Quinellas, stallions, triumphant families and the class that is Katie Laurie are four of the memorable features from this year’s National Show Jumping Championships held at McLeans Island, Christchurch.
There were a number of significant quinellas. Katie Laurie was first and second in three of the big competitions. What a team this classy rider has built up.
Ashburton’s Jaimee Bird got her quinella in the 1.20-1.30m Horse Championship with Double J Wilma and Wenrose Vertigo and there were few smiles wider as the young rider did her victory lap.
Andretti, Susie Hayward’s lovely stallion, jumped well and while he finished out of the money, he obviously enjoyed being back in a local ring after his experiences overseas. It was Katie’s two stallions who were stand-out performers, with the jumping style of Luego GNZ impressing. The handsome bay had one rail over the five-round Grand Prix Championship class. Many spectators fell in love with the flamboyant white Dunstan Casebrook Lomond (Sparky) as he finished with just 2.5 faults in three days of jumping to win the Grand Prix Championship. Sheena Ross was very proud of the seven-year-old stallion she has owned since he was a two-year-old. “He totally loves himself and he always has. I think that is what is quite good about him, he is such a showman.”
Many ask her about Sparky’s stud career but that doesn’t enter into the future plans at this stage. “He hasn’t been used as a stallion yet. I think he might end up getting a bit carried away, he is already quite noisy. Luckily he goes in the ring and concentrates when he gets in there, but I wonder if he did meet some ‘ladies’, whether he would be the same; I don’t know. There is a bit of a line if we ever do decide to.”
It was a memorable weekend for the Laurie family. While Kate was winning in Christchurch, husband Jackson was winning rodeos at the other end of the country in Warkworth!
The star family at the National show, however, were the Carsons, who had their first trip with horses to the South Island from their South Waikato base. Drew started the ball rolling, winning the National Junior Rider title on Winston V Driene, but the tears really flowed when younger sister Ally clinched the National Pony GP class on Tony the Pony.
“This is definitely my biggest win so far,” the 15-year-old said. “It’s so cool for him, he tried so hard for me, I’m very happy. It’s been a really great show, the rings have been very good, the people have been so helpful and nice. It’s been really good being down here, lots of fun.”
Dairy farmers, the Carsons say they don’t have a “horsey” background and could hardly watch Ally who had to jump clear in the last round to secure the win. “I hate this sport,” Vance Carson said, as his daughter went into the arena. But, “What a sport!”, he said in a choked voice, wiping away the tears, as she came out victorious.
The undoubted star of the show was Katie Laurie, whatever horse she was on. She was certainly busy, with a team of 10 horses, and whatever horse she was on, she just looked so very classy. While a couple of her team didn’t finish the show as well as she had hoped, she said she was happy overall. “Lucca was awesome but Sparky (Casebrook Lomond) and Eve have stepped up another level and they have gone really well.”
Having a rider of this class competing in Christchurch was a huge attraction for the local equestrian enthusiasts, and there were plenty of young (and old) riders on the sideline watching in admiration as Katie showed them what world-class riding is really all about.
Unique Nationals Format
The format used to decide the National titles is robust. There are five rounds with points being accumulated over three days of competition within the four-day show. The first competition is the speed class, with the other two being two-round competitions.
Katie Laurie is fully supportive of this format, especially with a rest day for those competing in the top classes on Saturday. “I think it is a good test for them, we only have it once a year and that is for the Nationals. It is a good lead into Horse of the Year at the top level jumping, they get competition-fit.”
The entries were down on previous years, especially from the North Island. Clashes in the event calendar meant many elected to compete at closer events. Katie has travelled down every year for a long time, and is full of praise for the organisers. Other riders said how friendly and helpful they find the southerners.
Organisers have done well to attract good sponsorship and offer excellent prize money and have already indicated they are working hard to increase it even further to attract more to make the trip south. When the decision was made to have the Horse of the Year show permanently in the North Island, the Nationals were given to the South Island. We understand there are no plans at this point to make any changes to this.
Excel/NRM NZ Premier Horse Championship: Katie Laurie, Dunstan Lucca 1, Katie Laurie, Dunstan On The Point Eve 2, Olivia Robertson, Ngahiwi Cisco 3.
Equissage/Fiber Fresh NZ Grand Prix Horse Championship: Katie Laurie, Luego GNZ 1, Katie Laurie, Dunstan On The Point Sandy 2, Olivia Robertson, DHs Ceniki 3, Katie Laurie, Dunstan De Boss 4, Angus Taylor, Oak As 5.
Wilcox Perlas Potatoes/June Cresswell Memorial 1.30-1.40m Horse Championship: Katie Laurie, Dunstan Casebrook Lomond 1, Katie Laurie, Dunstan Dorothy 2, Danielle Maurer, Supernova NZPH 3, Emma Power, Longridge Maverick 4, Sally Spicer, Bella Vi 5, Tess Clark, Sinatra II 6.
Country TV/Seales Winslow NZ Open Pony Championship: Ally Carson,Tony The Pony 1, Grace O’Sullivan, Galaxy Masterpiece 2, Sophie Scott, Benrose Playtime 3, Lucy Turner, Tallyho Mystic 4, Steffi Whittaker, Moonlight Glow 5, Annabel Francis, Te Mata Miss 6.
T&M Nurseries 1.20-1.30m Horse Championship: Jaimee Bird, Double J Wilma 1, Jaimee Bird, Wenrose Vertigo 2, Gail, Richardson, Eireann Bandoola 3, Louise Marriot, Concur 4, Jax Crutchley, Hot Chocolate II 5, Jayne Beattie, Midnight Magic Rumble 6.
Final Competition Mark Todd Collection/Platinum Performance 1.10m NZ 1.10m Horse Championship: Kate Beattie, Smarty Marty 1, Bailey Rutter, Kennebrooke 007 2, Danielle Maurer, Cassanova AF 3, Kimberley Bird, Dare To Compare 4, Candice Kingsbury, Miss Serendipity II 5, Steffi Whittaker, Oh Dash It 6.
Final Competition Christchurch City Council NZ 1.10m Pony Championship: Grace Manera, Rednalhgih Cowen 1, Steffi Whittaker, Burma Chilli 2, Gretchen Anderson, Tallyho Cleopatra 3, Jordie Plunkett, El Hildago 4, Annabel Francis, Apache Blue 5, Sophie Townsend, Tallyho Neptune 6.