Emma Watson and Maddox Letino. Photo Credit Julia Murch Photography
Emma Watson and Maddox Letino are back. The Morrinsville combo had a blinder at week one of the Giltrap Audi Show Jumping Waitemata Jumping Extravaganza at the weekend winning the FMG Young Rider Series class and capping off the show with victory in the Horse Grand Prix Super Series.
The wins are all the more special because the horse had been out for about a year and this was just their third show back. Lime – as he’s known by all – had six months box rest which was a struggle for the gelding. “It was a long road with lots of tears and heartbreak and I did wonder if we were ever going to get there,” says 18-year-old Emma.
Their first show back was Tauranga where they were fourth in the Young Rider, followed by the Let’s Jump Show at Taupo where he was third in the 1.25m and fifth in the 1.35m.
“So this was going to be us really getting back into it. It was a bit of a challenge getting him back to competition fitness in readiness for his first show but now, he is just feeling better than ever. It seems the big break did him good.”
Emma says the horse is trying harder than ever. “He’s a bit of a goofball and doesn’t have a huge personality but we have become quite the team.”
Eleven started the Young Rider with just three coming back for the jump-off over the Edward Bullock-designed course. “We were last to go which is always a good position to be in. Turned out I just had to give it everything anyway.”
Ahead of her Eden Johnstone (Auckland) aboard Valcheta had gone double clear, stopping the clock at 35.34 seconds, with Natalia Lammers (Whangarei) and Absolute picking up eight faults. Emma and Lime were all clear in 33.48 seconds.
It was déjà vu in the 12-strong Giltrap Audi Horse Grand Prix Super Series where the three young women were joined by Rylee Sheehan (Te Aroha) aboard Bandito NZPH for the jump-off. The top four were all double clear but the win went to Emma by a smidgen – she crossed the flags at 41.75 to Natalia’s 41.8.
“To win both is great. They were very competitive classes. I was supposed to take him a bit slower in the second jump-off but there is nothing quite like winning!”
Emma was loaned the horse for seven weeks at the end of her last season on her superstar pony Fun House, and ended up buying him. “He is in his prime now and just so cool.”
She and her team had a faultless weekend and she’s looking forward to more Grand Prix starts this season.
This year Emma is heading to Waikato University to do a Bachelor of Business and Psychology degree.
The show attracted 260 horses and was held in sweltering conditions but everything ran smoothly. Organisers and volunteers now gear up for week two of the extravaganza, with entries closing very quickly when the 350 horse mark was reached.
Country TV Pony Grand Prix Series: Isabelle Hawkins (Auckland) Spotified 1, Jordyn Appleton (Auckland) Burma Chilli 2, Zara Main (Auckland) Blue Crush 3, Zara Preece-Twose (Auckland) TC Piano Man 4, Katie Readings (Pukekawa) Golden Shutterbug 5, Samantha-Lee Wakeling (Wellsford) BMW Sharpshooter 6.
Dunstan Horsefeeds Amateur Rider Series: Ashley Johnston (Whangarei) Miss Vee NZPH 1, Shelley Bridgeman (Auckland) Oaks Vendetta 2, Jessica Toomey (Cambridge) Starlight Destiny 3, Emma Buckingham (Auckland) Piccadilly Circus 4, Briar Woolley (Wellsford) DSE Sacred Trust 5, Simone Lawrence (Taupaki) MJK San Remo 6.
Harrison Lane Pro-Am Rider Series: Kate Herdson (Auckland) Cavallino 1, Nicholas Beal (Pukekohe) Sacramento 2, Olivia Forster (Cambridge) Cassino du Domaine 3, Laura McGregor (Auckland) High Command 4, Sophie Fisher (Cambridge) LC Sensation 5, Olivia Glen (Clevedon) Coconella 6.
FMG Young Rider Series: Emma Watson (Morrinsville) Maddox Letino 1, Eden Johnstone (Auckland) Valcheta 2, Natalia Lammers (Whangarei) Absolute NZPH 3, Liam Rutland (Te Awamutu) Kiwi Delux 4, Jordyn Appleton (Auckland) Scotsmans Valley 5, Karis Spurway (New Plymouth) Maddox Allheart 6.
Main-Events Tertiary Series: Michaelee Head (Cambridge) Bellick ST 1, Tamara Marshall (Wellsford) Midway Manolito 2.
Mainland Coachwork Junior Rider Series: Rylee Sheehan (Te Aroha) Castakko Xtreme 1, Mikayla Trott (Riverhead) Redcliffs Armani RF 2, Rose Windross (Auckland) Double J Kelvin 3, Aimee Collinson (Clevedon) Oporaes Jackamoe 4, Harley Ferguson (Whangarei) Code-Air 5, Emily Ramsden (Auckland) L’Orame 6.
Giltrap Audi Horse Grand Prix Super Series: Emma Watson (Morrinsville) Maddox Letino 1, Natalia Lammers (Whangarei) Absolute NZPH 2, Eden Johnstone (Auckland) Valcheta 3, Rylee Sheehan (Te Aroha) Bandito NZPH 4, Liam Rutland (Te Awamutu) Whiorau Ritchie 5, Laura Inkster (Clevedon) Matawai Sentana 6
For full results, head to www.evoevents.co.nz
11 January 2022