View Hill has been a dominant force in the South Island Pony Club scene for many years, and claimed another title at Oamaru in the 2018 Springston Trophy. This was the seventh time a team from this pony club has won the prestigious title, making it the most successful Pony Club at this event.
Team captain, Jordan Shrimpton was very happy with her club’s efforts. “We have held weekly training for the last six weeks for all 21 of our riders. Our team is also always hanging out together so we have the team spirit nailed.” The View Hill Pony Club had three teams entered, with their white team finishing 5th and their black team 12th out of the 40 teams competing.
One of the team’s coaches, Becci Thomas says that there have been people with very long involvement in the Pony Club, right down to Anne Cochrane, the team manager, having ridden herself at the event. “We have a real depth. This year there are some first time horses, and some first time riders, but we all rally around and support them.” Becci went on to say that there were hardly any of the 35 riding members left at home, as so many had come to support the team. “Some of the riders have already put their hand up wanting to do it next year!”
Last year View Hill had to settle for second to Halswell Crusaders, but this year it was the Halswell team who had to concede – a mere 1.66 penalties behind the winners! As Halswell team captain Lucy Turner said, “there was less than a rail in the tight competition.” Lucy also suggested that the places may well switch around next year.
The North Otago red team were another 2.21 penalties behind Halswell, but can claim bragging rights for being the only six-member team to have all of their team members go clear and under the time on the cross country, an effort which pulled them up from 12th after the dressage phase.
Maddie Neal, their team captain, said that they had put in a lot of practice in all three phases, starting at least five months ago. “Last year was disastrous, so we had to pick up the pieces and rebuild. We won the wooden spoon last year!” Younger team member, Samantha Gillies, piped up to say that the team “is going to win next year” so look out Halswell and View Hill and other teams, you have been warned!
The cross country phase proved its usual very influential self, especially for the senior riders, where the time was exceedingly tight, meaning that many of the competitors in this section incurred time faults. The technical delegates were very busy last night fielding queries and protests, but in the end, there were few changes if any. One of the areas where a number of riders lost time was negotiating the drop fence which came at the end of quite a steep hill. There were some who slowed right down to even a walk approaching the fence, and certainly there were some cautious approaches. Perhaps a bit more speed hill work may need to be incorporated into their training programme in the future.
However for next year, hills won’t be too much of a challenge as the next Springston Trophy is going to be hosted by the Halswell Pony Club at Canterbury Park in Christchurch. A new cross country course will need to be established, and it will be good to have another top class event at a venue where in the past there have been many good cross country courses. Lucy Turner is looking forward to see what her pony club can produce. “It is 12 years since we have hosted it, and it will be interesting to see what we can pull off with all the changes at the showgrounds where our Club is based.”
Colin Price from main sponsor Mitavite was on hand to present prizes and made a short speech, after being introduced as being “more famous as Tim Price’s father!” Colin attended many Springston Trophies with his sons, and said how the boys had many lifelong friends at this competition. He congratulating the participants for “demonstrating the best of team sport,” and saying what a great competition this is for giving everyone the opportunity to be part of a wonderful team competition.
This year’s winning team was made up of Jordan Shrimpton (Ka Pai Kiwi), Hannah Van den Broe (Dare to be Dublin), Charlotte Thomas (Te Puke), Caitlin Shrimpton (Mister Puzzle), Toby Orr (Picollo) and Robbie Cochrane (Inspector Gadget). The team manager was Anne Cochrane, and the coaches for all the three View Hill teams were Becci Thomas, Liz Thomas, and Jessie Fitzjohn.
The Halswell Crusaders was made up of Lucy Turner (Astek Victor), Tarryn Jones (Tenshi), Jamie Atkinson (Brakenleigh’s Royal Ascot), Eloise Thomas (Albereco), Taylor Harris (Ronny) and Belize McQuarrie (Awatuna Jimmy Neutron).
The North Otago Red team consisted of Madeleine Neil (Z’Questionnaire), Paige Hardwick (Ivanoff), Nelle Loper (Clonmel), Samantha Gillies (He’z Sweet As), Alex de Geest (Argenteuil) and Summer Borrow (Missing Pieces).
The Waihora Zonkeys won the Wooden Spoon competition (calculated using the dressage and show jumping scores for those teams who couldn’t post a live team score after cross country).
The competition also doubled as the celebration of 70 years of North Otago Pony Club and the milestone was recognised by a giant chocolate cake, which was cut by the oldest member of the club, Johnny Lavender, helped by the youngest, Piper Currie.
Talia Allison from Dunedin was also acknowledged by Jane Simpson, the Vice President of the NZPCA, for notching up her 15thSpringston Trophy!
The coveted Horsemastership prize went to the Kaiapoi Pony Club’s Black team who said that they all support each other. Team coach Gus Taylor went as far as saying “they are actually quite nice to each other.” Other team members said how great it was to have their team mates there for them at the end of the cross country, and that they all “had lots of fun together.”
Many of the riders will be out competing at next weekend’s South Island Three Day Event where there is a prize for the best combined score Springton & SI3DE as well as a cover for the best result for a current NZPCA member.
Photos are all from Jane Thompson, Pegasus Communications. They are available for purchase from Jane’s website on this link
Top 20 teams
|1||View Hill Red||138.48|
|3||North Otago Red||142.35|
|5||View Hill White||152.1|
|7||North Otago/Waimea Navy||156.05|
|12||View Hill Black||165.44|
|13||Waihora Zebras (2 age team)||168.87|
|20||Wakatipu (2 age team)||206.46|