Much to Celebrate on Opening Day of WC Festival
It’s been a super day of jumping on the opening day of competition at the Continental Cars Audi World Cup Festival at Woodhill Sands made all the more special by a clutch of riders who notched first-time wins in their respective classes.
Aimee Collinson (Clevedon) was ecstatic to win her first Country TV Pony Grand Prix aboard Moonlight Glow, with Annabel Francis (Taupo) having her first victory in the FMG Young Rider class and Catherine Fawcett-McNaughton (Auckland) over the moon with her win in the Dunstan Horsefeeds and EquiFibre Pro Amateur Rider class.
International course designer Peter Holmes had plenty of good to say about the show, organisers, horses and riders. “The (premier) arena has changed from a grass paddock to jumps with decorations with a real atmosphere,” said Peter.
He has had a long love affair with New Zealand and this time brought his wife Danielle and two children with him. Once he finishes at the show they will be heading to Taupo for some well-deserved down time.
Since his first visit in the late 1990s he has seen huge improvement and looks forward to seeing that trend continue.
Aimee Collinson handled all the pressure in the world to ride a stunning double clear to take out the Country TV Pony Grand Prix aboard Moonlight Glow this evening. Nineteen started the class with four coming back for the jump-off. Rylee Sheehan (Te Aroha) and Tony the Pony were first out and had a late rail to finish on four faults in 43.57 seconds. The Dreamer and Tyla Hackett (Auckland) flew around course but a late rail also saw them finish the day on four faults in 37.71 seconds. Next out was Karis Spurway (New Plymouth) aboard Kabo Cappesh who looked to be going for the careful clear when a rail put paid to that and they came home with four faults in 41.72 seconds. Last to go was Aimee and her 18-year-old chestnut Moonlight Glow whose careful clear gave them the win. “He is such a character and a cutie,” she said of her pony. Her plan going into the class was to just do “each piece of the puzzle and get around”. They did that and more. “It is amazing to win,” she said. Aimee also won the Simply Samantha HH Cup, named in honour of Olivia Dalton’s pony. “We spent so many shows here at Waitemata so it is special to us,” said Olivia.
In the FMG Young Rider Annabel Francis (Taupo) and her new Australian import Carado GHP won the day after another exciting jump-off. Eight of the 21 starters came back with clean slates where the three top combinations remained on zero.
Sixteen-year-old Annabel was over the moon with her first-ever Young Rider win after two years competing in the series. She had every belief in her grey gelding and safe in the knowledge that he’s both careful and reliable. “I wanted to take all the chances I could. This win is very special and a really good feeling.”
In the jump-off, Elmo Jackson (Auckland) aboard Emily Hayward’s AP Ninja was first out and came home clear in 43,77 seconds to secure third place. Emily (Te Awamutu) followed a few combinations later and while she flew home in 39.47 seconds, she paid for it with a rail and had to settle for fourth. Olivia Dalton (Karaka) and Cil Dara Boneparte were in their usual super slick style, coming home clear in 41.58 seconds only to see the win slip away with Annabel’s 41.01 second effort.
It was a fitting and popular victory for Catherine Fawcett-McNaughton in the Dunstan Horsefeeds and EquiFibre Pro Amateur Rider class. The Auckland business manager owned the jump-off, taking on board the advice of her trainer Paula Mussen who told her to just trust her nine-year-old chestnut mare. “The plan was to just get around (the first round) and then in the jump-off I knew where I was going and to not pull at all,” she said. Catherine flew home in the jump-off to stop the clock at 47.53 seconds, just a smidgen ahead of pro-am debutant Jane Burmester (Auckland) aboard Corpus K, a horse previously ridden by New Zealand showjumping Olympian Bruce Goodin.
It was a special win for the former ESNZ jumping board member who had led the drive to introduce the pro-am series. “I was only jumping at amateur level but could see a real need for it.” Catherine has had the “rather quirky” chestnut mare for five years and had previously won just one pro-am class. This is their first season in the series. “It is so cool to win here – it is a huge show and the organisers put so much effort goes into putting it on.”
In the Matthews Hanoverians Seven-Year-Old Series Cambridge horsewoman Rachel Malcolm gave a masterclass en route to victory aboard Monte Carlo MVNZ. She had the luxury of being last to go in the five-strong jump-off and by her own admission didn’t think she could better the 36.14 second time set by Oliver Edgecombe (Waipukurau) and Carnival NZPH. However, the two managed to eek out a little more to win in 36.01 seconds. “Monte Carlo doesn’t waste a lot of time in the air and loves jump-offs,” said Rachel. “This was a great jump-off. It has been a fantastic season for so us far.”
Belischi HM won his way back into the heart of his rider Emily Hayward (Te Awamutu) with victory in the T&M Nurseries horse 1.4m championship. Emily and her former racehorse were the last of seven to go in the jump-off and a smart inside turn into fence two paying dividends. “He dumped me yesterday so this was meant to be a schooling round,” said the 19-year-old. “We’ve had a couple of average rounds lately so I wanted to build his confidence.” While the horse is nine, Emily says he has the mileage of a seven-year-old. “He’s come a long way in a short time. He’s such a baby. He always tries his hardest though. It’s definitely nice to win.” Twenty-five started the class with 11 going clear over the opening round but four of those opting not to come back for the jump-off.
Ally Carson (Putaruru) and Mt Robinson’s Statement won the Vodanovich Law 1.3m championship, flying home at the front of the 46-strong field with a great double clear. Ally was rapt with her eight-year-old gelding who she bought off Merrick Ubank earlier in the season. Merrick has been in New Zealand helping Ally consolidate the partnership. “He is a little hotter than my other horses but he was easy today,” she said of Mt Robinson’s Statement. “It has been a big learning season for us. Today the plan was just to go in and do my job – the horse is naturally quick so I just had to shave my corners and keep rolling.”
Country TV Pony Grand Prix: Aimee Collinson (Clevedon) Moonlight Glow 1, Tyla Hackett (Auckland) The Dreamer 2, Karis Spurway (New Plymouth) Kabo Cappesh 3, Rylee Sheehan (Te Aroha) Tony the Pony 4, Brooke Hawthorne (Cambridge) Easy As 5, Victoria Mitchell (Kumeu) Showtym Mochachino 6.
FMG Young Rider Series: Annabel Francis (Taupo) Carado GHP 1, Olivia Dalton (Karaka) Cil Dara Bonaparte 2, Elmo Jackson (Auckland) AP Ninja 3, Emily Hayward (Te Awamutu) Yandoo Lady Gold 4, Emelia Forsyth (Clevedon) Henton Faberge 5, Drew Carson (Putaruru) Winston V Driene 6.
Dunstan Horsefeeds and EquiFibre Pro Amateur Rider Series: Catherine Fawcett-McNaughton (Auckland) Golden Girl MVNZ 1, Jane Burmester (Auckland) Corpus K 2, Mathew Dickey (New Plymouth) Quango 3, Tim Featherstone (Kerikeri) Kiwi Superkee 4, Sandra Stanford-Soons (Silverdale) El Vira 5, Christine Cornege (Cambridge) Varekai SL 6.
Dunstan Horsefeeds and EquiFibre Junior Rider Series: Olivia Dalton (Karaka) Appleton 1, Sarah West (Matamata) LC Talent 2, Amy Moore (Rotorua) Kiwi King 3, Ciel Butler (Tauranga) Matawhero Luciano 4, Keeva McCambridge (Cambridge) Hey There Delilah HH 5, Kalani Nicol (Whitanga) KMR Descarado 6.
Hinterland Amateur Rider Series: Lynette Jackson (Auckland) Fortissimo 1, Kirsten Hence (Karaka) Jack’s a Heartbreaker 2, Shelley Bridgeman (Auckland) Oaks Vendetta 3, Paxton Conder (Whatawhata) La Fonteyn 4, Fleur Butler (Katikati) Amarula MVNZ 5, Paige Orlandini (Auckland) Phoenician Gifted 6.
Main-Events University Series: Emelia Forsyth (Clevedon) Henton Faberge 1, Melody Matheson (Hastings) Graffiti MH 2, Nicholas Beal (Te Kauwhata) FIS Outrageous 3.
Matthews Hanoverians Seven-Year-Old Series: Rachel Malcom (Cambridge) Monte Carlo MVNZ 1, Oliver Edgecombe (Waipukurau) Carnival NZPH 2, Daniel Blundell (Auckland) Fifty Shades HS 3, Annabel Francis (Taupo) Cherokee NZPH 4, Samantha Peters (Cambridge) Cadillac NZPH 5, Jesse Linton (Hastings) Vitess 6.
Mitavite Speedi-Beet Six-Year-Old Series: Oliver Croucher (Cambridge) Scotsmans Valley, Amanda Wilson (Hikurangi) Dynasty NZPH and Jeremy Whale (Cambridge) Dolce NZPH =1.
East Coast Performance Horses Five-Year-Old Series: Jackie Jermyn (Waikato) Chalo ECPH, Rachel Malcolm (Cambridge) Onessa MVNZ and Jeremy Whale (Cambridge) Fleur De La Cour =1.
T&M Nurseries horse 1.4m championship: Emily Hayward (Te Awamutu) Belischi HM 1, Glen Beal (Te Kauwhata) All Expenses of Renton 2, Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) Double J Monarch 3, Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) LT Holst Andrea 4, Nick Brooks (Cambridge) Versace C 5, Mikayla Herbert (Rotorua) Grand Caballo 6.
Vodanovich Law horse 1.3m championship: Ally Carson (Putaruru) Mt Robinson’s Statement 1, Catherine Cameron (Cambridge) Kingslea Couture 2, Mikayla Herbert (Rotorua) Snow Storm 3, Nakeysha Lammers (New Plymouth) Balboa NZPH 4, Emelia Forsyth (Clevedon) Henton Faberge 5, Danielle Maurer (Kaukapakapa) Yalambis Gucci Girl 6.