The Pony Club teams event final round was due to happen first thing this morning, but unfortunately the weather and ground conditions meant this couldn’t be held, so the winners were announced on the basis of the first round.
This meant that the joint winners were Taranaki, Canterbury and Waitemata Rodney – who all recorded three clear rounds in the first round. Taranaki declared themselves the moral winners, on the basis that all four of their team went clear, but other teams disagreed, saying “the rules are the rules”.
Taranaki’s coach, Lydia Quay, was rightfully very proud of her team’s performance. Emma Mahoney (Onetai Cover Girl), Charley Schrider (Paper Bag Princess), Keelah Mitchell (Caboose) and Francesca Florence (Kingslea Kiwi) all jumped very well. “They all wanted smoochies at the end,” said Lydia. “Seriously, the riding was very good, they rode it exactly how we walked it.” One of the team also thought they won the prize for the loudest cheers from their supporters.
The Canterbury team of Brianna Bailey (Class Above), Holly Crean (Ellen Vanin Untouchable), Tayler Nalder (Icebreaker II), and Brittany Fowler (Apsley Backchat Kid) were coached by Jan Swarbrick and all looked a bit gloomy when receiving their ribbons in the rain this morning, in the collecting ring as the main arena was out of action. For two of the riders, it was their first Horse of the Year show. Tayler has the lovely Icebreaker II in the Junior Rider later this afternoon (hopefully).
The Waitamata Rodney team had the expert guidance of Jaimee Campbell and had been training hard for this event. “We had three or four training sessions at my base in Dairy Flat, and the riders have worked hard for it,” said Jaimee. Briar Woolley (Brenwood Pure Blonde), Keeva McCambridge (Too Much Pizzazz), Ruby Sattler (Diamond Cheval) and Ben Weir (Springwood Miss Lilly) made up the WRAPC team and looked great in their traditional red colours.