The National 105 One-day Event Champion was also crowned at Kihikihi and it is a delighted Christine Jeffs who gets her name on the Tait Trophy after winning on her lovely mare, Spellbound.
Spellbound is a full Hanoverian (by San Remo out of a Rohdiamont mare called Ronda-ra) who Christine has had since she was four years old. She was imported from Germany as a foal to be a brood mare and has had one foal.
Christine did some eventing training classes on the mare before spending a year doing dressage. She won a training class at Puhinui in 2014 and went on to win a number of classes in dressage. The horse then had some time off while Christine cared for her partner, John Toon, who wasn’t well. He has recovered now and was on hand at the event – acting as Christine’s “lucky charm”.
Second after dressage, Christine incurred 2.8 time faults across country (there were 12 under the time in the class) but rode without a watch, preferring to build Spellbound’s confidence rather than aim for the time. “She is quite spooky and has never done a sunken road… so many of the jumps were new to her.”
The pair didn’t add any more penalties from the show jumping phase and Spellbound seemed to enjoy the limelight in the prize-giving.
“She likes to be the centre of attention,” said Christine. “She wants to work, she wants you to saddle her up, she wants the bridle on, she wants to jump, she just loves it.”
Christine hadn’t originally planned on going to the Taupo three-day event, but is seriously considering putting in an entry now!
JLT CNC105 Tait Trophy Championship: Christine Jeffs (Matakana) Spellbound 33.3 penalty points 1, Abigail Long (Levin) My Tom Tom 34 2, Sophie Wilkinson (Taupo) Astek Gravitty 35.2 3, Christen Lane (Pukekohe) Henton Armada 35.4 4, Danielle Wheeler (Clevedon) Pierre 35.4 5, Sophie Wilkinson (Taupo) Astek Varius 35.4 6.
Horselands CIC 1*
Northland’s Megan Finlayson had aimed her lovely 12-year-old Greensleeves at the non-championship one-star class at Kihikihi to boost his confidence, and because she thought it was appropriate for his level of fitness. “He had a virus in the spring and we haven’t had many starts this autumn, so he just wasn’t fit enough for anything else.”
Megan has had Greensleeves since he was a weanling, buying him from Lou and Wilma Thompson who live at Baylys Beach on Northland’s west coast. The Thompsons have bred some great horses in their time, standing the stallion Aberlou. Lou has hunted right through to his 90s with the Northland Hunt.
Greensleeves is by Aberland out of Darleen, a Nuage D’Or mare. “He’s awesome at home,” Megan said. “If he wasn’t, he would have been moved on a long time ago!”
Megan intends competing Greensleeves in the one-star at Taupo and is hoping to step him back up to two-star next season. He was third in the two-star class at last year’s Kihikihi.
Horselands CIC1*: Megan Finlayson (Waimate North) Greensleeves 40.2 penalty points 1, Holly Morrell (Taupo) Pampero 50.6 2, Kelsey Leahy (Cambridge) Showcause 52.4 3, Dayna Fox (Otorohanga) LV Little Chief 54 4, Abby Lawrence (Te Puke) Django 54.1 5, Cherie Jaques (Otorohanga) Tobinator 55.6 6.
Vosper CNC105 Open A.
Anna Mesman only has ‘the time and money for one horse” but it looks like she is investing in a good one! Chester FW finished on his dressage score and took out one of the divisions of the the Vosper CNC105 class.
The horse was bred by Trudi Mitchell who competed him up to 1.20m show jumping. He is now nine and Anna has had him for about three years. It is their first full season at this level but Anna thinks he has the talent to go on further. “We are trying to get braver cross-country. If it all goes well, then we will do one-star next season and see how it goes.”
Anna is the office manager for an IT recruitment company in Parnell, Auckland, and lives out at Dairy Flat. Getting to and from work and fitting in a horse is “a mission!”
Vosper CNC105 Open A: Anna Mesman (Silverdale) Chester FW 30.8 penalty points 1, Anna Nelson (Aria) Cricket 32.5 2, Kaasandra Chee (Tauranga) Presque Noir 36.2 3, Paxton Conder (Tirau) Your Royal Highness 38.2 4, Melissa Armit (Cambridge) Barrington 38.8 5, Bridget Sullivan (Pukekohe) Judicious 41 6.
Vosper CNC105 Open B
Jeffrey Amon has had JA Take A Shot for two years, getting him off the track. He thinks and hopes the horse can go to three-star. “I will progress him as far as I can. He has a wonderful jump, is beautiful on the flat and has a lovely big stride.”
The pair were in the lead after dressage and didn’t add any cross-country penalties to their score but had two down in the show jumping. “He got a bit rattled there, but he has plenty of scope,” says Jeffrey. They ended up just 0.6 ahead of second-placed Eden Doull on Noble Value. Finishing on her dressage score, ten-year-old Scout Lodder was third on Pioneer Makokomiko.
Jeffrey lives in Murapara and is part of a horse-riding family. Mother, father, brother, sister, cousins and grandparents are all riders, and the horsemanship goes back many generations. “Our truck isn’t big enough at the moment! It is very much a family affair. Now Pop has got into breeding horses and has some good bloodlines.”
Working full time as a rider, farrier and horse-breaker, 20-year-old Jeffrey has 10 horses in work and owns just three of them. He trains with Peter and Debbie Barke and recently started show jump training with Jock Paget.
He is still working out which horses to take to Taupo, but is confident that one of them will be My Silver Lining, for the two-star. Jeffrey didn’t start the gelding at Kihikihi as he is currently having a bit of a break. Another horse he hopes to have at Taupo is RM Limbo who did compete at Kihikihi. “He wasn’t quite fit enough. He did a beautiful cross-country, but we didn’t stress about the time. It was a good confidence run.”
Vosper CNC105 Open B: Jeffrey Amon (Murupara) JA Take A Shot 1, Eden Doull (Pukekohe) Noble Value 29.4 2, Scout Lodder (Auckland) Pioneer Makokomiko 31.5 3, Anne-Marie Styles (Papakura) Sharvalley Music 32 4, Sarah Bleakley (Whangarei) El Novio 32.5 5, Elleysha Eastell (Kumeu) Voluminous 34.8 6.
The pictures in the gallery are all taken by Jane Thompson who has the 105 cross-country photos loaded on her website available for purchase.