Donna’s sweet success at the One-day Champs

Donna Edwards-Smith and DSE Mr Hokey Pokey
Donna Edwards-Smith and DSE Mr Hokey Pokey

It was a busy weekend on the spring eventing calendar, with two very popular events on, one in Hawke’s Bay and one in Auckland.

National One-Day Championships, Arran Station, Hawke’s Bay

The little palomino, DSE Mr Hokey Pokey, is not only the cutest three-star horse on the New Zealand circuit: he delivered for Donna Edwards-Smith at Arran Station over the weekend. Consolidating his overnight lead with a clear cross-country round incurring 16.8 time penalties, the crowd favourite won the 60th running of the Forest Gate Trophy by a decisive 12.3 penalty margin.

Donna Smith and DSE Mr Hokey Pokey over the impressive fish in the water (Image: Barbara Thomson)
Donna Smith and DSE Mr Hokey Pokey over the impressive fish in the water (Image: Barbara Thomson)

Donna and ‘Yogi’ were second after the dressage with a score of 44.7 penalties in the Red Snap’r CIC3* class, took the lead with one of only three clear show jumping rounds inside the time, and then put in a very polished performance across country. Amanda Pottinger and Just Kidding had led after dressage with a test that delighted her, but two rails down and a time penalty dropped them to second. Things got worse when it came to cross-country, with two uncharacteristic stops at the entry to the water, so Amanda retired at that point. This opened the door for Young Rider champion Jackson Bovill and his mare Visionnaire. The pair were third after the dressage, dropping to fourth after show jumping clear but with four time penalties, and then jumped clear across country with 19.6 time penalties to finish second.

Virginia Thompson and Star Nouveau pulled up from sixth after the dressage, show jumping clear with three time faults, and going clear across country with 14.8 time penalties, to finish third. That’s a good run for Ginny, who hopefully will be back to defend her Puhinui three-star title in just over a month’s time, and some consolation for having to miss Adelaide four-star due to a minor injury ruining their fitness preparation earlier in the spring.

Renee Faulkner and Rubinstar HH were fourth, with Matthew Grayling and Giddyup finishing fifth. The fastest round of the day went to ESNZ’s High Performance Director, Sarah Dalziell-Clout on Benrose Super Star, with just 6.8 penalties despite 20 jumping penalties!

Chris Ross’s beautifully presented cross-country course drew much admiration, with six of the 12 starters going clear, and the only elimination for missing a fence (Abby Lawrence and Song). Chris was the course designer for the two top classes, the Red Snap’r CIC3* title class and the Oaklane Stables Chaff CIC2*, and has had plenty of international experience, including at Badminton and lately Rio. Chris spent two months helping Britain’s famous course builders, the Willis brothers, build the impressive cross-country course at Rio which was designed by Pierre Michelet.

Chris Ross is all concentration at Rio (Image: Libby Law Photography)
Chris Ross is all concentration at Rio (Image: Libby Law Photography)

The Oaklane Stables Chaff CIC2* for the Waiteko Trophy was won by Ashleigh McKinstry on Pioneer Brass Monkey, who led after dressage, dropped to second after show jumping with a rail down, but regained the lead with a clear cross-country round inside the time. Madison Crowe was second on Waitangi Pinterest, adding just two cross-country time penalties to her dressage score. This new partnership will be exciting to watch as the season further develops. Lauren Alexander and Classic Indigo were third, and Abby Lawrence and Charlton Yamani fourth.

Ashleigh McKinstry on Pioneer Brass Monkey (Image: Barbara Thomson)
Ashleigh McKinstry on Pioneer Brass Monkey (Image: Barbara Thomson)

Jessica Woods and LV Balou Jeanz won the Equissage CIC1* Championship for the Ferndale Salver after leading from go to whoa, ahead of Greer Caddigan and Gymnastik Showdown who were second throughout. Chanel Campbell and Astek Guardsman were third, with Bryce Newman and Bates Our Entourage fourth. This was a keenly contested class of 29 starters, all but two completing.

Jessica Woods and LV Balou Jeanz (Image: Barbara Thomson)
Jessica Woods and LV Balou Jeanz (Image: Barbara Thomson)

The Tait Trophy for the Mitavite CNC105 Championship was won by Jordie Watson riding Meersbrook Viva La Vida, ahead of Tayla Mason and Waimanu Highlights, both of whom finished on their fifth- and seventh-placed dressage scores respectively. Maddy Crowe had another good placing, third on Lucius GNZ, having led after dressage but adding 3.6 time faults. Ella Simcox on Roo Baloo was fourth.

Jordie Watson and Meersbrook Viva La Vida (Image: Barbara Thomson)
Jordie Watson and Meersbrook Viva La Vida (Image: Barbara Thomson)

The one-star and 105 course designer was Chris Lever, from Carterton, who has honed his chainsaw skills while assisting John Nicholson with the cross-country tracks at HOY and Kihikihi. He designed the one-star and 105 tracks for the Taupo three-day event in May, and is now earning his living as a cross-country designer/builder. Both Chris and his partner Donna are former eventers, and she has developed a talent for dressing the fences, while his passion is carving wooden birds and animals for decoration, so they are a sought-after duo and a real asset to the eventing scene in New Zealand.

The Farmlands CNC1* was won by Georgia Bennett on Johnny Castle, from Holly Morrell on Alani, with Donna Edwards-Smith on Cluny third and Rachel Clarke on Pagan Warrior fourth.

The Ruahine Motors CNC1* Young Rider was won by Samuel Amon on Trojan Warrior from Isaac Twigg on the Juggler and Portia Wright on Charlie Farley.  Maddy Crowe was back to collect more prizes when she won the Vet Services CNC105 on Logan, from Anna Thomas on Milburn Mambo and Angelina Greer on Nico. The Taupo Vet Centre CNC105 for Young Riders was won by Lily Patterson on Milika from Melissa Wall on Magician Man, with Brett Morrison third on TMH Cuzzie Bro.

The RockingHorse NZ CNC95 A was won by Jessica Woods on LV Balou Skye, the Hatuma Lime CNC95B was won by Sarah Young on Equidador MW and the first division of the PGG Wrightson CNC95 under 18 was won by Jada Emms on Enriched. The second division (Pedersen Spreaders) was won by Emma Gibb and Giovani Bello.

In the CNC80 classes, Emilie Husillos on Cisco Kid won the Taylor Made Gates class, Zoe MacClure and Mr Bean won the under 18 A division, and Grace Gray on Jet won the B Division.

GJ Gardner Homes Manukau Two Day Event – Papatoetoe Pony Club

Another great event was run by the Papatoetoe Pony Club and even the good weather turned up! There were some lovely horses in action, and it was great to see Andrew Nicholson’s former four-star winner Quimbo getting out eventing again. He led one of the 95cm divisions after dressage and show jumping, but just a few time faults saw him and rider Charlotte Sellar slip to third place in a tightly-contested field.

The A1/one-star class was won by Dayna Fox and LV Little Chief, while the new partnership of Elise Power and Arctic Cielo won the 105.

Dannie Lodder obviously did a great job riding Kelsey Leahy’s lovely thoroughbred, Show Cause, while Kelsey is on maternity leave, winning A-division 95cm class, with Tayla Moss and Gee Six taking the B-division.


GJ Gardner Homes NZPCA A1 (Equivalent of CNC1*)
1 LV Little Chief Dayna Fox 40.9
2 Zenvo Alex Chambers-Steward 41.2
3 Conquestador Devon Raos 42.1
4 Banjo II Martha Hudson 53
Kauri Bay Boomrock NZPCA 105
1 Arctic Cielo Elise Power 33.7
2 Ultimatum Emily Denny 33.9
3 Hi Vyta Michelle Baillie 35
4 Balmoral Henton Dannie Lodder 36.1
Wade Equine Coaches NZPCA 95 A
1 Show Cause Dannie Lodder 24
2 Brentwood Surprise Janine Hayde 24.5
3 Reed Kirsty Guilfoyle 30
4 Willesden Green Molly O”Leary 30.7
Wade Equine Coaches NZPCA 95 B
1 Gee Six Tayla Moss 25.5
2 Boots N All Rene Ryall 26.7
3 Quimbo Charlotte Sellar 27.3
4 Mr Cheeko Bridget Sullivan 30.2
Woodworks NZPCA 80 A
1 Monte Cervino Martha Hudson 20.8
2 Our Black Tie Affair Bella Jones 21
3 Springvale Optimist Emma Fromont 22.9
4 Kabo Shadow Codie White 24.2
1 Downton Abbey Eden Crenfeldt-Smith 21.4
2 Mangakaraa Fanfare Mackenzie Marlo 26.1
3 Teddy Bear Ebony Gregerson 26.5
4 Jedi Knight Ella Ryan 30
1 Dream In Colour Lee Gabriel 31.4
2 Leo Debonaire Fiona Fraser 32.1
3 Charlie Pauline Rixon 32.7
4 Murciallago Suzy Brown 34.3