Olivia Mehrtens may not have been at the Glistening Waters Championships to receive her Hokonui Sport Horses Cat A High Points Series award but she and her family celebrated all the same.
The family had decided not to make the long trip north for the show, but together they watched the livestream of the awards party with 10-year-old Olivia blissfully unaware she and My Gemma Bear had won. “I was just screaming when they read it out,” said Olivia. “I had no idea!”
Her win – which she took by just a single point – meant she didn’t have to do the dishes but step-dad Gary did get her do an acceptance speech. “It was a lot of fun,” said the youngster from Cust.
It is the second consecutive year this spunky little combination have won the series, and they also secured back-to-back Cat A crowns at Nationals too.
“It has been amazing,” said Olivia. “It is so special to win on the same pony and doing well against so many other good ponies too. She is a bit of a bush pony but always competes at her best.”
But it wasn’t always plain sailing. “When I first got her she didn’t really like me that much and was always testing me.” At their first outing the pony bolted across the ring, but over time there came a mutual respect and understanding. “I would just spend every day with her and ride her and give her treats. It took a couple of months but we got there.”
Mum Penny Mehrtens, who with Katie Meredith trains Olivia and Gemma, says the pony has certainly set her daughter up well. “The pony just keeps giving,” said Penny.
While the series was a goal of Olivia’s, they didn’t chase it. “She always wanted to do well but after winning it last season I didn’t want her to have too much pressure on her. The focus was to get better at equitation and she definitely improved at that. She went out every weekend to do her best – winning the high points was a bonus.”
The pony has now been sold to another budding wee rider with Olivia looking to do more showjumping aboard Tallyho Neptune. With winter approaching, the family will be out on the hunting field together.
Hokonui Sport Horses Cat A High Points Series Final (sponsored by PGG Wrightsons): Lily Kent (Waipawa) Ataahua Rapture 1, Sophia Neale (Palmerston North) Petal 2, Lily Fenton (Stratford) Clovelly Fonteyn 3, Eleanor Murrow (Palmerston North) Sonrise Essence 4, Molly McEwan (Gisborne) Buffalo Man 5.
Hokonui Sport Horses Cat A Series: Olivia Mehrtens (Cust) My Gemma Bear 48 points 1, Lily Kent (Waipawa) Ataahua Rapture 47 2, Sophia Neale (Palmerston North) Petal 3, Milly Dampier-Crossley (Rotherham) Minks 39 4, Molly McEwan (Gisborne) Buffalo Man 35 5, Sophia Neale (Palmerston North) Sonrise Essence 35 6.
For full results, head to www.evoevents.co.nz
The Jumping Team 17 May 2022