Over 130 combinations competed for the many prizes up for grabs at the Equestrian Entries U25 Championships at the Taupo National Equestrian Centre. Taupo was up to its usual weather tricks, with foggy mornings but brilliant afternoons.
The coveted Waldebago Trophy winner was crowned – this year it went to the talented Amy Sage. She won a lovely Barnsby saddle sponsored by AMS Saddlery for the prize for the Young Rider Champion. Anya Noble and Airthrey Highlander won it last year. Amy and RM All About Me won the AMS Pony, the Young Rider Performance Awards Accumulator and the Waldebago Trophy for the Livamol Young Rider L6/7 Championship.
The scores were very tight in a number of classes, setting a high standard. Well done to Caitlin Benzie and Rosari Royal Gem who won the Equissage Young Rider Level 9 champions by a very narrow margin from Cate Tobin and I Like It. That caps off a great end to the season for Caitlin who was recently named Young Dressage Rider of the Year at the Horse of the Year Show.
Morgan Beere and Wembleybrooke Sergio were on form to take the Hyland Trophy for the Biobrew Pony L4. They also won the Biobrew Intermediate Equitation class.
There was also a York Corporation Challenge Trophy for the inter island teams challenge and it was won by the North Island team, consisting of Claudia Purvis and Papanui Don Juan, L6 (Captain); Chanel Flyger & Hot Chocolate MH, L5; Alix Campbell & Astek Robina, L4; Mackenzie Sim & North East, L3 Pony
The South Island team consisted of Hannah Johnston & RM Limbo, L4 (Captain); Meila Picard & Buckton Denniston, L3 Pony; Shannon Brien & Mr O’Riley, L5; Harriet Redmond & Teodoro, L6
The Equestrian Australia Victorian Team also came to NZ, and did a great job riding borrowed horses. Alicia Ryan, Fern Wright and Jamie Mita had just two days to familiarise themselves with their new mounts Hapsburg PSH (owned by Liz Hutson), Don Jeremy (Pip Gibbons) and So Precious (Belle Clark) respectively. They competed for championship points against the Dressage NZ team which included Lucarne Dolley (Ardmore) and Cate Tobin (Bradgate Riot Act) who were both members of the NZ team that went to the reciprocal U25 event in Melbourne, Victoria earlier this year. Georgia Gibbons has stepped in for Grace Farrell after her horse was unfortunately was ruled out just prior to the show due to injury. The New Zealand team won the competition, although Australian Fern Wright was not able to compete on the second day as her horse went lame. Her teammate Alicia Ryan more than made up for the disappointment with Reserve Champion in the L5 on Liz Hutson’s Hapsburg PSH and the Hanoverian Award (L4-9).
Lucarne and Ardmore won all three of their qualifying tests so finished on maximum points in the Affordable Pools Young Rider Level 5 Champion for 2017.
On Saturday both Morgan Beere (Wembleybrooke Sergio) and Bella Small (Kingslea Busy Bee) were twice triumphant in the L4 and L2 Pony tests, as were Grace Purdie and Taurimu Renaissance in the Newcomer U12 Restricted classes. The L1 Pony double went to Emily Hastings and Glendale Nightlight. Lucarne Dolley nailed the YR 5B with a classy 68.286 performance; the earlier 5C warmup went to Chanel Flyger and Hot Chocolate MH.
Rhiannon Leak and Lumino won the Biobrew Senior Rider Equitation class and Bella Vujcich won the Junior class, sponsored by Transport Technology.