The lion’s share of the prize money from Takapoto Estate’s Gold Tour final is heading across the Tasman, with Australian riders taking the first four places in today’s Grand Prix.
Just seven combinations managed to jump clear over Michel Ismalun’s testing track, five of them riding under the Australian flag.
Some of New Zealand’s leading prospects came to grief, including last year’s winners of this class, Annabel Francis and Carado GHP, who were eliminated. Emelia Forsyth, who so impressed winning the second Gold Tour qualifier with Henton Faberge, retired in her round.
The first New Zealand clear was from 17-year-old Sarah West with Oaks Centurian, and she was eventually joined by one of the last pairs in the field, Takapoto stable rider Oliver Croucher on Waitangi Surf.
But unfortunately, neither of them were able to keep up with standards set by the Australians in the jump-off. Sarah had a rail, and finished in a time of 56.21 seconds for fifth place, while Ollie had his foot down for a time of 53.22, but had two rails, to finish seventh.
The win went to Kate Hinschen on Finch Farm Cadel, a 10-year-old by Charlemagne Ego Z, who was clear with a time of 52.11, while Paul Brent was second on his stallion Fontaine Blue VDL.
Amber Fuller and CP Aretino were third, and Amanda Madigan was fourth on Diamond B Vivienne.
Two weeks of action at New Zealand’s leading boutique show wrapped up today.
There were tears of joy from 16-year-old Sam Carrington when she took out the Country TV Pony Grand Prix aboard Colours of Lansing.
It’s her last season on ponies, and her father Rob Carrington was ringside to watch her take the win. Just three of the 22 starters came back for the jump-off.
First out was Dan Harkerss and Cocamo who took had two rails to finish in 44.33 seconds. Next out was Sam who had the first of the double down, crossing the flags at 43.63.
Isabella Narracci and Showtym Highlight headed out for a steady clear but it wasn’t to be, incurring a total of 32 faults, and she had to settle for third.
“She is just so clever,” says Sam of her 14-year-old mare. “She is a very special pony.”
Sam comes from a very horsey background, being the daughter of Wendy Jacobs who with her sister Robyn developed Double J Stud.
The Copper tour final (1.25m) also concluded today, and was won by 13-year-old Tara Gower with Double J Image, a horse she has only had since early January.
In the 12-strong jump-off, Tara and Double J Image were home in 39.8 seconds with Briar Burnett-Grant and Fiber Fresh Casallita second in 42 seconds, and Blyth Tait and Billy Sparky third.