It is going to be a nail-biting finish in some of the competitions for the series crowns at Glistening Waters 2017.
The show features the finals of all the national show jumping and show hunter series classes which have been running throughout the season. Carnutelabryere (Helen McNaught) currently leads the Country TV Premier League by a healthy margin from Biarritz (Samantha Morrison). Helen has ‘Brian’ entered this weekend, whereas Sam and Biarritz are over in Australia representing New Zealand at Equifest, as are Lily Tootill and Ulysses NZPH who are in third place.
In the Bayleys Real Estate Horse Grand Prix series, AP Ninja and Emily Hayward-Morgan are on 58 points, with Oliver Edgecumbe and Ultra Blue NZPH on 46, and South Island’s Tegan Fitzsimons with Double J Monarch on 44. Robert Steele’s LT Holst Bernadette and Harry Feast’s Double J Bouncer are on 42 and 40 points. All five combinations are entered in this weekend so the pressure will be on!
Emily Hayward-Morgan also leads the Young Rider competition with 159 points, some 30-plus points ahead of Steffi Whittaker and Harry Feast, who have travelled up to the show from the South Island.
Victoria (Tors) Rattray holds the lead in the very competitive Let’s Bale Pro-Amateur rider series, with Sally Clark, Kelly Evans, Kate Hewlett and Emma Gaze not far behind. Kate Hewlett is the only rider not entered this weekend.
The Caledonian Holdings Amateur Rider Series is a South Island affair, with four of the top five all from the South. The current top two on the leaderboard, Abby Hore and Anna Douglass, have not made the trip north, but Kirsten Beaven and Helen Ensor both have, and will be hoping to beat evergreen Merran Hain. Kirsten and Merran both sit on 74 points with Helen on 72 so it will be an interesting competition between these three women!
Always interesting to watch is the Equissage Pony Grand Prix and it will be one of the last times you will get to see Steffi Whittaker and Moonlight Glow perform, as the pony has been sold and goes to his new home in the North Island shortly. Steffi and ‘Blaze’ are fourth on the series table with 134 points, well behind Fun House and Emma Watson (185), with Sophie Scott on Benrose Playtime second (150) and Olivia Ahlborn and Aorangi Ragtime third (146).
The Cortaflex seven-year-old series is also a close affair, with Graffiti MH (Melody Matheson) the current leader on 104, and AMS Ajaccio NZPH (Leeshelle Small) second on 94. Both horses are entered this weekend, as is third-placed Mea I (Fraser Tombleson).
There is a tie at the top of the Mitavite six-year old series, and both horses will be competing. La Perla (Matt Irvine) and Windermere Cappuccino (Tegan Fitzsimon) are on 64 points each, with Kiwi Showtime (Ashley Hart) – who will also be there – not far behind on 60.
The East Coast Performance Horses five-year-old series appears to have a clear winner already. Delicious HM (Emily Hayward-Morgan) is on 72 points and is not entered this weekend, but is well ahead of Double J Beyonce (Georgia Massey), currently on 54, who will be competing.
Rebecca Porter from the University of Waikato leads the University Challenge Series from Nicole White (Southern Institute of Technology).
The three-day show also features the FEI Children’s International Competition. Emma Watson and Fun House, who won the New Zealand leg of the competition last year, are again named in the team, alongside Phoebe Burns on Galaxy Masterpiece, Crystal Hackett on Cracklin Rose and Emma-Kate Wilson on Bjorking. Riders compete as individuals and as a team, which receives a world ranking to find the final result.
The global competition is run for children aged 12-14, and the same course is jumped in every country that takes part. Faults are tallied and the top 15 head to the world final where they compete on borrowed horses. This weekend, though, they are riding their own superstars and will go head-to-head in four rounds over two days.
The show has attracted riders ranging in age from nine to 70-plus, from all over New Zealand, including a good number from the South Island.
Plenty of work has gone into Solway Showgrounds, and organisers say the grounds are looking a picture, with ideal footing for the horses.
A highlight of the show will be Saturday night’s awards dinner where the series champs will be crowned. The evening has received plenty of support from local businesses, including Copthorne Solway Park, Fairmont Estate, Spark NZ Wairarapa Hub, Bayleys Country, the Borthwick Estate and Cottier Estate.
Heather McDonald is the designer for challenging courses in ring one. The show is being livestreamed all three days through JXSport.tv, with Wairarapa TV coming to the party for locals, who can watch the broadcast on Freeview (channel 41).