Press Release – Horse Of The Year
The Land Rover eventing cross country, designed by Auckland’s Chris Ross, was tough and proved a real challenge to so many competitors, including the star riders, Jonelle and Tim Price who both struck issues on their borrowed horses.
Amanda Pottinger on Just Kidding took out the win after a very accomplished round which was the fastest round of the day. She incurred just two time faults, taking her final score to 34. This was just ahead of the overnight leader, Maddy Crowe who had to settle for second, after incurring 7.6 time penalties and finishing on a score of 35.7. The pair looked very accomplished despite having limited experience at this level.
Amanda said that it was “pretty cool” to be named the Eventer of the Year. “Actually, I am over the moon,” she said. “The course was great, and I felt like we got a really good rhythm going.”
Amanda had finished second in the Australian 4* (now called 5*) class held in Adelaide last November and was a bit worried that ‘Ferg’ had only had one novice start in preparation for this class. “He was in the best form though. He was straight, honest and forward, and answered every question asked of him. He was foot perfect.”
Another who really clicked with his horse and looked superb was the legend Blyth Tait on Cor Jet, and they moved up into third place. The pair did have time faults which is understandable given that Blyth only rode him for the first time a few days ago, borrowing the big gelding off his normal rider, Chloe Phillips Harris. Blyth enjoyed his job and riding at the show. “He knew his job, and I was thrilled with his performance,” he said.
Tim Price ended up finishing in 7th place whereas Jonelle elected to retire after having two stops on course.
Land Rover 3* Eventing
Samantha Lissington described her horse Ricker Ridge Sooty as a superstar. “I was so happy with him, he was super. I had a few decisions I was trying to make along the way and I was more undecided than I am normally but he just committed to them when I made them. I just hope I was fast enough!” Sam did incur 2.4 time penalties, but it was still enough for her to finish the winner.
Monica Oakley on Festival stormed around the course and into second place with a clear round within the time. Amanda Pottinger also had a good round on The Comedian, incurring just 2.4 time penalties to move into third place. Overnight leader, Olympic champion and double world champion, Blyth Tait on Havana had a run-out early on course and then went for a safe but slower round so dropped right down the leaderboard.
Fellow Olympian Jock Paget had a dream ride and rode like a dream on Ricker Ridge Riley, a horse he has never ridden cross country before. “Sam said he is easy, you can trust him and he is straight, but it is hard to know how easy it will be but yes, he is so easy,” said Jock afterwards. “You just touch the rein and he comes back to you, put him on a line and he holds it, ride up to a fence and he trusts you, he is very, very safe. If my son ever wants to ride, I hope he gets a horse like that.”
Pony of the Year
Winning the Pony of the Year for the second time was an amazing feeling for Olivia Apatu and her wonderful little grey mare Alazaan Arzu but they did it in style with the only combination to produce two clear rounds.
“It is pretty special,” said the 15-year-old. The win was tinged with sadness and when presented with her trophy, Olivia made a special mention of her father, who was tragically killed in a helicopter crash in June last year.
While Olivia has more time left on ponies, her partnership with Alazaan Arzu is coming to an end as she is going to another rider.
Olivia was full of praise for Werner Deeg’s designed course. He had also designed last year’s course so Olivia has declared him her favourite ever course builder.
As to the pressure, Olivia said she was lucky she didn’t really get nervous. “I knew the pony had it. I thought I had it, and then we did have it!”
Karis Spurway on Delta Le Camouflage was second, after incurring one time fault in her clear round in the second round, and Emma Watson on Maddox Fun House was third, with Ally Stevenson and Jakaranda fourth.
On a winning streak
Continuing her good form from earlier in the week, Nakeysha Lammers took out the Canterbury Equestrian Premier Stakes this morning at the Land Rover Horse of the Year Show.
Nakeysha won the Alltech Horse 1.35m speed class on the first day of the show. “I can’t believe I won this too,” Nakeysha said. “He’s only 8-years-old, and he only just started jumping this height recently.”
It was a last-minute decision to enter him in this class. “He jumped super on the first day, and because he is in such good form, we decided to have a go!”
It certainly paid off, as the horse delivered again with a lovely clear in the first round. The pressure was on for the jump-off as there were two good clear rounds firstly from Helen Kippen and Velocity NZPH in a time of 58.25 and then from Julie Davey on Joligne de Carmel in a time of 53.95. Nakeysha was last to go in the jump-off and certainly set out to win, cutting all the corners, giving it her all. There were big cheers and big smiles when her winning time of 52.62 came up.
Nakeysha has lived in Taranaki for the last 18 months and was originally from Whangarei. She has had Balboa NZPH since he was a 3-year-old. Part of her prize was the Tom Gadsby Memorial Trophy.
Land Rover Horse of the Year concludes tomorrow at the Hawke’s Bay A&P Showgrounds.