Katie Laurie is so fond of the Gisborne A and P Show that she drove there twice this weekend . . . and it paid dividends.
The mum of two from Mystery Creek won the 1.4m class on the opening day of the show aboard her lovely grey stallion Dunstan Casebrooke Lomond. She then zipped back to Mystery Creek to compete in the Equidays Grand Prix where she finished third and fourth, then, with husband Jackson drove back to Gisborne to win in today’s Bayleys Real Estate Horse Grand Prix.
That’s around 1452 kilometres by the time she settles her team back in the stables tonight.
But it was all worthwhile according to the former Olympian and World Champs representative.
The Gisborne Grand Prix was all part of her plan to prepare for next week’s World Cup opener in Hawke’s Bay.
She and Sparky – as he’s known by most – were one of 11 combinations to line up in the class. It wasn’t until the fourth pair, Lily Tootill (Auckland) and Ulysses NZPH that the first clear came. There was another gap, and Katie, the last competitor out, rode a stunner to set up the jump-off.
Nineteen-year-old Lily rode for Katie through the winter months after spending a year in Australia competing her chestnut horse – and this was Ulysses’ fourth Grand Prix. They were out first, came in a bit tight to a fence and dropped a rail to finish on four faults in 38.69 seconds.
Katie and Sparky only needed to go clear, which they did with ease in 45.45 seconds. It was the big grey’s first “proper” Grand Prix.
“We did a 1.4m at the Horse of the Year Show in 2016 and then he won here on Thursday in the 1.4m – his first of the season,” says Katie. “He is entered in the World Cup in Hastings, and this is the most similar to there.”
She and her dad Jeff McVean, have believed in Sparky since they saw him as a four-year-old.
“Dad always said he will be the next Delphi. He’s won major titles every year from four to eight and now we are in his first proper year. We’ve been really patient . . . you do that when you know you have a good one.”
Dannevirke teen Amanda Steele and Jakaranda notched their third Pony Grand Prix victory of the season with a beautifully ridden clear opening round.
It’s the first time Amanda has competed at the show and she and her father, Robert, a top show jumper, were convinced to enter by Jakaranda’s owners and breeders, Mick and Susie Gardner.
The spunky little mare comes from a long line of jumpers – Susie’s mother Juliet used to ride the horse’s great-grandmother Piccadilly to school and in shows, with plenty of success. Piccadilly was followed by A-grade show jumper Tip Toes, who Susie and her brother and sister competed successfully aboard. Tip Toes’ daughter Jappeloup was ridden by Susie and Mick’s son Tim, and now there’s Jakaranda.
Fingers are crossed that when she has finished in the show jumping arena, the family will be able to continue the successful line.
The two Grand Prix classes brought to an end a successful three days of competition in Gisborne.
Bayleys Real Estate Horse Grand Prix: Katie Laurie (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Casebrooke Lomond 1, Lily Tootill (Auckland) Ulysses NZPH 2, Simon Wilson (Waipukurau) McMillans Midway Smooth Dude and Tess Clark (Auckland) Sinatra II, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Conyers, Daniel Blundell (Ocean Beach) Lavello and Daniel Blundell (Ocean Beach) U Can Dance NZPH =5.
Equissage Pony Grand Prix: Amanda Steele (Dannevirke) Jakaranda 1, Ruby Mason (Napier) Mr Acho 2.
Caledonian Holdings Amateur Rider Series: Tracy Mason (Napier) WP Stella 1, Rebecca McPhail (Gisborne) Sicily 2, Merran Hain (Gisborne) Untouchable 3, Sofie Dever (Hawke’s Bay) Two Face 4, Robbie McKay (Opotiki) My Bush Baby 5, Vicki Ridley (Karaka) Mosaic II 6.
Let’s Bale Pro Amateur Series: Sally Clark (Dannevirke) Victoria’s Secret 1, Claudia Porter (Napier) Joia Hara 2, Lucia Voss (Kawerau) Roxy NZPH 3, Alex Loiselle (Dannevirke) Clearwater 4, Trudi Mitchell (Frasertown) LC Autograph 5, Danielle Maurer (Auckland) Cassanova AF 6.
Cortaflex Seven-Year-Old Series: Fraser Tombleson (Gisborne) Mea I 1, Leeshelle Small (Auckland) AMS Ajaccio NZPH 2, Jenny Randall (Gisborne) Nero Bello 3, Mikayla Herbert (Rotorua) Grand Caballo 4, Daniel Blundell (Ocean Beach) Athena NZPH 5, Simon Wilson (Waipukurau) McMillans Chuck 6.
Mitavite Six-Year-Old Series: Robert Steele (Dannevirke) Delta Blue, Danielle Maurer (Auckland) Henton Exchequer, Matt Irvine (Takapau) La Perla and Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Roman Warrior =1.
East Coast Performance Horses Five-Year-Old Series: Shelagh Nolan (Gisborne) Ngahiwi Eyeza Blue 1.
Lincoln University Junior Rider Series with equitation: Blake Davis (Palmerston North) TM Marjay 1, Matt Irvine (Takapau) La Perla 2, Blake David (Palmerston North) Giggles 3, Blake Davis (Palmerston North) Orange Country 4, Sinead Dolman (Gisborne) Kiwi Silverkee 5, Sarah McKinnon (Wairoa) Matilda II 6.
FMG Young Rider Series: Rebecca Porter (Napier) Kiwi Jet 1, Lily Tootill (Auckland) Ulysses NZPH 2, Mikayla Herbert (Rotorua) Snow Storm 3.