Briar Bags Seven-Year-Old Crown
Spectators may have had their hearts in their mouths as Briar Burnett-Grant and Fiber Fresh Verona flew over the last in the Dunstan Horse Feeds Seven-Year-Old Horse of the Year but they needn’t have bothered.
The 15-year-old rider from Taupo had it all in hand by that time. She was the last to go in the 24-strong class. Ahead of her, Katie Laurie (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Casebrooke Lomond had gone clear but picked up a single time fault.
“I went in there thinking he would have a rail because as he goes round he gets faster and faster,” says Burnett-Grant. “I was just trying to keep my cool, keep him calm, and go wide as I could to keep him under control.”
She knew the final line had caught plenty out, so headed into that with caution.
“There was a wall, which I made him back up a bit to prepare for that last line which was a treble to an oxer. Usually in trebles he doesn’t listen and tries to do his own thing because he thinks he knows best. He can be a bit of a handful!”
She could hear the gasp as they headed into the the last oxer a bit deep.
“He is just so quick it is a bit scary.”
Burnett-Grant has only had the horse three months, having bought him off Ike Unsworth. However, she had to sell her top grand prix pony Kabo Silver.
“It was sad but he has gone to Isabella du Plessis, the best home he could have gone to.”
And Burnett-Grant is being reunited with 16-year-old Silver for the Pony of the Year class today. She last won the title in 2013 aboard Millbrook and would dearly love to add another to the trophy cabinet.
She will also compete in the Premier Stakes this evening aboard Fiber Fresh Carlotta.
Dunstan Horse Feeds Seven-Year-Old Horse of the Year: Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) Fiber Fresh Veroana 1, Katie Laurie (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Casebrooke Lomond 2, Timothy Myers (Hawera) Surreal 3, Oliver Croucher (Rotorua) Delta Fasteuex 4, Katie Meredith (Ohaka) Westgrove GNZ 5, William Willis (Papakura) Dollar Roll MS 6.