It was an impressive double for Ella Rae-Wood whose last gasp effort in the grand final saw her take the East Coast Performance Horses Five-Year-Old Breeding Series by just two points.
The 18-year-old from Greymouth says given it was the last show of the season, she decided to just go for it.
“She did everything I asked of her,” she said of TMS Annabella who may be sassy, opinionated and mare-ish but it produced the perfect package in the GFE NZPH and A1 Reproduction Services-sponsored grand final.
It is Ella’s first season with the horse, who was initially bought for her sister. “I thought we would only do a few shows, but she has just blown me away. She’s a cool horse and as my first hack it is good she is little and pony-like really. She is a bit sassy and opinionated but today did everything I asked of her. There were a nice bunch of horses out there today, so this is just awesome. I am absolutely rapt.”
Ella is currently studying pre-vet at Massey University in Palmerston North. “I wasn’t actually going to come here but we had a nice third placing at Nationals so I brought her back up with me. I was going to prioritise my education but decided to bring her up and do both!”
The mare was initially bought at the beginning of last season for her sister who then inherited Ella’s pony. “She is so cool but can be very mare-ish,” said Ella. “We probably only did eight or nine shows this season. From the coast it is a long way to anywhere.”
The series victory is a first for Ella but she now has her sights set on going up the grades. “Hopefully we can continue up the age group series and do Young Riders once we get to that stage and hopefully Grand Prix eventually. She is quite little but I would like to go as far as she can jump.”
Ella is loving her study but will send the horse home to winter with her mum rather than keep her with her in Palmerston North.
Donella Still’s course proved challenging enough for the grand final, giving the series leaderboard a good shakeup when the top three all had a rail in the opening round, opening it up for others to swoop. Eleven of the original 22 starters came through to the jump-off where Ella and TMS Annabella (by Chassini II, out of Millie who is by Voltaire II) proved too good for the rest of the field with their double clear in 42.07 seconds, with Tara Gower (Ohura) and Riverhills Legend (by Eurosport Centavos, out of Destiny who is by Ranfurly) coming in for second in 42.11 and Sophie Scott (Palmerston North) with LT Holst Ellie (by Emerald Van ‘T Ruytershof out of LT Holst Wilma who is by Crawford) third in 42.46.
Series sponsor Jenny Booth from East Coast Performance Horses said she had loved the five-year-old “gateway” class and is excited to watch this year’s competitors move on to the six-year-old and a new batch of four-year-olds step up next season.
East Coast Performance Horses Five-Year-Old Breeding Series Grand Final (sponsored by GFE NZPH and A1 Reproduction): Ella Rae-Wood (Greymouth) TMS Annabella (by Chassini II, out of Millie who is by Voltaire II) 1, Tara Gower (Ohura) Riverhills Legend (by Eurosport Centavos, out of Destiny who is by Ranfurly) 2, Sophie Scott (Palmerston North) LT Holst Ellie (by Emerald Van ‘T Ruytershof out of LT Holst Wilma who is by Crawford) 3, Sam Carrington (Takapau) Double J Odin (by Double J Repicharge out of Ophelia NZPH who is by Barbarian) 4, Claire Wilson (Waipukurau) McMillan’s Swipe Right (by Answer Back out of Uno Me NZPH who is by Fuego Du Prelet) 5, Hannah Bodle (Morrinsville) Classified II (by Cachassini II out of Jeezmay who is by Willie John) 6.
East Coast Performance Horses Five-Year-Old Breeding Series: Ella Rae-Wood (Greymouth) TMS Annabella (by Chassini II, out of Millie who is by Voltaire II) 52 points 1, Tara Gower (Ohura) Riverhills Legend (by Eurosport Centavos, out of Destiny who is by Ranfurly) 50 2, Sam Carrington (Takapau) Double J Odin (by Double J Repicharge out of Ophelia NZPH who is by Barbarian) 46 3, Anneke van Rooyen (Taumaranui) Awaroa New Edition (by Kannan out of Kahurangi Final Edition who is by Valiant), Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Central Zone (by Central Park out of Fifi who is by Answer Back) and Kimberley Carrington/Jesse Linton (Takapau) Double J Larrikin (by Double J Repicharge out of Rata Mill Ascot who is by Stanic) 44 =4.
For full results, head to www.evoevents.co.nz
The Jumping Team – 4 April 2022