Equidays final day a cracker!

Donna Edwards-Smith on DSE Sunset Pass, with sponsor, David Smith from Dunstan
Donna Edwards-Smith on DSE Sunset Pass, with sponsor, David Smith from Dunstan

The last day of Equidays 2016 saw the culmination of two great events, with prizes being awarded after horses and riders had participated in three days of competition. The Kaimanawa Heritage Horses Stallion Challenge and the Beyond the Barriers Dunstan Ex-Factor classes attracted a lot of attention in both the lead-up to and during Equidays.

Tina Fagan and Bullwinkle, winners of the Kaimanawa Heritage Stallion challenge
Tina Fagan and Bullwinkle, winners of the Kaimanawa Heritage Stallion challenge

In the Kaimanawa challenge, trainers had 150 days to tame, geld and train their newly-mustered and randomly-assigned Kaimanawa stallion. Tina Fagan won the class for the second year in a row, this time with Bullwinkle. “It feels really good to come out and win it with another horse, a different type of horse. He is more energetic, he has a lot more play drive, he likes to move a lot more,” she says, and is sure that it was his personality that gave him the edge. “You can see the boy humour, he likes to get in and play and do things. People like that sparkle.”

In the future, Bullwinkle will probably do some show jumping and Tina plans on doing more liberty demonstrations with the talented pony.

Beyond the Barriers Dunstan Ex-Factor competition is for retired thoroughbred racehorses, and competitors chose three of six different types of competition to show off their horse’s skills. DSE Sunset Pass came out the winner, ridden and trained by Te Kauwhata event rider Donna Edwards-Smith. The eight-year-old bay gelding, by Yamanin Vital out of Janet’s Chance, had 25 racing starts with some considerable success, including in hurdles and steeplechases. He has taken to his life as a sporthorse very well and Donna thinks he has the potential to be a four-star eventer. “He is one of nicest, most talented horses I have ever ridden, with a very good brain.”

Donna Edwards-Smith & DSE Sunset Pass, winners of the Dunstan Ex-Factor
Donna Edwards-Smith & DSE Sunset Pass, winners of the Dunstan Ex-Factor

DSE Sunset Pass was second in his dressage class, third in the Derby and won the fault-and-out class, jumping 1.50m. Amanda Pottinger was second on Perry, with Laura Knight on Wotabuzz, who had won the Grand National Hurdles in his racing career, in third place.

Donna is planning to take ‘Gazza’ to the National One-day Event Championships to compete in the pre-Novice class in a couple of weeks, and soon step him up to one-star. “Tom McClunie and I own him. He will keep his [racing] name, why would you change it? It has already brought him luck!

Ex-jumps jockey, Tommy Hazlett, was on hand to see one of his favourite horses do so well. “Jason Bridgman used to train him, and I used to look after him. It is a pleasure to see horses having a great life after racing, and I am so pleased he is with Donna. He is the type of horse that should go right to the top.”

David Smith, from sponsor Dunstan Horse Feeds, presented the prizes. “It is such a good event but more importantly it is so well organised by Gina [Rothery] and Nicky [Wallace] from Beyond the Barriers. They put so much work into it. I am only too happy be able to support them.”

Coatesville’s Trey Cadwallader riding Leeara Park First Edition won the Lisa Chittick Memorial class, for the Champion of Champions in the Northern Premier Showing Championships. The beautiful palomino pony, with the nickname of Leo, is 10 years old. This is Trey’s first season with him. “I don’t know how to explain it, I just feel quite grateful to even be here. All my three ponies qualified for the final, so it has been an awesome show. It is one of my favourite shows of the year.”

The judges commented that there were high quality and well-presented competitors in the showing classes. “They were happy competitors too, and that is always important. Everyone in the final deserved to be there, so it is hard to judge, but that pony definitely had the x-factor.”

Amanda Berridge did a great job, even with a fractured back! Glamorgan By Design was Champion Riding Horse
Amanda Berridge did a great job, even with a fractured back! Glamorgan By Design was Champion Riding Horse

One showing rider who deserves a mention for persevering through adversity is Amanda Berridge, riding with a fractured back! She took out the Champion Riding Horse on Glamorgan by Design. Because of her injury, ‘Charlie’ was the only horse Amanda brought to the show. “He doesn’t need much warm-up, so I was just able to get on and ride. I’ve had lots of painkillers.”

She injured her back in an accident at home. “My horse stumbled. I was trotting in the arena, and it was just one of those freak things.” Her lovely six-year-old horse has already had great success, winning the five-year-old Young Dressage Horse of the Year at Nationals last year. “He likes to dabble in a bit of showing as well. He is cheeky, quite hardcase really and just loves attention, he is like a little pony. The showing suits him – he likes to be all poncy. He is also a very clean horse so it is quite easy with him.”

Holly Morrell and Alani, winners of the Isuzu D-Max SJ & XC Challenge
Holly Morrell and Alani, winners of the Isuzu D-Max SJ & XC Challenge

Holly Morrell also had a really good Equidays, coming third in Saturday’s Hyundai Derby on Pampero and today winning the $3000 first place in the Isuzu D-Max Cross-Country and Show Jumping Challenge on her two-star eventer, Alani. Holly, from Taupo, was the first out on the 2200-metre course which included both show jumping fences and John Nicholson-designed cross-country fences. “This course suited him, it was long and loopy and he stayed in the same rhythm, and just kept going. It was a little bit hard going first; no one really knew the time, so you just do it and hope it is all right. He is actually for sale, so maybe someone will buy him now. Equidays has been a great weekend, very profitable for me!”

Results:

JTL Bloodstock Pony 6 Bar
1 Phantom Warrior Emma Watson
2 Galaxy Samurai Rylee Sheehan
3 Just Nuts Olivia Newsom
Isuzu D-Max Cross Country & Show Jumping Challenge
1 Alani Holly Morrell
2 DSE Mr Hokey Pokey Donna Edwards-Smith
3 Silverstar Tayla Mason
4 Your Attorney Diane Gilder
Equidays Horse 1.10m
1 Tom Collins Nichole McGee
2 Silver Illusion Laura Bon
3 Stone River Goodness Gracious Olivia Forster
4 Black Gem Cherie Jaques
Equidays Pony 1.05m
1 Lord Jimmy Sophie Forster
2 Griffin Valley Imogen Wright
3 Apache One In A Million Olivia Newsom
Equidays Horse 1.15m
1 Woodland Bug Emma Gaze
2 Spring Fling Andrea Kewish
3 BMW Finale Sharon Klijn
Equidays Pony 1.10m
1 Apache One In A Million Olivia Newsom
2 Over Easy Brooke Hawthorne
3 Limerick’s Black Samba Summer Denize

 

Champion Saddle Horse: Glentullock, Dorothy Lennard

Champion Riding Horse: Glamorgan By Design, Amanda Berridge

Champion Hack, Lady’s Honour RD, Vanessa Everton

Champion Park Hack: Cuver, Natacha Otto

Champion Saddle Hunter Pony 14.2: Rakanui Grace’n’Dazzle, Halley James

Champion Saddle Hunter Pony 13.2; Tui’s Keepsake, Mikayla Trott

Champion Saddle Hunter Pony 12.2; Nonteous Autumn Guardsman, Trey Cadwallader

Champion Show Pony 14.2; Raptures Unforgettable, Ashlee Barlow

Champion Show Pony 13.2; Leeara Park First Edition, Trey Cadwallader

Champion Show Pony 12.2, Eastdale Diva, Trey Cadwallader