Claudia Hay, of Dunedin, and Heartbreaker in winning form
earlier this summer. Photo supplied.
Otago show jumpers Claudia Hay and Brittany Whelan got
just the dress rehearsal they needed for the South Island's
richest event, in Dunedin, when they finished 1-2 in the horse
grand prix at the South Canterbury-North Otago area Show in
Waimate on Sunday.
The pair will lead the Otago charge when they line up in the
$50,000 super grand prix as part of the equestrian programme
at Ride The Rhythm at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Friday night.
With the late scratchings of visiting North Islander Maurice
Beatson's in-form My Gollywog and Ashburton rider Susie
Hayward's stallion Andretti, the field was reduced to just
Both Hay, on Euro Sport Heartbreaker, and Whelan, on George
Jetson, notched up perfectdouble clears to force a jump-off
against the clock.
First out, Hay came home clear, putting the pressure on
Whelan. Whelan went for a fast time, but a stop early on the
course ended her chances.
Cave's Kelly Evans (Hammertime) finished third on four
faults, ahead of Beatson on Conyers. His second ride,
Schimmel Warrior, was eliminated in the first round.
For Hay, the win could not have come at a better time,
filling her with confidence the stallion is on target for a
strong showing against 32 of Australasia's top show jumpers
''I was thrilled with him. I feel pretty confident. He feels
fantastic,'' Hay said.
Honours in the pony grand prix went to Christchurch teen
Steffi Whittaker, on Moonlight Glow, giving the pair a sixth
individual grand prix win of the season.
Whittaker produced one of three double clears, forcing it to
Out first, Rakaia's Kimberley Bird went clear in a time of
63.41sec. Takapau's Emily Fraser, who won the junior rider
event earlier in the day aboard Kiwi Relic, was next, taking
a rail but finishing faster in a time of 51.98sec.
Whittaker, the last to go, finished in a nippy 51.42sec for
Invercargill's Nicole White and Cricklewood Ace continued
their successful run, winning the South Island young rider
crown with the only clear round, as well as the 1.30m
championship. Beatson was dominant in the age-group classes,
winning the 7yr-old series with Parker and finishing first
equal in the 5yr-old series with Mandalay Cove. The 6yr-old
title went to Amanda Brown (Rangiora), on Glenmark.
This focus now switches to Dunedin for Ride The Rhythm,
followed by two days of competition at the Taieri
Agricultural Park in Mosgiel.
Equestrian Sports New Zealand yesterday named its national
event squads, with one eye firmly on the 2016 Rio Olympics.
ESNZ high performance director Sarah Harris said the focus
was on combinations which had the potential to produce an
individual podium result in Rio.
Leading the way is world No 1 Andrew Nicholson, who has six
horses on the squad. No 4 Jonathan Paget and No 6 Sir Mark
Todd each have three.
Clarke Johnstone, formerly of Outram, London Olympians
Caroline Powell and Jonelle Richards, and Olympic reserve
Lucy Jackson round out the squad.
The international eventing season begins with the three-day
Kentucky event in April.