All eyes were on the showing arena this morning for the coveted Hack of the Year class, bringing an end to a very busy showing programme from the 2019 Land Rover Horse of the Year Show.
Te Awamutu’s Vanessa Everton and the outstanding mare Lady’s Honour RP picked up their third Hack of the Year title with a foot-perfect performance, over last year’s winner Sue Reynolds and Seattle. Lady’s Honour RP first won the title as a five-year-old in 2015, and won it again in 2017.
“She seems to like winning it every second year,” laughs Vanessa. “Last year she was a bit of a ratbag, so it was great to go out there today and do our best. It comes down to the judges’ decision on the day, but if you do your best, you can walk away happy.”
Lady’s Honour has only been lightly campaigned this season, with Vanessa targeting the RAS Livamol Thoroughbred Series, which culminated at the Land Rover Horse of the Year show. “That was the big goal for the season,” she says. But to win the Hack of the Year title over such a quality field was a huge thrill.
Vanessa and Lady’s Honour RP also took out the Paced & Mannered Hack of the Year, from Adrienne van den Berk on Royal Salute.
Earlier in the day, the Rising Star Hack of the Year went to Tamahere’s Mary Copeman on her lovely thoroughbred gelding VP J’Adore, with Cassie Hodder on Hezarock, reserve.
In the pony ring, the junior rider titles were decided, with South Island riders continuing their strong run of form.
Backing up from winning the Small Pony of the Year title yesterday, Wairarapa’s Brooklyn Rankin on Windsor English’s Kisses took out the Rider of the Year, 11 years & under.
Christchurch’s Joely Townley on Amberleigh Prima Donna secured the Junior Rider of the Year 12-14 years, while Ashburton’s Natasha Waddell picked up another title, winning the Junior Rider of the Year, 15 & 16 years, adding to her Wonder Memorial Equestrian Turnout victory on the first day of competition.