Sophie Scott and Waitangi Skynet win the Rutherford Cup
Sophie Scott has bagged her first national horse title, claiming the Tavendale and Partners New Zealand Premier crown at the disrupted NZ National Jumping and Show Hunter Championship in Christchurch.
Torrential rain saw the final day of competition cancelled with title and championship crowns worked out on Friday results.
Sophie and Waitangi Skynet finished just .05 of a fault ahead of runner-up Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) on Windermere Cappuccino, who recently won the FEI New Zealand World Cup Series League, with current Olympic Cup holder Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) on LT Holst Andrea in third, 2.8 faults behind the winner.
“It is so cool (to win),” said 20-year-old Sophie whose name is now added to the historic Rutherford Cup. “Skynet is so consistent. This was a definite goal for him at the start of the season. To win it is amazing – it just shows that if you work hard you get the results. I feel we are just continually improving.”
The three top riders were all very disappointed not to continue their fiercely-fought battle for bragging rights. “It is such a shame the final day was cancelled – it would have been good to continue the competition between the three of us. I am disappointed not to get out in the ring today but stoked with the end result.”
Sophie, who last year moved to a purpose-built equestrian property in Palmerston North, said she felt she was continuing to improve. “I just love it all.”
Tegan Fitzsimon also picked up her third Graham McClintock NZ Grand Prix title but this time with a different horse. She and Campari were the winners of the Mary Dalley Trophy, a cup she has twice hoisted with Windermere Cappuccino. “He has jumped fantastically,” said Tegan of Campari. “I am very grateful to have the ride on him.” The horse is owned by the Tapley family, who hail from the South Island. “It’s so nice to jump down here so they can be ringside to watch.” It’s been two years since Tegan has competed in the South Island and she said it was really nice to be back. “It’s nice for Campari to get the limelight because Windermere Cappuccino steals it a lot!”
Tegan and Campari finished on 1.42 faults, with runner-up Makenzie Causer (Christchurch) and Copabella Camouflage on four faults and Sophie Scott with Lakota third on 4.48.
Johanna Wylaars (Christchurch) made her dream come true at the disrupted champs, winning the Rangiora Vet Centre New Zealand Pony Grand Prix title (part of the Country TV series) aboard Wembleybrook Tiffany. “She is a really good pony and has been amazing for me,” said the 15-year-old. “I am so grateful for everything she has taught me.” The win was all the more special as it is her last season on the pony. “It is something I have always dreamed of doing, so I am stoked to have done it.”
Johanna and Tiffany finished the championships on 1.12 faults, with Penny Borthwick (Masterton) second on Foxden’s Merlot on 3.41 faults and third with Rednalhgih Cowan on four faults.
The Canterbury combo were awarded the Hampton Trophy, which has just been donated by long time equestrian supporter Alan Hampton, who was also the one who started the National Championship in Christchurch 26 years ago.
Brooke Edgecombe may be better known as a top show jumper but today she can add show hunter national title holder to her CV, riding off with Lone Goat New Zealand National Open Show Hunter title aboard Jacqui Symes’ Takapoto Sienna. She only got the call-up from Jacqui about 10 days ago to see if she would be keen to compete the mare. “I am very pleased with the win, especially for Jacqui. She has done a beautiful job producing her.”
The Treadlite NZ National Amateur Show Hunter title went the way of Melanie Morris (Loburn) aboard Kosciuszko. It is the fourth national crown the two have won. “He is such a consistent horse, a great teammate and just a great horse,” said Melanie. “It is such a shame to win the title like this but I am pleased they made the decision they did (to cancel), given the conditions out there.”
Sophie Rosanowski (Rangiora) and Bellwood O’Banion were the back-to-back winners of the Sport Horse NZ National Junior Show Hunter title. It is just their second season in show hunter. “She is pretty good at it and it really is so much fun,” said the 18-year-old. “To win the title for the second time is pretty special – I definitely won’t get a better horse for me.”
Olivia Mehrtens (Cust) was over the moon to win her second consecutive Josh Whittaker Equine Dental NZ National Cat A Show Hunter Pony title aboard My Gemma Bear. It’s the last season the 10-year-old rider will be aboard the very talented little pony. “So that makes it all the more special,” said Olivia. “She is such a cool pony.” Olivia was also third in the Cat B title class aboard Tallyho Neptune.
Anna Smith (Wyndham) took the quinella in the Equi-lise NZ National Cat B Show Hunter Pony title class, winning aboard El Alpha G Wizz and placing second on Starlight Smarda. The 11-year-old from Southland won the same title last year aboard Starlight Smarda but says she is equally as happy to take the win on her other mount. “I love them both very much,” she says. “Neither have ever put a foot wrong for me.”
The Canter for Cancer NZ National Cat C Show Hunter Pony title was won by Georgette Laing (Little River) aboard Triple Star Picture Puzzle in just their second time competing at the National Champs.
“She really makes me work for it but I do love her,” said the 14-year-old. “It means so much to me to win and I am very grateful to be able to come here and take it out.”
As well as national titles, there were also championship crowns on the line, with some super jumping through the grades.
Paxton Conder (Whatawhata) contemplated not bringing a horse to Nationals as she was heading south in her capacity as a sponsor for Dunstan Horsefeeds but she’s glad she did when she and La Fonteyn rode off with the Zealandia Horticulture NZ National Jumping 1.2m Horse Championship crown. “La Fonteyn is just an incredible horse,” she said. “I got her when I broke my neck and wasn’t supposed to be riding again so it is very cool to win this and I feel very lucky.”
It is the first time the 27-year-old has ridden at Nationals.
Samantha Gillies (Oamaru) backed up her Young Rider win with victory in the June Cresswell Memorial NZ National 1.3m Horse Championship (sponsored by Wilcox Perlas Potatoes) aboard 12-year-old Lumarzo. “It’s been a really great show, especially in such hard times. It is very much appreciated the effort that went into putting this on,” said the 16-year-old. “Lumarzo is such a great horse – she tried her heart out. It is a big privilege to win.”
It was a fabulous champs for the Moffatt family from Ohoka with Molly and Freestyle Twist and Shout taking out the 4 Cyte National 1m Pony Championship and younger brother Sam winning the Canter for Cancer 90cm Pony Emerging Talent Challenge aboard Marsden Magic.
Thirteen-year-old Sam was very happy with win. “He’ll be getting extra carrots tonight. I really didn’t think I would win,” said Sam. “I think the wet weather helped me out because it was hard on everyone.”
Sixteen-year-old Molly said it was “amazing” to win a championship. “I have only ridden the horse once before this but he just jumped awesome. A big thanks to the Bissett family for letting me ride him.”
Maygen Gubb (Oamaru) and Bespoke were the winners of the Majestic Horse Floats NZ National 1.1m Pony Championship in their first time ever at Nationals. “We just got him this season and he has never let me down – this is amazing,” said the 14-year-old. “I really didn’t think this would happen. It means a lot.”
Gayle Baker (West Melton) figures five-year-old Riverdown Rock N Roll has earned extra marshmallows after winning the Wade NZ National 1m Horse Championship. “I got the horse as a three-year-old when we got stuck here with COVID. I was meant to return to the UK and I knew I couldn’t be stuck here for three months with no horse so bought him.”
It was her first-ever Nationals and she loved it. “It has been just wonderful and I have thoroughly enjoyed the show.”
Eventer turned showjumper Cam Robertson (Rangiora) steered Wairoa Renegade to a win in the Hilton Press NZ National 1.1m Horse Championship. “It’s a bit dodgy for the showjumpers when an eventer comes in and rips one from under them! I was hoping the rain would stay away but we did get a couple of good days of jumping in,” said the saddler who events Renegade to three star level, using showjumping as training. “I have always wanted to win a rug with Reggie but I’ll take the showjumping one!”
Horses and riders came from all over the country to compete at the Dunstan Fiber Fresh National Equestrian Centre in Christchurch. Organisers worked hard to ensure COVID protocols were followed, with everyone in bubbles
Showjumping, Tavendale and Partners NZ Premier title (part of the POLi Payments Premier League Series): Sophie Scott (Palmerston North) Waitangi Skynet 1, Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) Windermere Cappuccino 2, Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) LT Holst Andrea 3.
Graham McClintock NZ National Grand Prix title (part of the EvoEvents Horse Grand Prix Series): Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) Campari 1, Makenzie Causer (Christchurch) Copabella Camouflage 2, Sophie Scott (Palmerston North) Lakota 3.
Rangiora Vet Centre NZ National title (part of the Country TV Pony Grand Prix Series): Johanna Wylaars (Christchurch) Wembleybrook Tiffany 1, Penny Borthwick (Masterton) Foxden’s Merlot 2, Penny Borthwick (Masterton) Rednalhgih Cowan 3.
June Cresswell NZ National 1.3m Horse Championship (sponsored by Wilcox Perlas Potatoes): Samantha Gillies (Oamaru) Lumarzo 1, Olivia Robertson (Queenstown) Casino GNZ 2, Emily Hayward (Te Awamutu) SB Attitude 3.
Zealandia Horticulture NZ National 1.2m Horse Championship: Paxton Conder (Whatawhata) La Fonteyn 1, Larina Dolman (Gisborne) Kiwi Lansing 2, Jeremy Whale (Hampton Downs) Jay Z GNZ 3.
Hilton Press NZ National 1.1m Horse Championship: Cam Robertson (Rangiora) Wairoa Renegade 1, Hanna Lowe (Leeston) Double J Jac O’Malley 2, Kiera Inglis (Nelson) Wishing 3.
Wade NZ National 1m Horse Championship: Gayle Baker (West Melton) Riverdown Rock N Roll 1, Philippa Stratford (Invercargill) Mararoa Jo Dee 2, Kimberleigh McCabe (Invercargill) Prince of Brooks 3.
Majestic Horse Floats NZ National 1.1m Pony Championship: Maygen Gubb (Oamaru) Bespoke 1, Samantha Gillies (Oamaru) Destellar 2, Mitchell Cowan (Blenheim) KL Dream Dance 3.
4 Cyte NZ National 1m Pony Championship: Molly Moffatt (Christchurch) Freestyle Twist and Shout 1, Tasmin Nelson-Knauf (Motueka) DaVinci’s Masterpiece 2, Casey Mackintosh (Canterbury) Tallyho Zeus 3.
Canter for Cancer 90cm Pony Emerging Talent Challenge: Sam Moffatt (Christchurch) Marsden Magic 1, Sophie Emma Fountain (Wanaka) Sugar and Sass 2, Alice Macdonald (Canterbury) Redcliffs Kodak Moment 3.
Statesman Horse Floats NZ National 90cm Emerging Talent Challenge: Sophia McKendry (Christchurch) Lil Le Roux 1, Zoe Groom (Canterbury) Awatuna Moonlight 2, Cara Quinn (Queenstown) Can’t Touch This 3.
Skene-Scott Inter-Island Teams’ Trophy: South Island 1, North Island 2.
Show hunter, Lone Goat NZ National Open title: Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) Takapoto Sienna 1, Louise Marriott (Rangiora) Clicquot 2, Katie Meredith (Ohoka) Vulcan GNZ 3.
Treadlite NZ National Amateur Title: Melanie Morris (Loburn) Kosciuszko 1, Kelly Tyson (Canterbury) Zinzan CSNZ 2, Kylie Lyders (Lawrence) Primus 3.
Sport Horse NZ National Junior Title: Sophie Rosanowski (Rangiora) Bellwood O’Banion 1, Sophie Townsend (Darfield) Wildheart 2, Emily Cowan (Blenheim) My Centastage 3.
Josh Whittaker Equine Dental NZ National Cat A Pony Title: Olivia Mehrtens (Cust) My Gemma Bear 1, Milly Dampier-Crossley (Rotherham) Minks 2, Scarlet Baker (Gore) Chelton Light Secret 3.
Equi-lise NZ National Cat B Pony Title: Anna Smith (Wyndham) El Alpha G Wizz 1, Anna Smith (Wyndham) Starlight Smarda 2, Olivia Mehrtens (Cust) Tallyho Neptune 3.
Canter for Cancer NZ National Cat C Pony Title: Georgette Laing (Little River) Triple Star Picture Puzzle 1, Molly Smith (Geraldine) BG Lennox 2, Dayna Lowe (Leeston) TF Temperance Brennan 3.
For full results, head to www.main-events.com .
February 13th, 2022