There’s plenty to love about the newly crowned Float Factory Cat A High Points Series winner My Gemma Bear . . . just ask nine-year-old Olivia Mehrtens.
“She has the best big donkey ears ever,” says Olivia. “I love her for them and she listens well.”
The two teamed up in June last year and have shown they are certainly a combination to watch. “I love that she is sometimes cheeky . . . and that she is so cool and thoughtful,” says Olivia. The pony was well-performed before joining the Mehrtens family, with a Horse of the Year title to her credit, but since being in Olivia’s hands she can now also add the National Cat A title, as well as the Cat A Canterbury Championship crown.
“This season has been heaps of fun,” said Olivia, who was going to make the long trek north from Canterbury to the Land Rover Horse of the Year Show, but when that was cancelled, mum Penny decided they would head to the series’ finals. “This is my first ever trip with my pony to the North Island,” says Olivia proudly.
She’s trained by mum Penny and Katie Meredith but likes nothing more than heading out the back of their farm to jump logs and ride on the hills.
Show hunter is a perfect fit for her she figures. “I like it because it gets competitive sometimes but it is always really fun. You have to be on to it to do well though.”
And then there is the ‘Cat A Gang’ who are all good mates who happily share the spoils of victory. “It has been a lot of fun here at the (series’ finals) show.”
Mum Penny was competing at the beginning of the season but gave it away for Olivia however the two of them, along with dad will all be out on the hunting fields come this winter.
“I can’t hunt Gemma though because she is way too strong. Instead I have Taz. Hunting is a lot of fun.”
Olivia and Penny travelled the length and breadth of the South Island competing over the season but it has all been well worth it.
Olivia couldn’t quite pull off the perfect series’ finals, finishing second to Zara Sutton (Palmerston North) and Chelton Light Secret, who were runners-up to them in the series. Poppy Tatham (Masterton) and Nikau Rockstar was third.
Float Factory Cat A High Points Series: Olivia Mehrtens (Cust) My Gemma Bear 68 points 1, Zara Sutton (Palmerston North) Chelton Light Secret 65 points 2, Brooke Scrivener (Auckland) Fordlands Moonmist 58 points 3, Emily Oliver (Peka Peka) Patui Ataahua 58 points 4, Grace Roy (Gore) Benrose Comet 56 points 5, Samantha Syme (Auckland) Kingslea All Klass 45 points 6.
Float Factory Cat A High Points Grand Final: Zara Sutton (Palmerston North) Chelton Light Secret 1, Olivia Mehrtens (Cust) My Gemma Bear 2, Poppy Tatham (Masterton) Nikau Rockstar 3, Madison Cutfield (Auckland) Hololio Top Shelf 4, Grace Roy (Gore) Afallons Royal Salute 5.
For full series results, head to www.nzequestrian.org.nz
For full class results, head to www.main-events.com
By Diana Dobson
11 April 2021