Emily Hayward-Morgan has already had a smoking season – the 16-year-old from Te Awamutu has an unassailable lead in both the national Young Rider and the Junior Rider series, celebrated her first Grand Prix win AND impressed in all the senior classes at HOY in March.
So it was no surprise, really, at the last major show of the season, the Continental Cars Audi North Island Championships, held at Woodhill Sands over Easter weekend, that she had a total blinder. Emily won the Canterbury Equestrian Young Rider series class on AP Ninja, the Telford Junior Rider class and the 1.35m Championship on Yandoo Lady Gold, and for good measure, the horse speed title on Wasabi.
The North Island Excel Premier Grand Prix Championship was a very well deserved and popular win to Taranaki’s Mathew Dickey and Quango (Quantum). Though the entries were on the small side there were some seriously in-form starters, including current Horse of the Year champions Helen McNaught-McFarlane and Carnutelabryere, and World Cup round winners Samantha Morrison and Biarritz, and Natasha Brooks and Kapattack.
There were four clears in the first round; Samantha, Helen, Mathew and Melody Matheson on the classy Landenfield (Lansing). But Mathew was the only rider to go clear in round two, thus taking the win without the need for a jump-off.
It was a great weekend all around for Matt; he and Quango also won the DomHealth 1.35m Classic, heading off Christine Cornege and her quirky Voltaire II gelding, Varekai SL.
In the Country TV Pony Grand Prix, a very happy Emelia Forsyth and Soleado took the red ribbon, heading a field of 14 starters that included current National Champion and Pony of the Year winners, Ally Carson and Tony the Pony.
In the age-group classes; Briar Burnett-Grant won ESNZ 7YO on Fiber Fresh Veroana, Cerys Tarr the Mitavite 6YO on Madam Coco, and Kirsten McLeod the East Coast Performance Horses 5YO on Melanie’s Choice.
Karen Riddle won the Let’s Bale Pro-Am on LC Funny Lass (by Funny Star).