Lucy Olphert has clocked up plenty of miles this season traipsing the countryside from her Queenstown base but it all paid off when she and Kiwi Strike won the Matthews Hanoverians Seven-Year-Old Breeding Series.
It wasn’t a series she had chased early on, but soon realised they were high on the leaderboard and decided to give it a good crack.
“He is a special little horse,” says the full time rider who got the “rather green” horse mid 2021. “I just got on him and liked him straight away – he had a very classical technique and showed me a lot of heart.”
The horse has been brought on slowly for the first part of the season with Lucy opting not to “put the pedal down” for jump-offs until she felt he was ready.
The grand final didn’t quite go her way, with the nose band breaking just before they were due to go in for the first round. “We tried to find another but couldn’t so just had to go in without it, making steering a little difficult!”
It was very special to win the series. “It’s been a while since I have had a really top horse,” said Lucy. “He has been the comeback horse for me. It was more like a personal goal to take the series rather than a horse accolade. His ability speaks for itself. I think he has a very bright future.” She is no stranger to series wins but says you never tire of the thrill.
Kiwi Strike is a New Zealand sport horse who was bred by Fernhill Stud. He is by Kiwi Coronation out of Kiwi Maze who is by Corlando GNZ.
Lucy will soon be moving to her new base in Alexandra where she looks forward to once again having her own facilities. “It is very exciting.”
She twice headed north to compete this season and travelled a lot around the South Island too. “I love what I do but it is just finding a way to make it work from down south. The travel really takes it out of them.”
She only started Kiwi Strike in a single class at each show. “Coming into the final I just wanted to go out and ride the best I could. I knew it would be super competitive so we had to leave it all out there.”
In the Grassendale Genetics-sponsored grand final, six of the original 10 starters came back for the jump-off where the top three all kept their slates clean. Eventual winner Jeremy Whale (Hampton Downs) knew he and Bannockburn ECPH would need to set a cracking time if they wanted to be in the money. “I had a couple of speedsters coming behind me so I had to leave it all out there,” he said. He paid tribute to Bannockburn ECPH’s breeders East Coast Performance Horses’ Jenny, Nicki and Craig Booth, thanking them for such “a fantastic horse”. “He really is super,” he said of the gelding who is by Cassiano out of Ngahiwi Emilionaire, by Emilion VDL.
Matthews Hanoverians Seven-Year-Old Breeding Series Grand Final (sponsored by Grassendale Genetics): Jeremy Whale (Hampton Downs) Bannockburn ECPH (by Cassiano out of Ngahiwi Emilionaire who is by Emilion VDL) 1, Lucy Olphert (Queenstown) Kiwi Strike (by Kiwi Coronation out of Kiwi Maze who is by Corlando GNZ) 2, Sam Carrington (Takapau) Double J Hurricane (by Eurosport Heartbreaker out of Double J Breeze who is by Voltaire II) 3, Kathryn Alabaster (Hastings) Haupouri Ferrari NZPH (by Kannan out of Untouched NZPH who is by Cabdulla du Tillard) 4, Sophie Scott (Palmerston North) Benrose Casino ECPH (by Cassiano out of Ngahiwi Red Rinse who is by Nikau) 5, Jesse Linton (Hastings) WSJ Jonah (by Comanche Chief out of Rita who is by Wishful Willie) 6.
Matthews Hanoverians Seven-Year-Old Breeding Series: Lucy Olphert (Queenstown) Kiwi Strike (by Kiwi Coronation out of Kiwi Maze who is by Corlando GNZ) 94 points 1, Sam Carrington (Takapau) Double J Hurricane (by Eurosport Heartbreaker out of Double J Breeze who is by Voltaire II) 75 2, Sophie Scott (Palmerston North) Benrose Casino ECPH (by Cassiano out of Ngahiwi Red Rinse who is by Nikau) 74 3, Jeremy Whale (Hampton Downs) Bannockburn ECPH (by Cassiano out of Ngahiwi Emilionaire who is by Emilion VDL) 72 5, Sophie Scott (Palmerston North) Joopiter (by Eurosport Centavos out of Just Joop who is by Abalou) 68 6.
For full results, head to www.evoevents.co.nz
The Jumping Team – 2 May 2022