay (Levin) ME Joy Ride II, Rose Alfeld (Leeston) Footloose NZPH and Daniel Webb (Hunterville) WSJ Astros =1.
Matthews Hanoverians Seven-Year-Old Series: Rose Alfeld (Leeston) Eye Catcher NZPH 1, Bailey Marshall (Taranaki) Haupouri Evandro NZPH 2, Anna Parsons (Takapau) Snapchat Me 3.
FMG Young Rider Series: Karis Spurway (New Plymouth) Kapattack 1, Sophie Townsend (Darfield) Kingslea Kiwi 2, Samantha Carrington (Takapau) Double J Breeze On 3, Samantha Gillies (Oamaru) Lumarzo 4, Sophie Scott (Wellington) Lakota 5, Francesca Corich (Paraparaumu) LDS Cardo 6.
Dunstan Horsefeeds Amateur Rider Series: Shanae McKay (Levin) ME Joy Ride II 1, Sophie Mckerchar (Oamaru) Edward NZPH 2, Ali Hilton (Wellington) Willowridge Surprise 3, Rachel Nelson (Waimarama) Ocean Lady 4, Sarah Teggert (Manawatu) BSF Benrose Rockstar 5, Kaleigh Kent (Otane) Double J Sponge Bob Square Pants 6.
Mainland Coachwork Junior Rider Series: Molly Moffatt (Christchurch) Glenmark 1, Kimberley Carrington (Takapau) Double J Barmaid 2, Johanna Wylaars (Christchurch) Blossom NZPH 3, Anneke Van Rooyen (Taumarunui) My Sassy Cat 4, Samantha Carrington (Takapau) Double J Hurricane 5, Brendon Terrill (New Plymouth) FIS Outrageous 6
Harrison Lane Pro-Amateur Rider Series: Lucy Fell (Longburn) Faratona FS 1, Mandy Illston (Masterton) Iguazu 2, Holly Rose (Bay of Plenty) Pampero 3, Courtney Townsend (Darfield) Corofina ECPH 4, Sally Clark (Dannevirke) Victoria’s Secret 5, Bailey Marshall (Taranaki) Haupouri Evandro NZPH 6.
For full results, head to www.main-events.com
By Diana Dobson
29 March 2021