The second week of Takapoto Estate Show Jumping is wrapping up with some top-class competition; the Silver (1.40m) and Bronze (1.35m) finals were held today, along with the finals of the Global Amateur Tour (1.15m).
The Silver Tour final had 30 starters, and came down to a seven-way jump-off. Nobody left all the rails up in the second round, but Jesse Linton and Vitess, an eight-year-old mare by Euro Sport Centavos out of Diversity, were the quickest four-faulters.
Jesse was delighted with his opinionated little mare, who he has produced from a four-year-old. “It was just a matter of getting her happy and into thinking her job was fun,” says the Hastings based full-time rider. “She is more of a pet to me – I can ride her bareback down the beach and up the river, which I can’t do with my other horses.”
Jesse says this is the best win of her career, in a competitive class. “She is so careful as long as I give her a good ride. She tries her best to get out of things if I get it wrong.”
Logan Massie and Fairview Animation were second, also with a single rail, while also on four faults each, Australia’s Amelia Douglass (Upperclass Z) and Jess Rice-Ward (Dusty Farm Cavalier) had to settle for third and fourth.
Earlier in the week, the first Silver Tour qualifier was won by Amelia and Upperclass Z, with second going to Clarke Johnstone on Versace C, and third to Logan on Fairview Animation.
The second Silver Tour qualifier was a speed class, and this was won by Bernard Denton and Horsesports Sequell, with Rachel Malcolm second on Monte Carlo MVNZ, and Oliver Edgecombe third on Henton Excalibur.
The Bronze Tour final had 30 starters, and it was a near-perfect result for Australia’s Amelia Douglass, first on Cassis Z Ten Halven and third on Sirius Du Granit. Clarke Johnstone was second, riding Scott Borland’s SB Attitude, and Laura Hilhorst was fourth on LC Underberg.
Amelia had earlier in the week won the first Bronze qualifier on Cassis Z Ten Halven, with fellow Australian Melissa Blair second on Gigant Z. It was a massive class with 69 starters; third place went to Samantha Morrison on Elmo, and fourth to Christine Cornege and Varekai SL.
The second Bronze qualifier, a speed class with 53 starters, was a great win for Takapoto’s head rider Jaime Tiller, on Lanice van de Heffinck.
Jaime credits the mare with completely changing the way she rides. “My previous horses have been heavy and slow and with not a lot of [thoroughbred] blood,” she says. “She covers the ground fast so I had to adapt. She has so changed my riding for the better.”
Samantha Morrision was second on Frangipanne De Toxandria, and Ally Carson third on Whiorau Ritchie.
The Global Amateur Tour wrapped up today, with the A-final win going to Whangarei Pony Club member Sharon Klijn (19), riding her little Arabian-warmblood cross Mizta Frosty; the pair were second in both of the Amateur qualifiers, in an exceptionally consistent performance.
Kate Hewlett won the speed class that was the first Amateur qualifier on Kiwi Sunset, and was a close second in the final, with Georgina Forsyth third on Catapult Extreme. Seven combinations of the 25 starters went through to jump off.
Last year’s Amateur tour winner Rachael Bentall won the second qualifier on SB Smokescreen, and had the fastest jump-off time in the final, but paid for it with two rails.
The Global Amateur B-final was won by Jacob Thompson, riding Carole Stewart’s Tennessee Waltz.
The second Copper Tour qualifier (1.20m) was held today, with a massive 66 starters, and it was won by Laura Inkster and Oporaes Jackamoe, with Paxton Conder second on La Fonteyn.
The first qualifier in the Copper Tour was won by New Plymouth schoolgirl Karis Spurway on the former World Cup winning Kapattack. Seventy-four started the class with 27 coming back for the jump-off. Karis and Kappattack, who is owned by Tash Brooks, flew home in 27.51 seconds, just ahead of Olivia Dalton and Cheyenne, with Briar Burnett-Grant third on Fiber Fresh Casallita.
Karis has had the former racehorse since last September, and she was surprised to win. “I was stoked with the jump-off,” she says. “I didn’t think I went that fast but I did a few good turns so that put me ahead.”
The pony speed class had an impressive line-up of many of the top Grand Prix ponies, and was won by Lily Moore and Fun House, 0.55 seconds in front of Rylee Sheehan and Tony the Pony, with Aimee Collinson third on Moonlight Glow.
Tomorrow’s final day of action sees the premier event, the Gold Tour Final, set at 1.50m, which has a $35,000 cheque for the winner. Yesterday’s second qualifier, a speed class, was a stunning win for Emelia Forsyth and Henton Faberge, just a hundredth of a second quicker than Australia’s Paul Brent and Fontaine Blue VDL. Kimberley Bird was third on Cera Cassina, in a welcome return from injury.
Emelia, a 20-year-old Waikato University business student, won both Silver Tour qualifiers last year at Takapoto, and this season has stepped up to World Cup level with Henton Faberge. “She is the most honest horse and has never stopped for me. Every time I have stepped her up I have never worried.”
The first Gold Tour Qualifier earlier in the week was a bit of an Australian whitewash, with James Arkins and his stallion Eurostar and compatriot Tom McDermott and Elegance De La Charmille the only double clears; James a second quicker in the jump-off. Logan Massie was third on Intellect, and Nakeysha Lammers fourth on Resolution.
The last day of jumping at Takapoto tomorrow also features a pony Grand Prix, and the Copper Tour final.