Brayden Aarts takes Young Rider
A good day for Brayden Aarts, who won the Fiber Fresh Feeds FMG Young Rider class aboard his sometimes-tricky horse Binverter. He is pictured with Fiber Fresh’s Needham. Photo by Cheleken Photography
Brayden Aarts knows every day can be a good day for Binverter . . . or not.
But he was well on form at the Continental Cars Audi World Cup Festival today, taking out the Fiber Fresh FMG Young Rider class with a super speedy clear round in the very hotly-contested jump-off.
“It depends on the day with him,” said 15-year-old Aarts. “He dumped me at the second fence yesterday!”
Twenty-one started the class and very quickly it was evident there was talent to burn in the field. Thirteen came back for the jump-off where Aarts had George Jetson as the first to go, and Binverter as the last.
George Jetson came home clear in 43.2 seconds. Nakeysha Lammers (Hikurangi) and her home-bred horse Resolution notched the next clear, in 44.24. Alyvia James (Cambridge) and SK Halo were also all clear, coming home in 45.71 seconds. Then came the very well-performed Emily Hayward (Te Awamutu) and Yandoo Lady Gold who set the benchmark, going clear in 41.2 seconds. Clears followed from current Young Rider of the Year Drew Carson (Putaruru) aboard Winston V Driene and Olympic Cup winner Lily Tootill (Karaka), who was back at her first show in a couple of months after breaking her ankle, aboard Ulysses NZPH, along with Todd Magner (Hokitika) on Awatuna Jonesy.
It was all down to Aarts and Binverter who completely delivered, flying around the course in 40.94 seconds. The plan was always to try to win on nine-year-old Binverter.
“Since I am not chasing (series) points, I just wanted to win on Binverter,” said Aarts.
Having a run through both the first round and jump-off on George Jetson paid dividends.
“Thankfully I got him into the jump-off too. I really didn’t think I could better my time but we did.”
Aarts has won a few Young Rider classes aboard the horse, including at the Christmas Classic in December.
He has had the horse two years.
“He was very hot at the start and very strong too. Over time he has adapted to how I ride and we are really clicking now,” he said.
“This season has been about picking the shows and saving the horses.”
Aarts is off to Holland in April to base for three months and to “see how the international circuit really works”.
The Pukekawa teen started riding at 11 and hasn’t looked back. An early opportunity to showjump saw him hooked on the sport early.
Fiber Fresh FMG Young Rider: Brayden Aarts (Pukekawa) Binverter 1, Emily Hayward (Te Awamutu) Yandoo Lady Gold 2, Lily Tootill (Karaka) Ulysses NZPH 3, Todd Magner (Hokitika) Awatuna Jonesy 4, Brayden Aarts (Pukekawa) George Jetson 5, Drew Carson (Putaruru) Winston V Driene 6.