Song’s successful southern sojourn

Jane Thompson and Annie Studholme report from the finale of the South Island eventing calendar

The long journey paid off for North Island riders at the South Island Three-day Event, with the red ribbons in the two most competitive classes heading northwards.

Abby Lawrence, of Te Puke, dominated the small but quality field in the Ultimate Design & Renovation FEI CCI2* with Song. Abby was lying fourth after dressage, and pulled up to lead with a superb display across the country, finishing clear and inside the time to go into the show jumping in pole position.

With second-placed Lucy Turner (Christchurch) on Carbon posting a clear round, the pressure was on, but Abby held her cool, having just one fence down to seal the title on 57.8pen. Lucy and Carbon finished second on 58.1pen with Corey Wood (Wyndham) on Pick Up Line a distant third on 75.

“It was a nice way to finish the weekend; she was fantastic. I think I have now figured her out; it took a while to get everything in line,” says Abby of the former National One-day CIC3* champion, who was produced by Angela Lloyd.

Abby now has her sights set on the National Three-day champs at Taupo, and thinks that the three-star may be where she will enter Song.

And certainly her truck was the one to be on for this trip, as her travel buddy, Holly Morrell from Taupo, also had a good win. Holly’s was an all-the-way victory in the CCI1* aboard Pampero, with nothing added to her dressage score. Christchurch teen Jessie Fitzjohn on What’s The Buzz was second, with Courtney Davis (Waipara) on By Hoki third.

This was Holly’s biggest win so far; though she took out the Thoroughbreds in Equestrian Sports (TiES) series last year on ‘Cookie’, she hasn’t really rated his dressage, until now. “The dressage has always been his weakest phase, so winning that down here was just the best thing. Show jumping is his thing, but despite that I was really quite nervous, even though I know he is good at it.” Holly loved the event. “It’s been really good. The committee went out of their way to accommodate and look after us. We have all really enjoyed it.”

The one-star class was definitely the most exciting class, as there were many competitors who could have triumphed and just two penalties separating the top six as the show jumping began. Rails down for Frank Phillips and Dayna Fox (both from Te Awamutu) proved expensive, dropping them out of the winner’s line-up. Frank’s partner Sharon Cann, meanwhile, was very pleased to get fifth on King Edward II, and finish in front of Frank.

Courtney Davis was another who impressed. By Hoki had been experiencing a few back issues so Courtney took him right back to basics after extensive treatment, and they haven’t been competing for some time. He now looks better than ever. Courtney is soon heading to the UK where she will be based with Judy Bradwell for at least six months. Judy is an acclaimed coach, so this is an incredible opportunity for the young Canterbury rider.

Giles’ great expectations

Giles Gormack gave the locals something to cheer about, the horticulturalist from Amberley winning the Mitavite FEI CIC3* aboard Lucero, with a lovely clear jumping round, albeit with a time fault. Kate Fleming, the only other contestant in the class, had been right behind – as in just 0.1 of a penalty – but three rails in the show jumping gave Giles a buffer, not that he needed it.

Giles was delighted. “I’m really stoked. I couldn’t be happier. He was great out there today. It’s probably the best show jumping round he has jumped for some time,” he said.

While he couldn’t stay for the prize-giving as he had to go to work as clerk of the course at the Rangiora trotting meeting, he was already planning his trip to the Taupo 3DE in a few weeks. “I’m keen, and yes, I’ll go for the three-star,” he said.

Giles contested the CCI2* there last year, and now has a couple of good three-star finishes under his belt.

Other classes

Timaru’s Amalia Rowley won the Hei Hei Pharmacy CCN105 on Mexico with a lovely clear show jumping round to finish on her dressage score. Emily Wingham (Ashburton) on Queen of Jazz was second, and Mikayla Green (Rangiora) on Stars Ransom third.

Emma Van Vianen (Christchurch) on Ka Pai Kiwi took the honours in the Rangiora Veterinary Centre CNC105. Jordan Kruger (Christchurch) on Bamboozle finished second with overnight leader Eve Hawes (Reefton) having to settle for third after having two fences down in the show jumping.

Emma is heading to the Pony Club champs next weekend, and with the biggest win of her riding career so far under her belt, she is looking forward to them. “This is my first ESNZ event and I’ve really enjoyed it.” The View Hill Pony Club was well represented in the presentation lineup in this class, with Jordan Kruger finishing second, and fifth-placed Maddy Tait celebrating with their fellow pony club member Emma.

A clean score sheet aided Jamie Atkinson (Prebbleton) to success in the CCN95 on Ahuriri Dusk. This is a special horse, nearly 20 years old. His owner and breeder, Phillida Gordon from Greendale, said he had taken five riders through pony club to Open level. “He’s an amazing creature, he’s never been vetted out in his whole career. He’s stationbred, out of a thoroughbred mare and by one of Laurie O’Connell’s stallions.”

Jamie said: “He’s just gone so well, he loved it, and flew around the course yesterday. It’s definitely the biggest win I’ve had.”

Courtney Davis continued her good form of the weekend to win the CCN95 for four- five- and six-year-olds aboard the lovely Gem Time, despite a rail down in the show jumping.

The two CCN80 classes were won by Colleen Marrett (Temuka) on Attenborough and Shane Maley (Darfield) on Rainier, both finishing on their dressage scores.

The competition brings the South Island’s eventing season to a close, with all eyes now on the Pony Club Championships next weekend and the National Three-day Event Championships at Taupo next month.


Mitavite CIC3*: Giles Gormack (Amberley) Lucero 72.5, 1; Kate Fleming (Pauatahunui) Mendelssohn 83.6, 2.

Ultimate Design & Renovation Limited FEI CCI2* (Mr Hagan Trophy): Abby Lawrence (Te Puke) Song 57.8, 1; Lucy Turner (Christchurch) Carbon 58.1, 2; Corey Wood (Wyndham) Pick Up Line 75, 3; Kirsty Sharapoff (Christchurch) Shoot The Breeze 82, 4.

ESNZ Eventing Canterbury FEI CCI1* (Amigo Trophy): Holly Morrell (Taupo) Pampero 50.5, 1; Jessie Fitzjohn (Christchurch) What’s The Buzz 50.8, 2; Courtney Davis (Waipara) By Hoki 52.2, 3; Brodie Roberts (Kaiapoi) SR Livingstone 55.8, 4; Sharon Cann (Te Awamutu) King Edward II 55.9, 5; Sophie Griffith (Kaiapoi) Noir Et Blanc 56.2, 6.

Hei Hei Pharmacy CCN105: Amalia Rowley (Timaru) Mexico 37, 1; Emily Wingham (Ashburton) Queen of Jazz 37.6, 2; Mikayla Green (Rangiora) Stars Ransom 38.2, 3; Nicole Chapman (Amberley) PaintTheTownRed 38.4, 4; Megan Taylor (Kaiapoi) Killur 38.5, 5; Emma Simpson (Oamaru) Metsaluna42, 6.

Rangiora Veterinary Centre CNC105: Emma Van Vianen (Christchurch) Ka Pai Kiwi 35.9, 1; Jordan Kruger (Christchurch) Bamboozle 41.1, 2; Eve Hawes (Reefton) Spookee Possum 42.7, 3; Maddie Searle (West Melton) Hermione Rose 52.7, 4; Maddy Tait (Christchurch) Island Road 53.2, 5; Hollie Kooman (Outram) Loretta 56.5, 6.

Eventing Canterbury CCN95: Jamie Atkinson (Prebbleton) Ahuriri Dusk 31, 1; Abriele Morse (Timaru) Wembleybrook O’Driscoll 32.5, 2; Georgie Dickson (Wanaka) Déjà Vu II 32.6, 3; Tarryn Jones (Christchurch) Tenshi 33.5, 4; Zoe Haylock (Greenpark) Artwork 34.6, 5; Georgie Dickson (Wanaka) Sports Café 35.4, 6.

Canterbury Equine Clinic CCN95 (4, 5, & 6 Year Olds): Courtney Davis (Waipara) Gem Time 32.5, 1; Rebecca Smithey (Rangiora) SD Amourosi 35.8, 2; Rebecca Smithey (Rangiora) Willy-Bay-Go 39, 3; Kate Fleming (Pauatahanui) Tux 44.8, 4; Nicola Barringer (Leeston) Galvanised 48, 5; Nicola Barringer (Leeston) Bastille 48.8, 6.

Rangiora Equestrian Supplies CCN80 A: Colleen Marrett (Temuka) Attenborough 29.8, 1; Bridgette Mackay (Prebbleton) Westwood Dalmar Ricochet 30, 2; Annabel Adams (Christchurch) What’s News 32.2, 3; Luca Swale (Queenstown) Holmslee Black Beauty 33.3, 4; Abbey Baker (Christchurch) Retail Therapy 33.5, 5; Millie Chamberlain (Cust) Cool Change 33.5, 6.

Eventing Canterbury CCN80 B: Shane Maley (Darfield) Rainier 29, 1; Petra Green (Rangiora) Tiger Woods LS 32.9, 2; Anna Schroder (Rolleston) Waipuna Jack 33.1, 3; Jessie Fraser (Wanaka) Apepe 36.2, 4; Mark Cowie (Christchurch) Hillcroft Flaunt It 37.2, 5; Alison Lunn (Amberley) Sidney 37.8, 6.

Reporting by Jane Thompson & Annie Studholme