The showing action at the Land Rover Horse of the Year Show moved up a gear yesterday with the coveted turnout classes kicking off a full programme.
Ashburton’s Dani Simpson made a dream start to this year’s show taking out the Gee Whizz Memorial Equestrian Turnout aboard Tracy Crossan’s impressive six-year-old Irish Sport Horse Trevalda Mountain Storm, with local rider Sue Reynolds and Seattle, reserve.
Notching up her first win in the prestigious class, Dani had previously finished second and third respectively with her own horse Integrity’s Promise, who has since been sold. She picked up the ride on Trevalda Mountain Storm, who is by Ballineen Blue Mountain out of Tarahill Kulzari, last December.
The win was made even sweeter as it came just moments after Dani’s pony Greenmoor Euphoria took out the Wonder Memorial Junior Equestrian Turnout in the hands of Christchurch’s Lucy Cochrane in the other ring. “It was an amazing way to start off the show,” says Dani.
Later in the day Dani and Trevalda Mountain Storm were back in action in the side saddle classes, finishing runner up Side Saddle Unity of the Year behind Gisborne’s Sarah Gault riding a seven-year-old warmblood cross mare, Ultra Velvet, who is owned by Shirley Collie. And Lucy and Greenmoor Euphoria showed their form in the dressage arena winning the first Pony of the Year (medium) title class on 70.57%.
Having finished runner-up in Gee Whizz, Sue Reynolds and Seattle continued their strong start going on to win in the Senior Rider of the Year ahead of Chole Roach and Brookfields von Strauss, before scoring a handsome victory in the hotly contented RAS Livamol Showhorse of the Year for the third year on the trot later in the afternoon.
The RAS Livamol Showhorse of the Year class also marked the end of the RAS Livamol Series with overall honours going to Woodend’s Nicola Urquhart and the Singer family’s Australian thoroughbred by King’s Best, Cahoncho. This year the series attracted more than 80 horses with points up for grabs across more than 55 shows.
In the day’s other action, Christchurch’s Meg Fleming won the Youth or Girl Rider of the Year (17 years and under 21 Years) riding Stephanie Wendelken’s Bewitched of Flaxmill, with reserve to Rebecca Aplin on Sherlock.
And in a repeat of last year, the Led Youngstock Pony of the Year, under three years, title went the way of Cheyne Stanaway-Dreadon’s lovely Australian-bred youngster KL High Fashion led by Duncan Norrie, while the competitive 19-strong Led Adult Pony of the Year, four years and over, eventually went the way of Nicolette Butcher and Linden Realms of Glory.
In the horses, the Led Young Horse of the Year, three years and under, was won by Cambridge’s Leesa Banicevich and RP Couture, with Melanie Barton and Lord Gallagher, reserve. RP Couture has proved a good buy for Leesa, who purchased the filly as a yearling after she was deemed too small to go through the yearling sales. She is a thoroughbred by the stallion, Power, out of a Zabeel mare.
Meanwhile, all honours in the Led Adult Horse of the Year, four years and over, went to the Cadwallader family’s Rosehill Park Sapphire for the second year running, expertly led by Ben Thomson. Bred by Jo-Ann Kloosterman, Rosehill Park Sapphire is by Burren-dah The Wizard out of Lorken Park Applause. Reserve went to Hamilton’s Mary Copeman and her lovely thoroughbred gelding, VP J’Adore.