Penny Borthwick capped off her dream season with the quinella in the Country TV Pony Grand Prix Series.
Her ponies Foxden’s Merlot and Rednalhgih Cowan have been superstars for the 15-year-old from Masterton, between them winning 13 Pony Grand Prix Series classes.
“They have both jumped really well. I am stoked with both of them.”
She was gobsmacked to learn they had finished one and two in the series after a less than ideal The Rider Shop-sponsored grand final that saw her finish second and fourth, drop scores to consider and being unsure she had done enough.
An unlucky fall in the warm-up – which was more of a graceful dismount and saw her land on her feet – meant a quick sprint to the medic to be cleared to ride.
“I am so stoked with both of them,” said Penny, adding she was more chuffed to have her very supportive parents ringside to watch. “I never thought placing first and second in the series would actually happen. It is pretty awesome.”
Penny has had Foxden’s Merlot for years and produced her from day one. “This is only her second Grand Prix season so she is still learning. She is just amazing and always tries her hardest. Cowan, who I have had a year now, has done quite a few miles at this level.”
Penny has never won a series before and says while it wasn’t a goal, it was a pretty cool bonus.
“It has been a difficult year for everyone with bubbles and restrictions and so much unknown,” she said. Next season will be her last on ponies and she’s chomping at the bit to see it underway.
Penny is trained by Jesse Linton and has also had input from Wendy Jacobs too. “It has been a lot of hard work but it’s worth it for times like this.”
The opening round of the grand final produced clears from Emma Gillies (Oamaru) aboard Benrose Playtime, Penny with both her mounts, and Molly Smith (Timaru) with Vapour Trail NZPH. Sam Gillies (Oamaru) aboard Doctor Jones was the only one to go clear in the second but carried four from the opener. With five on four faults, it came down to time, with Molly stopping the clock at 49.05 seconds, Penny and Rednalhgih Cowan in 49.59 seconds, and Emma crossing the flags in 51.74.
Country TV Pony Grand Prix Series Grand Final (sponsored by The Rider Shop): Molly Smith (Timaru) Vapour Trail NZPH 1, Penny Borthwick (Masterton) Rednalhgih Cowan 2, Emma Gillies (Oamaru) Benrose Playtime 3, Samantha Gillies (Oamaru) Doctor Jones 4, Penny Borthwick (Masterton) Foxden’s Merlot 5, Angus Price (Winton) Fun House 6.
Country TV Pony Grand Prix Series: Penny Borthwick (Masterton) Foxden’s Merlot 108 points 1, Penny Borthwick (Masterton) Rednalhgih Cowan 105 2, Johanna Wylaars (Christchurch) Wembleybrook Tiffany 100 3, Samantha Gillies (Oamaru) Doctor Jones 93 4, Molly Smith (Timaru) Vapour Trail NZPH 92 5, Tessa Mason (Hastings) Mr Acho 87 6.
For full results, head to www.evoevents.co.nz
The Jumping Team – 27 April 2022