Day 2 Action
AMATEUR RIDER FINAL
Family pet ‘Spongebob’ was no square when it came to Wednesday’s Wade Equine Coaches Amateur Rider Final 1.10-1.20m, as the 14 year old bay gelding dominated his rivals in the Premier Arena.
Just three of the 29 combinations made it through to the jump off, and Kaleigh Kent riding Double J Sponge Bob Square Pants finished faultlessly with a time of 41.41 seconds.
A fantastic opportunity for the amateur riders to experience the excitement of the Premier Ring at the Land Rover Horse of the Year, the class being held between the highly anticipated Six Year Old and the Norwood Gold Cup.
The ‘Spongebob’ combination finished 5th in the Dr Lewinns Amateur rider Qualifier Horse on Tuesday, and pulled it out the bag in what is the pair’s first Land Rover Horse of the Year title win.
“It’s very exciting, I’m stoked.”
“I’ve always wanted to win one, and this horse, he deserves to win one!” shared an elated Kaleigh.
Joined by her two young children, and mother Robyn Vowles, it is obvious to see how much the loveable gelding means to the family.
“I’m very lucky, my Mum comes to every show. She is my biggest support.”
So what is Spongebob’s final show for the season? Kent explains it may not be quite time for a holiday yet.
“He might get taken to a mock hunt with the kids, he’s a babysitter.”
Earning himself not only a beautiful garland and rug, Kent explains a trip to Dunstan for his favourite bag of old man pellets will be needed.
“He’s the family pet, he’s very spoilt.”
PONY 1.25 CHAMPIONSHIP
It was an early start on Day Two for our pony riders as the first round of the 1.25m Pony Championship got underway in Arena One.
13 year old Katie Readings from Pukekawa was the 12th rider to head out in the field of 42 and her speedy time of 65.89 seconds simply couldn’t be beat.
The plain bay mare Rump Shaker proved to be quite the pocket rocket as the smallest of the final lineup at just 14 hands high.
Having owned the honest little mare for four years, they’ve made the trip to Land Rover Horse of the Year each year – this being Katie’s ninth Horse of the Year so far.
Last year the pair won the 1.05m Championship at the Show, and an emotional Katie explained the win meant a lot for her as the journey to return to jumping again was a long one.
“We’ve brought her back from a fractured knee.”
“It took us six months to bring her back to where she was able to walk, and another six months before I could jump her.”
“In that time she had to be on box rest, and she jumped out of her 1.50m stable.” It was then she knew the little mare was ready to return to jumping.
Chasing the Pony Grand Prix series aboard Rump Shaker throughout the season, Katie narrowly missed the selection for the hotly contested Pony of the Year class.
However, she is looking forward to the second round of the 1.25m Championship as it is a qualifier for the event held later in the week, and the win today gave her the confidence boost needed.
“That was the best round she’s done all season.”
Geraldine show jumper Kate Cavanagh took out the day’s first class in the Premier Ring aboard her eight year old Warmblood mare Wallflower.
Winning by a whisker with a time of 69.75 seconds, Kate has owned Wallflower for four years and their goal for the show is to qualify for Friday’s Ultra Mox Lady Rider of the Year.
Cavanagh runs a full-time breaking in yard with her partner Steve Houston who is also her riding coach. “Without him I wouldn’t ride Wallflower like I do.”