Katie rules first day of McMillan Equine Feeds Nationals

The main arena looks stunning at the South Island National Equestrian Centre at McLeans Island and the weather also played along for the first day of the National Championships.

Katie Meredith on Lakota, winners of the First competition in the Mainland Coachwork Ltd NZ National 1.20 Horse Championship with Nicole White on Lil LeRoux second (Image: Jane Thompson)

Local Canterbury rider Katie Meredith had a great start to the first day of the National Show Jumping Championship at McLeans Island, Christchurch when she won the first rounds of both the 1.20 and 1.30m championship classes.

On Lakota Katie won the the speed section of the three-round competition for the Mainland Coachwork Limited NZ National 1.20 Horse Championship.  The pair were one of the few clear rounds and set a great pace, leaving the other half of the field to chase her. Nicole White on Lil LeRoux cut every corner and definitely had bettered the time, but having one rail down meant she finished second.

Nicole White on Lil LeRoux, National Show Jumping Championships, 2017, 1.20 Horse Championship

Katie says she always goes into the ring with the idea of winning. “He [Lakota] has been really consistent coming into this competition so now it is up to me not to let him down.”

Lucinda Askin on IQ were third, with Todd Magner on the eye-catching Awatuna Jonesy were fourth. Amanda Roy on Rumours NZPH was fifth with Kate Beattie on Smartymarty finishing sixth.

Todd Magner on Awatuna Jonesy, National Show Jumping Championships (Image: Jane Thompson)

Katie then came out and cleaned up the opposition in the NRM NZ National 1.30 Horse Championship, with a clear and fast round, where Westgrove GNZ didn’t touch a fence.  The 8-year-old by Lansing looked great. “He is relatively green, this is his first season at his level,” said Ohoka-based Katie.

Katie Meredith on Westgrove GNZ not wanting to touch a fence on their way to winning the NRM NZ National 1.30 Horse Championship first competition (Image: Jane Thompson)

Lucinda Askin also kept up her consistent start to the show with a second placing in this class on Portofino, just 0.2 seconds behind Katie. Sally Spicer and Queen on Dance WHS put in a polished performance for a clear and third place. It was great to see Andretti and Susie Hayward back competing after a lengthy break, and the pair put in a lovely clear and careful round to finish in fourth place. Rose Alfeld on Centaroc was fifth.

Susie Hayward, Andretti, back out competing at the National Show Jumping Championships at McLeans Island, 9 February 2017 (Image: Jane Thompson)

There were only three in the speed section of the Bayleys Real Estate Grand Prix Horse Championship in association with Wilcox Perlas Potatoes and while it wasn’t a fast round, Chris Harris’s clear round on Glenbrooke Archie Bunker sealed the win for him.

Chris Harris on Glenbrooke Archie Bunker on their way to winning the first round of the Bayleys Real Estate Grand Prix Horse Championship (Image: Jane Thompson)

“He’s only a nine-year-old,” said Chris at the prizegiving. “I’m still learning to cope with his spooks. He isn’t the bravest of horses, he finds all sorts to spook at on the outside of the arena. There is nothing in particular, just anything that isn’t the jump!”

While he may be looking outside the arena, the big grey did a good job of clearing the fences so goes into the second round of the championship competition tomorrow with the valuable points for the win. Rose Alfeld was second on My Super Nova after having a rail, and with three down, Kimberleigh McCabe and Kace had to settle for third.

Kimberley McCabe on Kace in the GP Championship

The action starts at 8:30am tomorrow morning with both jumping championship and non-championship classes in three different rings and there are also two rings of show hunters getting underway in the morning as well.