Finishing on their dressage scores saw the Halswell Crusaders cruise to victory at the Mitavite Springston Trophy in Rakaia this weekend. View Hill Red and View Hill White, who had been first and second after dressage and again yesterday after cross-country, had to settle for second and third, as the show jumping proved just a little too costly for them.
Halswell Crusaders, with their total of 130.23, were in third place all weekend until the very end. VHR and VHW were on 141.60 and 167 respectively, so it was a good margin for the Halswell team. Scores were certainly a lot tighter between the others in the top 10.
For Isabella Ashworth, who finished the 105cm at the top, along with team mate Lucy Turner, it was a special day as it was her 21st. “This was the best present,” she said. Abbey Baker, another team mate, made a special cake for the birthday girl, and the rest of the team were keen to eat it as part of their celebrations for winning the Trophy. “Our club is great,” Bella said. “We have such a good bunch of people, so friendly and welcoming.”
For Lucy, the return to pony club after not competing at the Springston Trophy for some years (due to hockey commitments) was a great one, with not only the win, but also the award for best-conditioned horse. The secret of the team’s success this weekend was team spirit, she said. “We support each other, we watch each other, we ride for each other and do well for each other.”
Halswell hadn’t won the sought-after trophy since 2006 when it was held on their home ground, and had won previously in 1992 and 1993 in North Otago and Geraldine respectively. In both 2014 and 2015 they were second, and last year they also got very close but one pesky run-out on cross-country put paid to their winning chances.
Emily Cammock has been coaching the team for six years. “It was about time we won it,” she said afterwards. When asked if she was going to continue coaching, she replied “I haven’t been asked!” Halswell hierarchy quickly jumped in to do so, and were relieved when she replied in the affirmative. “Next year we are aiming to be first and second, then!”
While Emily is not involved with the pony club much during the year, she does enjoy coaching them for the Springston Trophy. “They are good kids, they listen and I enjoy seeing them improve. The parents are bearable too,” she joked.
North Otago were the proud winners of the wooden spoon competition. This is for teams who have a bad cross-country day and are without a “live score” after that phase. They still compete in the show jumping, and the winner is the team with the best dressage and show jumping scores combined. Did you know that Clarke Johnstone was a member of the Taieri team who won the wooden spoon in 2004 when the Springston Trophy was last held at Rakaia?
The Springston Trophy is one of the best events you can attend to witness the finest qualities of the pony club movement. The focus is very much on the team, having fun, supporting your team mates… and did we mention having fun? The New Zealand Pony Club President, Geraldine Rae, attended the whole event at Rakaia and thoroughly enjoyed it, congratulating the club for putting on such a wonderful competition. “All riders, NZPCA is proud of you,” she said at the prize giving. “You have represented your clubs at the Springston Trophy, so be proud of your achievement, irrespective of your result. And don’t forget to acknowledge your parents and coaches!”
The Halswell Crusaders did their victory lap to the tune Conquest of Paradise which is the theme song for the local Super Rugby team, and it certainly inspired them to do more than one lap!
Trucks, floats and vehicles were last seen heading out of Rakaia going north, west and south, full of lots of wet and dirty gear, no doubt, but also full people with great memories and friendships renewed and made.
Next year’s Springston Trophy will be held in Oamaru. We look forward to seeing you all there!
|2||View Hill Red||111.75||123.6||141.6|
|3||View Hill Silver||126.8||126.8||142.8|
|6||View Hill White||133.55||142.95||167.89|
|9||Central Sthland/Lorneville/Makarewa Comp||153.01||171.38||171.38|
|1||Lucy||Turner||Astek – Victor||28.38|
|2||Isabella||Ashworth||Mr J F Hawk||32.38|
|3||Jessie||Fitzjohn||Whats The Buzz||32.5|
|4||Kendal||Thompson||Awatuna Alpine Rose||34.98|
|5||Lana||Medder||Peti Peti Wai||35.83|
|6||Jordan||Shrimpton||Ka Pai Kiwi||36.13|
|8||Molli||Thacker||Happy Go Lucky||38.98|
|2||Hannah||Vanden Broe||Dare to be Dublin||32.24|
|3||Fabriana||McQuarrie||Yippie Ki Yay||33.82|
|8||Victoria||Wells||The Muffin Man||39.06|
|7||Nicole||Hubrick||Ashton Ultra Magnus||34.34|
|9||Molly||Rudge||Tally Ho Monte Carlo||34.47|
|10||Imogen||Morrison||Déjà vu III||35.39|