The Australian visitors flexed their dominance over New Zealand’s best combinations at the first week of Takapoto Estate’s boutique jumping show, held near Lake Karapiro.
New South Welshman Tom McDermott, who is based near Penrith, rode two perfectly-judged rounds in the Grand Prix, which closed the week’s competition, to take victory and $8000 in prize money with his mare, Elegance de la Charmille.
There were 33 starters in the class, with just eight coming back for the second round thanks to a challenging track designed by France’s Michel Islamun; six of them were clear and two carried four penalties.
Of those, only three left all the rails up the second time: Tom, fellow Australian James Robinson-Paterson with Galliano MS, and leading NZ combination Tegan Fitzsimon with Windermere Cappuccino.
James had stopped the clock at 57.08 seconds, and Tegan bested that with a time of 55.55. But it wasn’t nearly good enough to stop Tom, who wiped more than three seconds off her time, to cross the flags in 52.19.
“I had heard Tegan was the one to beat so I warmed up early so I could watch her go,” he says.
Tom was delighted with his nine-year-old mare, who is just 16.1hh and is by the super sire Clinton. He’s produced her over the last four years from 1.15m to World Cup level. “For such a small horse she covers a lot of ground fast. I have so much confidence in her. She is not the scopiest or most talented, but certainly has the biggest heart. She is very sassy with a big personality.”
Tom and Elegance De La Charmille were also part of the Chatham Park team who won the inaugural Takapoto Teams Championship on Friday, with his Aussie teammates Amber Fuller (CP Aretino) and Amelia Douglass (Sirius Du Granit).
Takapoto’s stable riders had a great week at the office, with Oliver Croucher smoking the Young Rider class on Waitangi Surf, and Jaime Tiller and Casanova Xtreme (Corofino II/JK Looks Good) taking out the Six-year-old Final.
Another Xtreme Sporthorse took out the Five-year-old Final – Cassio Xtreme with Logan Massie – while fellow Hawke’s Bay rider Vicki Wilson and Daminos TWS (Diarado/B’Lanca Nieve) took the honours in the Seven-Year-Old Final. Brooke Hawthorne won the Four-Year-Old Final with Latona.
Madison Jackson and Kiwi Monarch won the Junior Rider final, from Tahlia Graham and Ngahiwi Lady Blue.
In the provisional Teams Final, Jesse Linton led Fergus Rural Northern Hawke’s Bay to victory, by just 0.56 of a second.
Seven teams started the first round but were whittled to four for the second round. Scores from all three riders over the two rounds counted, and with a two-way tie on 12 faults, it went to time. Times from all three riders were added together.
Jesse and Vitess were the last combination to go and left nothing in the tank, cutting every possible corner and galloping into the last. His efforts meant Screen Art Taranaki had to settle for second, with Waikato third.
Jesse also won the Mini Prix, riding Iguazu, from Georgina Dormer and Casanova NZPH.
Oliver Edgecombe and Henton Excalibur won the 1.4m speed class, and Sam Carrington the 1.30m class wth Double J Breeze On.
Katherine Van Tuyl and Centavino won the Anne Symes Memorial Speed Derby, from fellow event rider Clarke Jonstone and Aces High.