STAR ACT: Anna Stephen of Martinborough after winning the one star Horse Grand Prix on Constantine.Showjumping
Martinborough horsewoman Anna Stephen was a star act when the Wairarapa area showjumping group held their McEntee Hire showjumping and show hunter championships at Solway Showgrounds in Masterton over Labour Weekend.
Stephen rode her well-performed Constantine to victory in the one star Horse Grand Prix on Saturday, heading off 20 other combinations, three of whom went through to the jumpoff. Stephen and Constantine also won the open horse 1.35m and she partnered another of her charges, Ngahiwi La Orange, to a win in the open horse 1.20m.
The main class of the show, the Bayer Super league, attracted 10 entries with course designer Gary Sinclair of Wellington setting them a challenging assignment over jumps of 1.50m to 1.60m.
Five combinations made it to the jumpoff. Maurice Beatson was first to go on his super 18-year-old gelding My Gollywog, going clear in a smart time that was followed by clear rounds by national representatives Katie McVean on both of her mounts, Dunstan Springfield and Dunstan Delilah and also by Lucy Akers on Tinapai.
Last to go in the jumpoff was Christchurch visitor Ross Smith on his beautiful imported stallion Quite Cassini and they produced a fantastic effort to edge out McVean and Dunstan Springfield for the Little Avondale Grand Prix Tray and a sizeable cash prize. Akers was third, Beatson fourth, McVean fifth on Dunstan Delilah and Luke Dee sixth on Ombudsman.
It was Dee and Ombudsman who prevailed in the Young Rider class from Amanda Wilson on Showtym Viking while the Junior Rider class was won by Hayley Morris from Christchurch on her chestnut horse Ka Pai Kiwi.
The 7-year-old horse class went to Vicky Wilson on Showtym Levado and the 6-year-old class to Sally Clark on Victoria's Secret. Four horses were first equal in the 5-year-old class including local rider Sarah Falloon on Sparfrowman. There were 26 entries in the Andrew Tulloch Contracting Wairarapa speed class and Gary Sinclair again set a testing 1.25m track which gave riders every chance to show their speed riding abilities. Local Jane Warren on Dark Ages set a cracking pace early but was eventually beaten into third place, behind Vicky Wilson on Showtym Levado and Melanie Weal on Cross Your Heart. Three combinations went through to a jumpoff in the Urlar Estate Winery three star Pony Grand Prix. Melanie Weal went first and posted a clear round at a quick pace, quick enough to give her first place ahead of Harry Duncan on Chocolate Splash and Polly Gibbs on Traffic LS.
The Pro-Am Championship was taken out by Douglas Thomson on Marksman Arrow from Pearl Delaney-Girdlestone on Windale Gracious and local rider Sarah Dalziell on Benrose Superstar. Dalziell also placed second in the horse 1.25m championship.
The committee-organised Muppet 500 on Sunday night was hotly contested by 10 pairs who completed a challenging course of blindfold wheelbarrowing, drink sculling, dressing up blindfolded and jumping a course of jumps. Youth prevailed with Katie McVean and Tash Brooks coming out the victors. All told the championships were a huge success with over 380 horses competing and many of the riders commenting favourably on the Solway Showgrounds facility.