Ohaupo’s Abby Robinson had never before competed in the Show Hunter of the Year class, but that didn’t stop her winning it on her six-year-old Hillman Hunter.
The judges called their top ten back for a shortened round over five fences. Abby was second to last, and made a great job of her round. Karen Riddle with her grey stallion LC Telepathy had done a lovely first round and was certainly favourite going into the call-back, but probably lost that vital mark negotiating the first fence and ended up second.
Abby bought Hillman Hunter unseen when he was a weanling, from Weiti Station. When he was three she broke him in herself and has done all the training. “He is now a six-year-old and hasn’t put a foot wrong the whole time.”
She had also hoped to start him in the six-year-old class at HOY but unfortunately he was kicked in the yards and had to miss it.
Abby has had a good show, notching up wins in other classes on her other horse, Lost in Translation, and finishing runner-up in the Amateur Show Hunter of the Year. That was won by Stephie Joustra-Smith on Disney.
Category B Ponies
Maddie Smith was “so excited” when she and Starlight India won the Category B class. It was certainly the biggest prize she has ever won and this is only her second time at HOY. Maddie (aged 13) and Starlight India (aged eight) have been together for about 18 months, and also do show jumping and dressage. The pony is leased from Starlight Stables and, according to Maddie, loves jumping, especially eventing and cross-country.
Darrell, Maddie’s dad, stepped in as her groom when her mum had to spend some time in hospital and wasn’t able to attend the show. “I’m learning the ropes,” he said. “We came here hoping for a ribbon – any placing would have done, so it is a nice one to win it!”
It was also extra-special, as only 18 months ago Abbey was kicked in the face by a horse and lost eight teeth. “She has come back more into it than she was before,” Darrell said. Her two brothers are not so focused on horses, far preferring motorbikes.
Woodford House Category A Ponies
The Category A ponies were certainly a cute lot, but it was Maddi Davidson and Rhythm N Gold who the judges chose as their winners.
Maddi has done all the training with ‘Bess’ herself and has, according to her coach Leigh Watkins, worked very hard in the last couple of years.
“Maddi has a very strong relationship with her pony and has really done the yards and stepped up to the mark, learning to ride the pony, campaigning effectively, not too many competitions and then ridden the pony beautifully today,” said Leigh.
Rhythm N Gold originally came from Taupo, but no one seems to know the 14-year-old’s breeding. Debbie and John, Maddi’s parents, who farm just out of Te Awamutu, were very proud of their daughter’s accomplishments today, with Debbie getting quite emotional. “I bawled my eyes out when it was announced,” she confessed. John has ridden ‘a bit’, and his mother and sister competed in the past, but he reckons they were not really a horsey family. Despite that, Maddi got her first pony when she was just 14 months old. Debbie, who had no experience with horses, remembers her daughter being horse-mad from a very young age. “The neighbours had ponies, and she just loved them. She had a very natural seat. We didn’t know what show hunter was until we went on Leigh’s clinic in Taupo.” Leigh soon realised she had a talented pony and rider to work with and has been a major influence in their rise to today’s success.
Maddi was amazed that she had won, despite having done well before. She has competed twice, finishing 10th the first time and ninth last year. “When I first got her three years ago she couldn’t go on a circle without running away, and she kept stopping.” There were certainly no signs of stopping today.
The second-placed pony, My Scooter, is approaching his 22nd birthday. Unfortunately he has developed cancer, so Bria Fitzgerald from Kapiti is treasuring every moment with the lovely boy. He’s taught a lot of children a few tricks about riding and has been a very well-performed pony over the years.
|Show Hunter of the Year|
|1||Hillman Hunter||Abby Robinson||531|
|2||LC Telepathy||Karen Riddle||529.5|
|3||Wishing Crown||Jesse Linton||523|
|4||Kiwi Motto||Chloe Hansen||517|
|5||Country Vogue||Melanie Dudding||486.5|
|6||Jacks a Heartbreaker||Kirsten Hence||486|
|7||Enja MVNZ||Chloe Hansen||477.5|
|8||Eye Wonder||Jesse Linton||477|
|9||Tribute OL||Devon van Til||475|
|Amateur Show Hunter of the Year|
|2||Lost In Translation||Abby Robinson||509|
|3||Royal Penny||Emily Fladgate||499.5|
|4||Zactac Night n Day||Helen Ensor||480|
|5||Thornfield Athenry||Kate Ward||471|
|Open Championship 1.15m-1.20m|
|1||LC Telepathy||Karen Riddle||82|
|2||Wishing Crown||Jesse Linton||79|
|3||Kiwi Motto||Chloe Hansen||78|
|4||Cameo KSNZ||Emily Twort||76|
|Virbac Equine Junior Show Hunter of the Year|
|1||Kinnordy Go Girl||Claudia Thomas||525|
|2||Bizzie Beware||Isobel Vokes||487|
|3||Waitangi Twitter||Megan Pearce||467|
|4||Kiwi Dula||Mollie Moffett||463.5|
|5||Caballo Marino||Sophie Fisher||463|
|Woodford House Category A Pony Show Hunter of the Year 70cm|
|1||Rhythm N Gold||Maddi Davidson||524|
|2||My Scooter||Bria Fitzgerald||522.5|
|3||Fortification Penhellagon||Hollie Falloon||516.5|
|4||Glynmerlyn Magical Miss||Rosa Wilkinson||510|
|5||Spots Galore||Jessica Blackburn||502|
|Harrison Lane Category B Pony Show Hunter of the Year 80cm|
|1||Starlight India||Maddie Smith||527|
|3||Phoenician Soho||Hollie Falloon||502|
|4||Moon Spirit Jitterbug||Amelia Newsom||501.5|
|5||Starlight Indrani||Samantha Maguire||497|
|Pryde’s EasiFeed Category C Pony Show Hunter of the Year 90cm|
|1||Hes Pryceless||Rebecca Williamson||536|
|2||Triple Star Picture Puzzle||Harriet Laing||532|
|3||Sweet Cappuccino||Olivia Adams||502|
|4||Gold Class||Georgia Alexander||468|
|5||Pendell Silver Secret||Eden Ward||467.5|