Series day at the National SJ Championships

Tegan Fitzsimon and Windermere Cappuccino winners of the Platinum Performance 7-year-old class as part of the Purepine Shavings series

Today’s competition at the NRM National Show Jumping Championships mainly revolved around the series classes.

First out in the NRM main arena were the Purepine Shavings seven-year-old competitors. Today’s class was sponsored by Platinum Performance and there was a field of just four.  The winner was Windermere Cappuccino, ridden by Tegan Fitzsimon. Auckland’s Danielle Maurer was second on Le Bam.

Leg Up Performance Oil sponsored the Junior Rider class as part of the Dunstan Horsefeeds & Equifibre Junior Rider series and it was a very competitive field. Six went through to the jump-off but it was Steffi Whittaker who triumphed with Tribute OL. Sophie Townsend was second on Kingslea Kiwi with Grace Manera on Vittoria third.  The top two changed places when the equitation class held as part of this competition was announced, Sophie taking out the winner’s prize.

Steffi Whittaker, Tribute OL on their way to a good win in the Leg Up Performance Oil Junior Rider class

Steffi was her usual enthusiastic self after the good win, recording the only clear round out of the six in the jump-off.  “It is very exciting! I was lucky I was a bit later to go in the draw, and I decided to just go for a clear and it paid off.”  Tribute’s owner Katie O’Neill was overcome with emotions watching her horse win while juggling her young baby.

Katie O’Neill gives Tribute OL a hug with Steffi looking on

There is always a good competition in the Dunstan Horsefeeds and Equifibre Pro Amateur Rider series, and the Moa class here in Canterbury was no different.  Six went through to the jump-off and two of these went clear the second time, but it was Kirsty Sharapoff and her thoroughbred Shoot the Breeze who triumphed, with a time of 38.97.  Tamara Silcock and Steel Magnolia also jumped clear but their time of 39.69 left them having to settle for second. Third went to the Chairman of the NRM National Show Jumping Championship committee, Angus Taylor, on Oak As who had an unlucky four faults in the jump-off.  Abby Hore and Beaumont Geldolf were fourth, Gail Richardson and Eireann Bandoola fifth, and Devon van Til, another on the show committee, was sixth on Winterberg.

Kirsty Sharapoff and Shoot the Breeze

Kirsty was once again praising her horse, Merv. “He saved my bacon in the first round!  He is such a good pony.  In the jump-off, I watched Devon and Gus and saw that those lines were on, so went for it.”  Kirsty is going to go back to eventing shortly, with Canterbury, Kihikihi and Taupo horse trials in the plan for later in the season.

The Rangiora Vet Centre’s Young Rider class, as part of the FMG series, was a contest between two of yesterday’s winners, Lucinda Askin (Portofino) and Todd Magner (Awatuna Jonesy).  Both jumped clear rounds to ensure that the jump-off would be well worth watching.  Lucinda set a good pace with another clear, and Todd went for it but had a rail, so the win went to Lucinda.

Lucinda Askin, Portofino on their way to a win in the Rangiora Vet’s Young Rider class

“It was a great course and a good competition,” Lucinda said afterwards. The 21-year-old is in her last season of young rider, and is stepping back up to take on the Grand Prix Championships tomorrow, having won the speed round yesterday. “I’ll give him a good feed tonight,” she assured us!

Pony classes in the South Island have really stepped up a couple of notches in quality and those in the main arena this afternoon were great to watch. The speed section of the Zilco NZ National 1.10 Pony Championship attracted a big field and the ponies certainly sped around with some wonderful turns. Noah Coutts, also a winner from yesterday on Bizzie Canoodling, had Onisha in this class and set a cracking pace early on; they would have been unbeatable if they hadn’t had a rail.  Many tried to better Noah’s time, but it wasn’t until near the end of the field when Olivia Adams on Sweet Cappuccino came out and produced a clear round in 60.77 to win.  Olivia Harkerss and Cocamo were third, with Ella Rae-Wood fourth, Amanda Shalland on Ernest fifth and Emma Gillies on A Patchy Pony sixth.  Emma would have finished even higher up the placings but wasn’t aware the bell had gone, so was late getting started, which added three seconds to her time.

Olivia Adams, Sweet Cappuccino, winners of the 1.10 pony speed class as part of the Zilco National championship

Olivia, who hails from near Rolleston, Christchurch, is 14 and this is her third season on her wonderful seven-year-old pony. The pair are well known for their speed.  “We won the speed series at Waimate,” she confirmed.  This season she is competing at mini GP level but hopes to step the pony up to Grand Prix next season. Bred by the Windermere Stud, Sweet Cappuccino is “a gorgeous pony” to have in her team, Emma says.

The second class was the T & M Nurseries NZ National 1m Pony Championship. This was again a speed class within the two-round competition, and once more the action was hot.  Many of the riders had obviously been watching the previous class to work out the best lines. Pippa Collins and Pixel took the win, stopping the Gillies family from South Canterbury from cleaning up completely!  Pixel’s time of 62.18 with a clear round was great to watch: the 16-year-old pony made the turns look easy.  “She can be really fast,” says Pippa, aged 14. “I can be a nana though!”  Pixel was a North Island bush pony, picked out of the saleyards.  “She’s the easiest at home,” says Pippa, who will be back in the main arena tomorrow to compete in the Grand Prix on Waiotahi Belle.

Pippa Collins, Pixel, winners of the T & M Nurseries NZ National 1m Pony speed class

In conjunction with East Coast Performance Horses,  NZ Horse & Pony magazine sponsored  the five-year-old series. The fastest in this jump-off was Wellington’s Sophie Scott and Glenbrooke All Roses, with Olivia Brown and RH Royalty second. Sophie was also fifth on Glenbrooke Rich as Roses. Sonia McKerchar and Desire NZPH were third and Harry Feast (Double J Barista), fourth with Katie Meredith and The Prosecutor GNZ finishing sixth.

Kirsty Sharapoff was back in the winner’s circle for the Tavern Harewood NZ National Horse Derby late in the afternoon.  It was an exciting event, with riders going like the clappers over a course involving both cross-country and show jumping fences.  The poles over the water ended up in the water numerous times, but the show jumping boys made the best course building assistants ever seen on McLeans Island, rebuilding the jump in record time. Kirsty thought it was a tough course.  “Especially into the water, it was tough, but it was a really good challenge,” she says. She won the event last year and hopes to make it a three-peat next year!  Second was birthday girl Tamara Silcock on Steel Magnolia, who flew through the water, and Brodie Roberts on Playmaker was third.  Fourth was Sophie Scott on Benrose Rockstar with Lydia Truesdale on Allander Rocket fifth, and Rebecca Wardle on WS Paradise sixth.

FMG Young Rider in association with Rangiora Vet Centre: Lucinda Askin (Ashburton) Portofino 1, Todd Magner (West Coast) Awatuna Jonesy 2, Steffi Whittaker (Springston) Ngahiwi Cruise 3, Grace Percy (Glenorchy) Kiwi Spirit 4, Kimberley Bid (Ashburton) Cera Cassina 5, Olivia Brown (Dunedin) RH Kukumoa 6.

Dunstan Horsefeeds & Equifibre Pro Am in association with Moa: Kirsty Sharapoff (Christchurch) Shoot The Breeze 1, Tamara Silcock (Nelson) Steel Magnolia 2, Angus Taylor (Ohoka) Oak As 3, Abby Hore (Millers Flat) Beaumont Geldolf 4, Gail Richardson (Invercargil) Eirann Bandola 5, Devon van Til (Woodend Beach) Winterberg 6.

Dunstan Horsefeeds & Equifibre Junior Rider in association with Leg Up Performance Oil: Steffi Whittaker (Springston) Tribute OL 1, Sophie Townsend (West Melton) Kingslea Kiwi 2, Rebecca Wardle (Hokitika) WS Paradise 3, Grace Manera (West Melton) Vittoria 4, Sophie Scott (Wellington) Benrose Rockstar 5, Rosa Buist-Brown (Burnham) Prestige 6.

Dunstan Horsefeeds & Equifibre Junior Rider in association with Leg Up Performance Oil Equitation: Sophie Townsend (West Melton) Kingslea Kiwi 1, Steffi Whittaker (Springston) Tribute OL 2, Rosa Buist-Brown (Burnham) Prestige 3, Grace Manera (West Melton) Vittoria 4, Tayler Nalder (Cust) Icebreaker ll 5, Sophie Scott (Wellington) Benrose Rockstar 6.

Caledonian Holdings Amateur Rider in association with Lone Goat Vineyard: Jessica Fahey (Invercargill) Repertoire ll 1, Carissa McGregor (West Melton) Blytheburn Coruba 2, Helen Ensor (Blenheim) Zactac Carnival 3, Claire Lewis (Hawarden) Ruweisat Ridge 4, Emma Pilcher (Blenheim) Snazzy As 5, Jessica Sonne (Christchurch) Summer Haze 6.

Purepine Shavings 7 year old in association with Platinum Performance: Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) Windermere Cappuccino 1, Dani Maurer (Auckland) Le Bam 2, Georgina Dormer (Christchurch) Bravados NZPH 3, Amanda Roy (Gore) Cazette HSH 4.

Mitavite 6 year old: Harry Feast (West Melton) Double J Barman 1, Georgina Dormer (Christchurch) Casanova NZPH 2, Rosa Buist-Brown (Burnham) Vali 3, Rose Alfeld (Leeston) Cadenza NZPH 4, Kate Cavanagh (Geraldine) Wallflower 5, Sophie Scott (Wellington) Glenbrooke Centarose 6.

East Coast Performance Horses 5 year old in association with NZ Horse & Pony Magazine: Sophie Scott (Wellington) Glenbrooke All Roses 1, Olivia Brown (Dunedin) RH Royalty 2, Sonia McKerchar (Kurow) Desire NZPH 3, Harry Feast (West Melton) Double J Barista 4, Sophie Scott (Wellington) Glenbrooke Rich As Roses 5, Katie Meredith (Ohoka) The Prosecutor GNZ 6.

Tavern Harwood NZ National Horse Derby Championship: Kirsty Sharapoff (Christchurch) Shoot The Breeze 1, Tamara Silcock (Nelson) Steel Magnolia 2, Brodie Roberts (Rangiora) Playmaker 3, Sophie Scott (Wellington) Benrose Rockstar 4, Lydia Truesdale (Christchurch) Allander Rocket 5, Rebecca Wardle (Hokitika) WS Paradise 6.