A very challenging season turned into an awesome one for Kumeu rider Emily Twort who won the Petticoat Lane Performance Horses Adult Show Hunter Equitation Series.
But Emily’s season could have been so very different. Her top horse Cameo KSNZ was out for two months with a nasty abscess and then in December Emily was sidelined for six weeks after spraining the AC joint in her shoulder.
“I am very lucky Cameo is still able to compete,” said the 23-year-old engineering geologist. “She had to have a full procedure to get a piece of wood out and our farrier says we are so lucky the infection didn’t get any worse. You just want them to be ok.”
With 10-year-old Cameo out, her full sister, eight-year-old Camaro KSNZ had to step up.
“With all of that, this series win is definitely unexpected. The season has been amazing for us.”
She says both her mares know when things matter and they try incredibly hard. Emily admits to a bit of pressure riding into the grand final aboard Cameo. “I tend to put the pressure on myself but as soon as we start cantering in the ring I am fine.”
Emily started doing show hunter in 2010 but has also dabbled in dressage and eventing. “I love show hunter because I am always aiming for that perfect round every time. To me, it doesn’t matter about the placing – it is about being happy with the round.”
It’s the same when she does showjumping. “We do what they are good at and both are better at show hunter. As long as we are all happy, it doesn’t matter where we end up.”
Emily bought Cameo as a four-year-old from Tessa and Fraser King, and was then later offered Camaro by the breeder. She has two more horses at home – a seven-year-old East Coast bred mare and a three-year-old Centavos mare. “It’s just by chance they are all mares but I do love them.”
Cameo is very much the queen bee at home. “She very much likes to know I am hers and hers only, so when I brought Camaro home she sulked in the corner of her paddock for three days. We even had to take her food to her!”
Camaro is the one always trying to be the one in charge. Emily says she is far more sensitive and tends to get quite nervous at shows. “It has been a long process to get her relaxed and understanding that it’s all ok.” The two mares are now best of friends.
Emily’s mum Rachel Gillon is a competitive dressage rider and competes Camaro at level three. It was a real family road trip from Kumeu to Masterton for the series finals with both mum and dad in tow. “Dad always comes to the Land Rover Horse of the Year Show and because that was cancelled we had to convince him that coming to Masterton was a good idea.”
Winning the series made that 10-hour roadie all worthwhile. “I am really, really happy,” said Emily. “It was the longest trip they have ever done but they both travelled so well. My challenging season has turned into an awesome one.”
Now she’s planning to tick her next big goal off . . . a HOY title.
In the grand final Emily placed second with series runner-up Antonio just behind her in third.
Petticoat Lane Performance Horses Adult Equitation Series: Emily Twort (Kumeu) 70 points 1, Antonio Matangi (Levin) 67 points 2, Claudia Odlin (Benneydale) 48 points 3, Laura van Velthooven (Palmerston North) 43 points 4, Kate Mullins (Ohoka) 41 points 5, Rebecca Conole (Masterton) Private Benjamin III 6.
Petticoat Lane Performance Horses Adult Equitation Grand Final: Kate Mullins (Ohoka) Cowboy Cool 1, Emily Twort (Kumeu) Cameo KSNZ 2, Antonio Matangi (Levin) ShoeShine Polish 3, Sarah Jocelyn (Wairarapa) Brigadoon 4, Claudia Odlin (Benneydale) Rei Huia Arnie 5.
For full series results, head to www.nzequestrian.org.nz
For full class results, head to www.main-events.com
By Diana Dobson
12 April 2021