Thursday’s Canterbury A & P Show action

Danielle Simpson, Gangster, Jenna Borthwick, Fiona Quinn

Another great day at the Canterbury show. One of the feature equestrian events on Thursday is the Diana Rainey Memorial Equestrienne Trophy and it was a very emotional win today for Danielle Simpson from Oamaru.

“My horse was supposed to be in this but he went lame so I borrowed Pip Thompson’s Gangster, and he really looked after me!” said Danielle, who had only ridden the horse three times, although they looked really good together. She has been in this event four times, and had never won it before, although was third once. “I just love the turnout, it is my favourite part of showing.”

The event, sponsored by Moores Riding Wear, is unique and riders are under a great deal of scrutiny from the five judges involved. As well as conformation and soundness of the horse, manners and paces are taken into account, as are saddlery, rider turnout, riding ability and general appearance. The entrants start with the turnout inspection and then move around to each of the sections, doing a predetermined work-out which includes lengthened trot and canter.  Diana Rainey was a legend at turnout, and her daughter Fiona and granddaughter Jenna were on hand to present the prizes to the winner.

Dave Ferriman leads the hounds into the main arena

The other big feature was the Renown Challenge Cup which is open to hunt members who have hunted at least three times in the current season. The event started with Dave Ferriman, Huntsman at the Christchurch Hunt, leading his hounds into the arena, followed by the competitors. The course was quite a challenge, and included three wires, and a very large wine barrel jump to finish.  A few of the horses were happy to jump wire, but not wine barrels!

Maddi Thompson, Hugo – best wire jumpers

The winner was Devon van Til on Akubra who did a lovely even round.  “It’s four years since he last competed, but Dave Ferriman has hunted him for the last two seasons, and decided it was time he came out again,” Devon said. She also won yesterday’s Canterbury Saddlery Hunter on him.

Devon van Til and Akubra: two days, two great wins

The J O Coop Challenge Cup for best wire jumper (jumped simultaneously with the Renown Cup) was won by Maddi Thompson on Hugo, who jumped beautifully until those dreaded wine barrels, when he said ‘no way!’. Poor Maddi must have been even more annoyed that the “Thompson” fence had been made by her father Chris a few years ago. Perhaps it needs to go back to their place for some “maintenance”.

Devon van Til, riding Akubra, even got to shake the previous Prime Minister’s hand!

The Champion Working Pony Hunter was won by Monkey Puzzle, ridden by Isabella Leighs. Judge Kaye Williams from Gisborne was very impressed with the pony hunters. “You would be hard pushed to find a line-up as good as that anywhere in New Zealand,” she said.  She thought Monkey Puzzle not only moved well, but “jumped superbly, had great manners, a good stride and overall was a very good type.”

Clydesdales were competing at the same time as many of the flat classes, including paced and mannered and side-saddle, and it all worked out really well.  Erewhon Station’s two teams were first and second in the pair or multiple in harness. Donnybrook Lana won the single harness class.

Erewhon beauties

While there were not many in the side-saddle classes, they were very well presented and performed. Four-year-old Libby Brockhurst and the adorable Shetland, Glentare Charlie Brown, stole the cuteness prize of the show (if there was one), with mum Emma doing the leading. The Champion side-saddle winner was April Arthur riding Wentworth MacMillan; Wendy Donaldson was reserve.

Four-year-old Libby Brockhurst, Emma Brockhurst and the adorable Glentare Charlie Brown

The show has its last day tomorrow, with Supreme horse and pony championships being decided. Good luck to all those competing.  Our coverage will unfortunately be limited, due to travelling to cover the Australian 3DE in Adelaide.