It was very much a team effort to get Olivia Forster and Cassino du Domaine across the line in the Main-Events Tertiary Series.
The newly-graduated registered nurse and her mum Vanessa left Cambridge just after midnight, getting to the Glistening Waters Series Finals Show in Masterton at 6am. Dad Glenn travelled through with the horses yesterday.
“I worked the pm shift and finished at 11pm. There were lots of coffees involved,” said the 21-year-old who only three weeks ago started her new job at Waikato Hospital. “It’s a real team effort and I am so grateful for that support.”
She was rapt to secure the series – her first ever. “My goal was to place in the series – I had no idea we would get even close to winning in such a competitive series.”
But the combo took an early lead which quickly saw her hone in on keeping hold of pole position on the leaderboard. Over the season, they picked up five wins in the series and a couple of seconds.
In the grand final today, Olivia and Jack had two rails and time fault, saw them out of the placings, but their season points were more than enough to give them the win. “I was happy with today – we haven’t done a lot of straight 1.3m classes. I just went out, focussing on what my coach Vaughn Jefferis tells me to do. He has done a lot of work on my mind set and just thinking about what I need to do.”
She thoroughly enjoyed Gerrit Beker’s flowing course. “I am very proud of myself for keeping it together out there and for Jack too.”
Olivia got Cassino du Domaine – or Jack as he is known at home – as a six-year-old. “He had done just a single show hunter class then so was very green for his age.”
She has carefully brought the Holsteiner gelding, who is by Cassini II, up to 1.3m level. “He is pretty quirky but very brave and quite playful on the ground. I think we have a good partnership after five years together.”
The two have also been solid in the Harrison Lane Pro-Amateur Rider Series.
While she has her bachelor’s degree behind her, she is already looking ahead and about to start her post grad studies.
In the grand final four of the nine starters came back for the jump-off. Bailey Rutter (Wairarapa) and Henton Serenade took the win with a lovely double clear, crossing the flags in the jump-off in 39.66 seconds. Kate Herdson (Auckland) and her showy grey Juneau SSNZ were second, also double clear but in a slower time of 41.93 seconds. Brigitte Smith (Taihape) and HR Lanardo had a rail in their 43.6 second round.
Main-Events Tertiary Series: Olivia Forster (Cambridge) Cassino du Domaine 58 points 1, Jenna Lee Rose (Dannevirke) Lulu and Stephanie Suppan (Canterbury) Ngahiwi Blackjack ECPH 56 points =2, Kate Herdson (Auckland) Juneau SSNZ 45 points 4, Ike Baker (Hawke’s Bay) NW Conrado 37 points 5, Adele Rycroft (Dannevirke) Jericho R 31 points 6.
Main-Events Tertiary Series Grand Final: Bailey Rutter (Wairarapa) Henton Serenade 1, Kate Herdson (Auckland) Juneau SSNZ 2, Brigitte Smith (Taihape) HR Lanardo 3, Ike Baker (Hawke’s Bay) NW Conrado 4, Adele Rycroft (Dannevirke) Jericho R 5, Sophie Townsend (Darfield) Kingslea Kiwi 6.
For full series results, head to www.nzequestrian.org
For full class results, head to www.main-events.com
By Diana Dobson
10 April 2021