Quality prevailed in the showing arena at the Land Rover Horse of the Year show today, with the pony titles decided.
Wairarapa’s Brooklyn Rankin (11) and her lovely Windsor English’e Kisses scored a emotional victory in the opening title class of the day, winning the Small Pony Of the Year, and receiving the Eastdale Diva Memorial Garland in remembrance of the Cadwallader family’s phenomenal mare who sadly died of colic in February. Eastdale Diva had won the title for the past six years on the trot, among countless other titles both here and in Australia during her extraordinary career.
“It was extremely special,” says Brooklyn’s mum, Shannon Rankin. “Diva was a fantastic pony. She had done a lot for New Zealand showing, and we were thrilled we could win it for the Cadwallader family.”
Brooklyn managed to hold out her older sister, Ella (14), who made it a unique quinella for the family, finishing reserve on KS Touch Of Romance.
Cambridge’s Billie Roach (15) was the standout in the Medium Show Pony of the Year, taking out the title aboard the lovely five-year-old Linden Just A Dream. It has capped off a fantastic season for the pair, with many wins to their credit, but this was the title Billie was after. “It’s really exciting to finally win it. I have been trying for years,” says Billie.
Brooke Cadwallader guided the ultra-consistent Leeara Park First Edition to reserve.
In the Large Pony of the Year title, a quality field of 12 started, with Liam Murphy of South Auckland, securing the title with the impressive five-year-old gelding, Linden Realms of Glory. Liam was the winner of the Large Rising Star Pony of the Year last year, but thought he’d blown it today with a few mistakes in his workout. He had a nervous wait, but the judges thought otherwise.
Billie Roach was reserve with Brookfields In Your Dreams.
The showing action will conclude tomorrow with the coveted Hack of the Year and Paced & Mannered Hack of the Year title class, as well as the Junior Rider title classes.