Saturday at the Horse of the Year wasn’t what organisers, competitors or spectators expected when many of the events had to be cancelled after a large amount of overnight rain turned the arenas into bogs.
The jumping events were all cancelled, including the eventing cross-country. The only things that went ahead at Hastings Showgrounds were dressage and showing. The mounted games contingent shifted to the Equestrian Centre at Flaxmere to complete their competition. Junior Rider and Pony of the Year have been rescheduled to Sunday.
Debbie Hendry and her daughters Georgia and Maria are part of the Canterbury New Zealand Mounted Games Association contingent. Their camping site was surrounded by a sea of mud, but they remained upbeat.
“We’re pretty well set up, we didn’t get flooded out – games people are pretty hardy.”
They brought three ponies up from Christchurch for the show and they were philosophical. “It’s obviously a dampener because we have to move to continue, but it’s our national champs and we need to complete it,” Debbie says.
The ‘showies’ proved that they are also a hardy bunch, and pushed on with as many classes as they could. The working hunter classes have been cancelled but there were still plenty of titles decided today.
Saddle Hunter of the Year
One of these was Saddle Hunter of the Year. Blenheim’s Sarah Wadsworth won this with her lovely mare Faemoss BW. Sarah has competed in this class a couple of times but missed last year. She was very pleased with her win, having bred the nine-year-old ‘Philly’, who is out of her mother’s advanced dressage horse and is indeed competing at advanced level herself.
“This will be our last showing competition. She goes so well, we can’t expect any more and there is nothing left to prove,” says Sarah. She wanted to finish on a good note, and has certainly had a season to remember, winning every saddle hunter championship she entered, including at the Christchurch Show. “Our goal now is to get to Grand Prix level in dressage.”
Sarah, a recently-qualified lawyer, has had to hit the study books while at the show as she is sitting her professionals at the moment, hoping to be admitted to the bar in December.
“Now I am working I can fund myself. I’m currently on the lookout for another young horse.”
Philly is described as a typical mare – moody – and sometimes she “makes it hard to love her” but Sarah says that she tries very hard when ridden and never lets her down. “She loves the attention.”
And the ground conditions? Sarah says it was so deep that they didn’t slip but the going did make them feel a bit uneven. She was relieved when they “canned the gallop” and instead just asked for a bit of extension at the trot.
Hack of the Year
Vanessa Everton won the Hack of the Year on the thoroughbred Lady’s Honour RP. It was a very emotional win for her, as her father died recently. While there were tears, there was also joy. “I’m thrilled. We came here with high hopes, and we were not worried about the conditions as she likes the wet.”
Vanessa and Lady’s Honour were runners-up last year in this class and won it in 2015.
After being bridesmaid “so many times” Woody Goodwin finally won the garland in the Park Hack of the Year with Amanda Berridge. The horse has been runner-up twice and missed the show altogether last year.
“I’ve wanted this for so long, having never cracked it; he’s been runner-up more than anyone else ever,” said Amanda afterwards. “He’s a special horse. I really wanted it for him, he so totally deserved it.”
Woody has won Paced & Mannered at HOY at least twice before, but this year he was “not playing the game and wouldn’t party,” said Amanda. However, all was forgiven when he came out today and worked “like a gem.”
The ground conditions were not a concern to the Berridge team either, although they did say they have never seen anything like it before.
Amanda is based in Cambridge and works full time with horses, breaking them in, schooling and buying and selling ponies. “I do a lot of teaching too and I am so proud as my kids have had an amazing show.”
One of her pupils, Billie Roach, had never won any titles and came out to win Junior Rider of the Year (12-14 years) as well as Paced & Mannered Saddle Hunter Pony of the Year. The Malcolm-Solly sisters had also had a great show, especially as it was their first HOY.
To celebrate her win, Amanda planned to go and thank her mum, have Thai for dinner and “maybe” go to the bar. She hasn’t decided whether she will be back to defend her title next year. “I dunno. I told Woody that I would never sell him if he won this, but he was so naughty the other day, I organised for some people to come and look at him tomorrow!” However, she will think about this over the winter before making any final decision.
Natacha Otto and Cu’vee won the prize for best presented and were runners-up in Park Hack of the Year. Cu’vee has won the title many times and after the class Natacha announced that she was retiring him from competition at this level. On her Facebook page, she wrote; “Today my Mr Perfect competed in his last Park Hack of the Year title. This horse has meant the world to me and I couldn’t be prouder of him. The conditions didn’t suit today but you still tried your heart out… Thank you Cuv’ee for all the joy, sweat, love and tears you have brought me. You are a true champion and thank you for all the good times you have brought us both. I love you to the moon and back. Thanks my you my little superstar.”
The pleasure horses take over the showing arena tomorrow, and hopefully it will dry up a bit for them!
Hack of the Year
1 – LADY’S HONOUR RP & Vanessa Everton
2 – SPARKLING GALAXY & Julie Wylie Parkinson
3 – CITIZEN & Deanne Carter
4 – TC ARTISTRY & TC Equestrian
5 – PUSS IN BOOTS & Amanda Clayton-Greene
6 – STARSTRUCK & Liz Kingston
Saddle Hunter Horse of the Year
1 – FAEMOSS B.W & Sarah Wadworth
2 – AVANTE GARDE & Corey Miln
3 – FIACHRA & Danika Marshall
4 – BJK CASHMIR & Anne Watts
5 – AMAETHON VANQUISH & Carolyn Wratt
6 – GUESS MH & Allie
Park Hack of the Year
1 – WOODY GOODWIN & Amanda Berridge
2 – CUV’EE & Natacha Otto
3 – CAHONCHO & Nicola Lancaster
4 – FIRST EDITION & Jade Farrant
5 – PLAYBOY & Fiona Honeyman
6 – TE KAHU SUPERSTAR & Michelle InschLaing
Best presented – Cu’vee & Natacha Otto
Pryde’s EasiFeed Riding Horse of the Year
1 – SANSIBAR & Jayna Dinneen
2 – X FACTOR & Sue Reynolds
3 – GV JACKSON & Holly Thompson
4 – GLAMORGAN BY DESIGN & Amanda Berridge
5 – PANACHE WDS & Ingrid Anderson
6 – ALEXANDER W & Barbara Clarke
Paced & Mannered Show Pony of the Year not exceeding 138cm
1 – MANSFIELD PARK MAGNOLIA & Meg Fleming
2 – ASCHBROOKE BOBBY DAZZLER & Bella Vujcich
3 – LINDEN HEAVENLY MUSIC & Liam Murphy
4 – GREENLEE MOLONEY & Georgie Wilson
5 – LEEARA PARK FIRST EDITION & Trey Cadwallader
6 – LINDEN ANGELS SONG & Noah Murphy
Paced & Mannered Saddle Hunter Pony of the Year not exceeding 138cm
1 – WILLOWCROFT GRAND MIKARDO & Billie Roach
2 – TUI”S KEEPSAKE & Mikayla Trott
3 – DEEPLAKE FASCINATION & Michaela Haines
4 – ATAAHUA CLASSIQUE & Sophie Charlton
Paced & Mannered Saddle Hunter Pony of the Year over 138cm & not exceeding 148cm
1 – KS ROSE D OR & Paris Masterson
2 – GLENMOOR SAM I AM & Ashleigh Everton
3 – ATAAHUA ALLURE & Kaia Patene
4 – KS HEAVENLY ROSE & DenbyRose Tait
5 – BUCKTON DENNISTON & Meila Picard
6 – BEECHCROFT PLAYBOY & Grace Tripe
Harrison Lane Paced & Mannered Show Pony of the Year over 138cm & not exceeding 148cm
1 – WOODLANDS PARK LIGHT O DAY & Rebecca Aplin
2 – UPTOWN CHARLIE BROWN & Natasha Waddell
3 – BROOKFIELDS DREAMS ARE FREE & Adrienne van den Berk
4 – CHELTON LIGHT ENDEAVOUR & Kristen Wareham
5 – TIROHANGA TOUCH WOOD & Brooke Bennett
6 – EASTDALE FOXTROT & Caitlin Rennie
Junior Rider of the Year, 11 years & under
1 – WAIORA BLACK LATTE & Katie Readings
2 – TUI”S KEEPSAKE & Mikayla Trott
3 – EASTDALE FOXTROT & Harriet Laing
4 – KS TOUCH OF ROMANCE & Ella Rankin
5 – NANTEOS AUTUMN GWYNDAF & Eden Annabell
6 – ATAAHUA CLASSIQUE & Sophie Charlton
Junior Rider of the Year, 12, 13 & 14 years
1 – LINDEN FINE ART & Billie Roach
2 – MANSFIELD PARK MAGNOLIA & Meg Fleming
3 – OOH LA LA & Amy Vujcich
4 – PHOENICIAN POEM & Ashlee Barlow
5 – KS HEAVENLY ROSE & Brenna Tait
6 – KS ROSE D OR & Paris Masterson
Junior Rider of the Year, 15 & 16 years
1 – GANGSTAR & Grace Thomson
2 – BEECHCROFT PLAYBOY & Grace Tripe
3 – UPTOWN CHARLIE BROWN & Natasha Waddell
4 – BROOKFIELDS DREAMS ARE FREE & Adrienne van den Berk
5 – GLENVALE PERFECT PARTNER & Georgia Coory
6 – GLENMOOR SAM I AM & Lindsay Everton