“It means so much, especially with him [Dunstan Springfield] too, as he has had his ups and downs – so it means a lot more for him to come out and jump so well.”
Katie has won the Lady Rider title plenty of times before, in fact she wasn’t even sure how many times, but she was delighted to win again. We can confirm it was her fifth win.
Thirty-five started the first round of the Ultra Mox-sponsored class, with 26 combinations – those with eight faults or less – coming back for the second round, and 10 of those with a clean slate.
Rails fell pretty freely over the technical but free-flowing course, designed by Werner Deeg from Germany.
In the end it came down to four horses being called back to jump off, with two of the competitors coming in on four faults. Lucy Akers on Tinapai had incurred four faults in the second round, but put that behind her in the jump-off and gave it her best shot. The time was fast, and the rails all stayed up. Katie Laurie and Luego GNZ were also sitting on four but didn’t have a round they will want to remember in the jump off, with three fences down.
Samantha Morrison and Frangipanne De Toxandria were looking really good but absolutely crashed into the first of the double, so much so that one of the rails broke. The pair made a remarkable recovery to get over the second element and on to finish with just four faults.
So it all came down to Katie on Dunstan Springfield and she went for the safety card, jumping slowly but making it safely over and securing the win.
“It is such a relief to have a good round on him,” said Katie, who had to have a little cat-nap in the Dunstan trade stand during the early part of the class, thanks to her pregnancy.
Springfield – or Bart as most know him – may now start in Sunday’s Olympic Cup where Katie will chase a record-equalling sixth title.
The win was also very special to Bart’s breeder Sarah Milne who was ringside to see the class – the first time she has seen him win at HOY.
This will be Katie’s last show of the season as she prepares for the arrival of her second child.
Samantha was disappointed with herself, but rapt with her horse, while Lucy said she wouldn’t have ridden the opening round any different.
“I know we did everything right on the day and that rail was just sheer bad luck as we touched it so lightly,” she said. “I am thrilled with second.”
Ultra Mox Lady Rider of the Year: Katie Laurie (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Springfield 1, Lucy Akers (Longburn) Tinapai 2, Sam Morrison (Tauranga) Frangipanne De Toxandria 3, Katie Laurie (Mystery Creek) Luego GNZ 4, Tegan Fitzsimon (Canterbury) Alacazam MH 5, Danielle Maurer (Auckland) Supernova NZPH 6.