Lauren Mitchell and Sonny Bill – Photo Credit Kirsten Hence Photography
Lauren Mitchell has made sure everyone knows who she is in the show hunter rings, bagging three series’ titles at the Glistening Waters Championships.
The teen from Kumeu rode off with the Sport Horse Junior High Points Series aboard Sonny Bill, the Aniwell Cat C High Points Series with Mahachi Gold Rosado KF, and the ESNZ Show Hunter Junior Equitation Series on Craighaven Black Heart.
At the series final show the 17-year-old popped up in many a final – winning the NRM Open High Points Final on Craighaven Black Heart and placing fourth with Marokopa CJ; going on to finish fifth and sixth in the series; she placed second in the Sport Horse Junior High Points Final with Marokopa CJ, third with Sonny Bill and fifth on Craighaven Black Heart; she won the ESNZ Show Hunter Pony Equitation Final with Mahachi Gold Rosado KF; was second in the ESNZ Show Hunter Junior Equitation Final with Craighaven Black Heart; and fourth in the Aniwell Cat C High Points Final.
“It is insane,” she said. “This is my first ever series win.”
Lauren aboard Mahachi Gold Rosado KF
That said, she has a very talented pool of mounts in her barn. Lauren moved off ponies at 12 because she tired of competing against her twin Victoria, however, two years ago she had a change of heart. “You only get to do ponies once so I bought Mahachi Gold Rosado KF and decided to go back and have some fun.”
The pony was five when she got her. “She’s sassy and sensitive but we instantly clicked. She is a pint-sized rocket with the best canter and jump,” says Lauren. They were first equal in the series coming into the final, with their fourth place effort getting them over the line as the winners. It’s been a good season for them with plenty of success.
“She is a spectacular pony and sadly this is my last show on her. She is now for sale but I need to find the right rider for her.”
Lauren and Craighaven Black Heart – Photo Credit Kirsten Hence Photography
Craighaven Black Heart had to step up and become Lauren’s equitation horse when Sonny Bill was sidelined with injury two seasons ago. “She has a big personality but is sensitive being a mare. She has been amazing and so adjustable,” said Lauren. “I love that equitation is rider focused, and I knew we would do well together.”
She’s had the mare four years now. “She is an amazing handy hunter horse.”
Lauren describes Sonny Bill as her best friend. He was her first hack five years ago. Together they won their first ever outing and have continued in that vein since. “What’s not to love about him!”
Her mum Denise rides him along the beach and Lauren says the horse endears himself to everyone he meets. “He is 15 now but I refuse to think about retirement. With him, you go into the ring and he puts his face on and puffs his chest out.”
Winning the Sport Horse Junior High Points Series aboard the horse made her quite emotional. The series awards had been a very special night. “Winning with Sonny Bill was just the icing on the cake.”
Sport Horse Junior High Points Series Final (sponsored by Bitbeta Equine): Abe Baker (Raukawa) Hawkesdale Mahe 1, Lauren Mitchell (Kumeu) Marokopa CJ 2, Lauren Mitchell (Kumeu) Sonny Bill 3, Molly Pike (Cambridge) Zig Zag 4, Lauren Mitchell (Kumeu) Craighaven Black Heart 5.
Sport Horse Junior High Points Series: Lauren Mitchell (Kumeu) Sonny Bill 41 points 1, Jessica and Sophie Townsend (Darfield) Pinstripe II 39 2, Lauren Mitchell (Kumeu) Marokopa CJ 38 3, Emily Cowan (Blenheim) My Centastage 38 4, Lauren Mitchell (Kumeu) Craighaven Black Heart 37 5, Emily Cowan (Blenheim) Reid & Dale Confidential 35 6.
Aniwell Cat C High Points Series Final (sponsored by Grassendale Genetics): Emily McMaster (Greytown) Onetai Cover Girl 1, Katherine Walker (Paraparaumu) He’s Pryceless 2, Sofia Williams (Masterton) Grassendale Gin 3, Lauren Mitchell (Kumeu) Mahachi Gold Rosado KF 4, Kaitlin Brown (Wairoa) Tawa 5.
Aniwell Cat C High Points Series: Lauren Mitchell (Kumeu) Mahachi Gold Rosado KF 51 points 1, Harriet and Georgette Laing (Canterbury) Triple Star Picture Puzzle 48 2, Kaitlin Brown (Wairoa) Tawa 48 3, Zoe Slater (Geraldine) Moccochino 42 4, Bridie King (Pahiatua) Puketawa Celtic Legend 37 5, Emily McMaster (Greytown) Onetai Cover Girl 37 6.
ESNZ Show Hunter Junior Equitation Series Final: Meg Rogers (Ashhurst) Corodano 1, Lauren Mitchell (Kumeu) Craighaven Black Heart 2, Aliya Berry (Hamilton) Pintado Bravo 3, Vianne Downs (Greytown) Leandro Bay 4, Hazel Jones (Plimmerton) Sancho 5.
ESNZ Show Hunter Junior Equitation Series: Lauren Mitchell (Kumeu) 53 points 1, Emily Cowan (Blenheim) 44 2, Hazel Jones (Plimmerton) 43 3, Michaelee Head (Cambridge) 36 4, Aliya Berry (Hamilton) 34 5, Sophie Townsend (Darfield) 32 6.
For full results, head to www.evoevents.co.nz
The Jumping Team 29 April 2022