After a tumultuous lead-in to their Spring Horse Trial with their originally-planned October date postponed due to extremely wet ground conditions, it was exciting to see Eventing Wairarapa’s Fagan Motors event push-ahead over superb footing at the Wairarapa Showgrounds the weekend of 12-13 November.

The dressage and show-jumping rounds were held on Saturday with a mixture of warm sunshine and the occasional short down-pour of rain. Perhaps some of the fainter-hearted were deterred by the early weather forecast, with an unprecedented 73 scratchings ahead of the event. However, the 123 entries would not have been disappointed by the super conditions, the Gary Sinclair-designed show-jumping tracks, or by the colourful, beautifully decorated, designed and built XC tracks across the levels. The significant investment that has gone into the cross-country facilities in recent years was evident for all to see –  with new and creative C.Lever Course Builder cross-country fences across all levels and a recently expanded water complex which provided plenty of options for course designers Donna Harley and Blyth Tait to put competitors from 65cm through to 2* level through.

The Kieran Oliver Contracting/Lifestyle Property Management  CCN-2*S class of 18 riders was won by Kelli Frewin and  Phoenician Zatalk on 33.05. Having placed second after the dressage, Kelli took the top spot after jumping double-clear. The experienced combination of Kate Fleming and Goldstone Hawk were second, Carys McCrory  and Nemesis third and Sarah Dalziell-Clout and Thornfield Ana fourth.

The Mitre 10 Mega Masterton CCN1*-S  was won by Eventing Wairarapa Committee member Francesca Silver-Carter on Teinor on 34.1 with the only clear show-jumping in the class of five, followed by Kelli Frewin on Cassinette Xtreme in second and local rider Emma Kitchingham and Foxtonian in third.

The PGG Wrightsons CCN105 class was won on a very smart finishing score of 26.3 by Rebecca Wilson and Soren. Second in this class of 14 combinations was Kate Mugrave and Galway’s Touch, third was Madison Fitness and Damarlie and fourth was Karina Barnes Master William.

The Highmark Homes CCN95 class of 19 was won by local rider Hollie Falloon on Weiti Ontario.  Hollie also won the Waiteko Platter for the highest placed local rider and the Hamish Mclennan trophy for the highest-placed pony club rider. Lily Ramakers and King Phoenix were second, Hollie was third on her second mount Sweet Chilli II and Bria Fitzgerald and the First Explorer were fourth.

There were two CCN80 classes, the Wairarapa Fencing division was won by Zahara Winyard on Fidget Spinner, followed closely by Amanda Jephson and Packing Chaparral, Bella Saunders-Dewing and Texas Gold and Emma Blackwell and Answer That in fourth place. The Chainsaw & Outdoor Power division was won by ex-Wairarapa rider Kristy Edwards-Smyth on Astek Gabrielle, second was Tina Collinson and Dusty Rusty, third was Rose Cruden on B&W Midnight Sky and fourth was Brittan Tilson on Billy. Tina Collinson also won the MC Sketch (an animal portrait voucher) for highest-placed Masters rider.

Similarly there were two CC65 divisions, the Carroll’s Joinery CCN65 class saw no change in placings from the dressage phase for the top three, with Aggie Shearer and Venace Rosalie leading from start to finish. Second placed was Lily Ramakers and The Irish Gambler, third was Darcy Craw and Anarchist and fourth was Olive Percy and Crumpet. The Areion Floats division was won by Emma Dickons on Bizzie Mcguire, followed by Julie Knauf on Ka Reka Kalega, Charlotte Gimblett and Byzance Savionda and fourth place was Alison Frankilin and Keepin Harmonee.

Event Convenor and Chair, Sarah Dalziell-Clout paid tribute to the expertise of the officials and volunteers that play such a significant part in the running of the event, to their generous sponsors and grant providers and to her committee – a team of (largely) riders –  who each contribute as they are able to make such a professional, well-presented and friendly event.