Waiuku’s Tyla Hackett won Junior Rider of the Year on her lovely and very fast Gin. “I’ve been wanting to win a title, the Pony of the Year first, but never come close. I never made it into the final, and now I have won one!”
Tyla and her connections were over the moon about the win. Gin, nine years old, was bought from Fraser Tombleson in January last year. Tyla was last to go in the jump-off and there was a delay while she went to compete in the Pony of the Year, where she had an unfortunate three rails. She made up for that by flying around the Junior Rider jump-off course, beating what had seemed an impossible time set by Sinead Dolman.
Tyla’s mum, Michelle, was quick to say that she didn’t name the horse and doesn’t even drink gin, although she added that she might well have one now! The horse was already named Gin, being by Blue Sapphire.
Tyla, aged 15, is coached by Alan and Julie Goodall. As to celebrations? “We’ve got to get home, I’ve got school on Monday!”
Nicola Hammond won the equitation part of the competition.
The class had been shifted to Ring One and was held over one round with a jump-off. Course builder Lex Peddie had designed the track with safety in mind. “I wanted it to be fair for those in the second half of the field as well as the first half.” As a result, he expected a few clear rounds. Once the required number of clears had been achieved, any competitors who had a rail down were belled out in order to try to save the ground as much as possible. A good move, but disappointing for the couple of riders who knocked the first fence down!