The Aussies took the quinella in the McMillian Silver Fern Stakes with James Arkins and his New Zealand thoroughbred/warmblood cross Rosthwaite Vigilante II winning the hotly-contested class and his compatriot Clint Beresford on Emmaville Jitterbug second.
The $46,000 class – the second richest of the show – looked to belong to Helen McNaught-McFarlane (Taupo) and her quirky grey Carnutelabryere who headed into the second round with a clean slate. They were all clear going into the last in the second round in super-quick time, but it wasn’t to be, and she finished on four faults for fourth place.
Keean Cooper (Te Kauwhata) jumped the round of his life aboard Amarula MVNZ to head home a very strong field and win the Dunstan Horse Feeds Young Rider of the Year crown.
The 16-year-old was the only one of 29 to go clear over the Werner Deeg (GER) course.
“My goal at the beginning of the season was to just get around a junior rider course . . . this is incredible,” said Cooper. “I have never jumped anything that big in my life. I was just so nervous . . . I never expected to win. This means everything to me – it is beyond a dream.”
Dressage rider Julie Brougham took a huge step towards Rio today after victory in the CDI FEI Grand Prix and notching what is believed to be a New Zealand record at the Farmlands Horse of the Year Show in Hastings.
The Manawatu mum and her showy German import Vom Feinsten performed to a captivated crowd, scoring 70.745% and bagging the last of five marks required making them eligible for selection for the Rio Olympics.
Later this month she and Vom Feinsten fly to Europe where they will be based with Ton de Ridder in Aachen, Germany, and continue their campaign to secure the single spot available for New Zealand at Rio.
“I am just thrilled,” said Julie. “Getting that last mark takes the pressure off us. That was his best Grand Prix and I am so pleased New Zealanders got to see the kind of work he has been doing in Australia this season. Today I just had to think passage and he did it – he felt confident and comfortable. It was very fluent and harmonious with plenty of energy.”
The combination are defending their Dressage Horse of the Year crown and will compete in the CDI FEI Grand Prix Special tomorrow, followed by the Freestyle to Music on Sunday.
“I am looking forward to the Special,” she said. “It is a test that usually suits him.”
Her biggest competition for the overall title and the berth to Rio comes from John Thompson (Hamilton) and JHT Antonello who finished second today, with 69.766%.
Vanessa Way (Taranaki) had a brilliant day, winning the Level 2 Horse of the Year aboard NSC Pronto, Level 3 Horse of the Year on NRM Andreas and Level 4 Horse of the Year on NRM KH Arion. All three horses also hold the North Island and National Championship titles.
“This is my magic year,” said Vanessa.
In the CIC3* eventing, Rio hopeful Clarke Johnstone (Matangi) continues to dominate with Balmoral Sensation. The combination gave another master class, leaving everything in place in the show jumping to remain on their dressage score of 35.5pen.
Samantha Felton (Cambridge) and Ricker Ridge Escada also came home clear to move from fourth to second place on 50.2 while Andy Daines (Kumeu) and Spring Panorama slipped to third after dropping a rail to finish on 52.3.
Dannie Lodder (Auckland) and Call Me Al have retained their lead in the CIC2* despite a rail in the show jumping. They sit on 42pen with Juliet Wood and Donna Edwards-Smith in second equal on 46.2.
Virbac Equine CDI FEI Grand Prix: Julie Brougham (Palmerston North) Vom Feinsten 70.447% 1, John Thompson (Hamilton) JHT Antonello 69.766% 2, Wendi Williamson (Kumeu) Deja Vu MH 67.553% 3, Abbie Deken (Taranaki) KH Ambrose 67.638% 4, Anya Noble (Cambridge) Airthrey Highlander 64.234% 5, Jody Hartstone (Raglan) Ali Baba 64.213% 6.
Level 1 Horse of the Year: Karla Tarr (Auckland) Kinnordy Ravel 1, Elisha Wade (Waipawa) Donneregal 2, Jane Olsson (Christchurch) Astek Georgia 3, Kathryn Corry (Te Kuiti) Anuschka PSH 4, Tania Smith (New Plymouth) Donnerbella II 5, Amanda Berridge (Cambridge) Glamorgan By Design 6.
Level 2 Horse of the Year: Vanessa Way (Taranaki) NSC Pronto 1, Debbie Barke (Rotorua) RM Limbo 2, Holly Leach (Hamilton) HP Fresco 3, Rebecca Rowlands (Christchurch) Solo 4, Alix Campbell (Albany) Astek Robina 5, Willa Aitken (Waipawa) Alpha Beta 6.
Level 3 Horse of the Year: Vanessa Way (Taranaki) NRM Andreas 1.
Level 4 Horse of the Year: Vanessa Way (Taranaki) NRM KH Arion 1, Sharlene Royal (Greenhithe) Sonic Spirit 2, Christine Weal (Te Awamutu) Stoneylea Lord Locksely 3, Jutta Rosenblatt (Wanganui) Volrath Lauretta 4, Mihi Shepherd (Whangarei) Hot Chocolate MH 5, Lauren Haig (Darfield) Grandioso BH 6.
Level 5 Horse of the Year: Sophie de Clifford (Matamata) Ashanti 1, Tessa Van Bruggen (Blenheim) Fortunato 2, Julie Flintoff (Kaikohe) Belladonna MH 3, Lucarne Dolley (Kumeu) Sansibar 4, Sharlene Royal (Greenhithe) New World Frankie J 5, Janelle Sangster-Ward (Marlborough) Dunstan Astek Ghisella 6.
Level 1 Pony of the Year: Brooke Manak (Auckland) My Questionnaire 1, Grace Farrell (Pukekohe) Almost Legal 2, Laura Neal (Wellington) Ab Salute 3, Olivia Montgomery (Pukekohe) Waimeha Tayza 4, Madeleine Orsbourn (Albany) Despicable Me 5, Alison Addis (Papakura) Golden Halo RV 6.
Level 2 Pony of the Year: Isabella Chatfield (Tauranga) Prima Bella 1, Rebecca Aplin (Dannevirke) Woodlands Park Light O Day 2, Olivia Robinson (Hamilton) Ngahere Romeo 3, Antonia Verissimo (Pukekohe) Picture Me Painted 4, Georgia Allison (Oxford) Mr Champagne Charlie 5, Maddy Meier (Hawera) Giovanni 6.
Level 3 Pony of the Year: Lilly Jefferies (Wellington) Prima Magneto 1, Amy Vujcich (Pukeatua) Aschbrooke Bobby Dazzler 2, Anna Cole (Taranaki) Dipped in Silver 3, Sarah Scott (Whangarei) Thumbellina II 4, Tayla McDonald (Opotiki) North East 5, Isadora Lamb (Westmere) Miss Maddison 6.
Dunstan Horse Feeds Seven-Year-Old of the Year: Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) Fiber Fresh Veroana 1, Katie Laurie (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Casebrooke Lomond 2, Tim Myers (Taranaki) Surreal 3, Oliver Croucher (Rotorua) Delta Fasteuex 4, Katie Meredith (Kaiapoi) Westgrove GNZ 5, William Willis (Auckland) Dollar Roll MS 6.
Dunstan Horse Feeds Young Rider of the Year: Keean Cooper (Te Kauwhata) Amarula MVNZ 1, Sam Morrison (Tauranga) Frangipanne de Toxandria 2, Emily Hayward-Morgan (Te Awamutu) AP Ninja 3, Emily Fraser (Bulls) Kiwi Sunray 4, Melody Matheson (Hastings) Landenfeld 5, Sarah Young (Tokoroa) Belize Di Cantero 6.
McMillan Silver Fern Stakes: James Arkins (Australia) Rosthwaite Vigilante II 1, Clint Beresford (Australia) Emmaville Jitterbug 2, Katie Laurie (Mystery Creek) Dunstan On The Point Eve 3, Helen McNaught-McFarlane (Taupo) Carnutelabryere 4, Amanda Wilson (Hikurangi) Showtym Cassanova 5, Tash Brooks (Cambridge) Kapattack 6.