There were high fives all round when Kimberley Carrington and Samantha Gillies figured they’d jointly won the Mainland Coachwork Junior Rider Series this afternoon.
The two came into the grand final just points apart with everything hanging on today’s result. Kimberley and Double J Barmaid had a six point advantage coming into the grand final but an unlucky rail opened the door for Samantha. However, she and Socrates De La Ve Z had the last fence down for second place and Kimberley finished in fourth as the fastest four-faulter.
Just three of the original 24 starters came back for the jump-off where Karis Spurway (Taranaki) and Kapattack were the only double clear with Samantha Gillies second with four faults in 41.07 seconds. Samantha Carrington – older sister of Kimberley – also had a rail in the jump-off for third place with her 41.47-second time aboard Double J Hurricane.
But it was all smiles from joint series winners Samantha Gillies and Kimberley Carrington.
Samantha was just stoked to be enjoying success at the series final show. She’s been in the North Island for nearly a month. This was her first-ever series win. “I was hoping to be top five or 10 but when we got closer to Christmas I thought ‘let’s do this!’”
She and Kimberley have been jostling at the top of the leaderboard all season. “The junior riders in both the North and South Islands are all friends so this is great,” she said of the joint win.
Samantha is trained by mum Phillipa and has had 14-year-old German import Mammoth – as Socrates De La Ve Z is known at home – since June. “He is easy but can be tricky sometimes, and he really thinks he is the man – he likes his girlfriends,” said the 15-year-old. “It’s great to be here – we had come up to Christchurch but then had to turn around when the Land Rover Horse of the Year Show was cancelled but then came back for Hawke’s Bay and a few other shows but this was the big goal.”
Sixteen-year-old Kimberley has been riding the homebred mare for three years.
“She is very quirky and most definitely the stable character,” said Kimberley. She was non-plussed about their opening round rail. “It was just a rail – I was happy with how I rode the line and how we jumped it.”
She’s trained by mum Wendy and says she’s hugely grateful for the support team around her and especially her mum Wendy and aunt Robyn. “Everyone is pretty cool.”
Her goal for the season was to be top 20 in the series. “I just didn’t expect the season to go so well. There have been so many cool wins it has been amazing.”
Next year she hopes to head to a cadet farm course where she can take her horse.
Mainland Coachwork Junior Rider Series: Kimberley Carrington (Takapau) and Samantha Gillies (Oamaru) 139 points =1, Anna Nalder (North Canterbury) and Francesca Corich (Paraparaumu) 107 =3, Leeshelle Small (Ramarama) 99 points 5, Madison Smith (Cambridge) 96 points 6.
Mainland Coachwork Junior Rider Series Grand Final Class: Karis Spurway (Taranaki) Kapattack 1, Samantha Gillies (Oamaru) Socrates De La Ve Z 2, Samantha Carrington (Takapau) Double J Hurricane 3, Kimberley Carrington (Takapau) Double J Barmaid 4, Tim Wilson (Waipukurau) McMillans Chuck 5, Francesca Corich (Paraparaumu) LDS Lavanda 6.
For full series results, head to www.nzequestrian.org.nz
For full grand final results, head to www.main-events.com
By Diana Dobson
11 April 2021