The story behind the silverware

23 Feb

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HOY Trophies

Ever wondered where those top cups and trophies awarded at HOY have come from? Some of the stories behind them are what make up New Zealand’s equestrian history. This is by no means meant to be complete nor definitive, but interesting all the same.

 

JUMPING

 

Olympic Cup

The Olympic Cup was donated by Bessie Fullerton-Smith MBE.

For decades she would be at HOY to present the trophy, compete with fresh red roses, until ill heath prevented her attending. In latter years, carrots were added to stop the horses eating the roses.

Fullerton-Smith died at 101 in 2008, and is remembered as a charismatic pioneer in the world of sport. She was a champion golfer who played for New Zealand in Australia and Europe, won the amateur championship in 1932 and 1934, and the national stroke play title in 1937 and 1938.

The Olympic Cup. Photo by Sarah Alderman/KAMPIC

The Olympic Cup. Photo by Sarah Alderman/KAMPIC

On the hunting field, she was master of the Rangitikei Hunt – the first female to do so – and patroness of the New Zealand Hunts’ Association. She hunted well into her 80s.

Fullerton-Smith (nee Gaisford) was an immediate enthusiast for what was then called international showjumping. So much so that she donated the magnificent Olympic Rose Bowl – now the Olympic Cup – to the winner of the Victor Ludorum jump at that first Horse of the Year Show in 1953. That person was Peter Holden, who is still a huge supporter of equestrian in New Zealand.

In 1972 Fullerton-Smith was awarded the MBE for her services to equestrian.

 

Norwood Gold Cup

Sir Walter Norwood was the son of Sir Charles and Lady Rosina Norwood. His father was a pioneer in the New Zealand motor industry. In 1912 Sir Charles established The Dominion Motors which imported many American cars. Sir Walter joined the company in 1926 and played a prominent part in the development of the business, through to pioneering the assembly in new Zealand of the first Morris vehicles which were imported in completely knocked down form.

He was in England when Harry Ferguson launched the Ferguson TE20 tractor and successfully bid for the New Zealand distributorship.

The Norwood Gold Cup. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

The Norwood Gold Cup. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

The Norwood family business was sold in 1978 to Dalgety.

Sir Walter was the owner of 1971 Melbourne Cup winner Silver Knight, who also won the New Zealand St Leger.

Historically, the Norwood Gold Cup is the first major trophy to be contested at each HOY.

Hansen and Saba Sam were presented the gold cup by Queen Elizabeth for winning the main event at the Royal Horse of the Year Show in Auckland in 1963.

But that is just one highlight in a career that spans so many shows in around 12 years.

Saba Sam was bred by Bill Iorns in the Wairarapa – by Sabaean and out of Patter, a Nigger Minstrel mare owned by Iorns. His lineage traces back to the Blue Peter line.

His dam, who was 32 when he was born, died immediately after having him and Saba Sam was hand reared by Nancy Williams of Te Pari Stud in Masterton.

As a yearling he was bought by Sam Gudsell, Hansen’s uncle, and after a disappointing racing career he was retired.

In May 1957, as a four-year-old, he was given to Hansen. Maurice Beatson is the most successful rider, having won the cup four times. Only four horses have won the cup twice – Big Red with Adrian Yorke, Gospel with Robert Steele, Windrider May Day with Harvey Wilson and HO with T Cruse.

 

Saba Sam Shield

Graeme Hansen donated the Saba Sam Shield in honour of his mighty little horse who captured the hearts of a nation in the 1960s, much the way Charisma did so many years later.

Hansen rode Saba Sam at the Tokyo Olympics and the partnership were also successful in Australia. Saba Sam also competed with Pat Pharazyn in England before coming home to Gisborne.

Hansen and Saba Sam were presented the gold cup by Queen Elizabeth for winning the main event at the Royal Horse of the Year Show in Auckland in 1963.

The Saba Sam Shield. Photo by Kerry Marshall/KAMPIC

The Saba Sam Shield. Photo by Kerry Marshall/KAMPIC

But that is just one highlight in a career that spans so many shows in around 12 years.

Saba Sam was bred by Bill Iorns in the Wairarapa – by Sabaean and out of Patter, a Nigger Minstrel mare owned by Iorns. His lineage traces back to the Blue Peter line.

His dam, who was 32 when he was born, died immediately after having him and Saba Sam was hand reared by Nancy Williams of Te Pari Stud in Masterton.

As a yearling he was bought by Sam Gudsell, Hansen’s uncle, and after a disappointing racing career he was retired.

In May 1957, as a four-year-old, he was given to Hansen.

And it didn’t take long for this combination to show they were a duo going places.

Hansen later said there were three main highlights – the gold cup, the Olympics and the 1963 Masterton Show.

It seems an odd addition to such a prestigious line up but in those days Masterton was one of the big shows on the circuit.

That year Saba Sam won champion hunter on Friday morning, the champion round the ring jump in the afternoon, champion hack on Saturday morning, after cleaning up all the way there, the grand prix after lunch and topped off the show with the puissance at 1.95m in the last class of the show.

The combination first represented New Zealand in 1959 at home, followed by 1961 in Australia, 1962 back in New Zealand, 1963 Australia, 1964 Tokyo, 1965 England and 1967 Australia. He was retired in 1968. In 1960 and 1968 there was no national team and in 1966 he had a year off.

He won champion hack and hunter of the year at the Horse of the Year show and the puissance three times in a row, but the grand title of Horse of the Year always eluded him.

Hansen first presented the Saba Sam Shield for the winner of the area pony jumping teams event in 1971 after deciding the competition would be a good way to get young riders prepared for tougher challenges ahead.

 

Lisa Cubitt, a proud winner of the Merrylegs Cup for Lady Rider of the Year. Photo by Libby Law Photography

Lisa Cubitt, a proud winner of the Merrylegs Cup for Lady Rider of the Year. Photo by Libby Law Photography

Merrylegs Cup

Merran Hain and Katie Laurie (nee McVean) are the most successful riders in the Lady Rider of the Year, who receive the Merrylegs Cup, having each won it four times on four different horses.

The cup was donated by EM Lowry and first presented in 1958.

 

House of Blackmore Cup

The cup, donated by Mr H Blackmore, was first presented for the winner of the six bar class at HOY, but that changed to the Speed Championship victor in 1991.

Megan Stacey aboard Shimmer Man and Nicole White aboard Cricklewood Ace have both won the speed crown twice, while Katie Laurie (nee McVean) has won it twice on tow different horses, as has Anna Stephen.

 

Nationwide Cup

Maurice Beatson donated this cup in honour of one of his star horses, Nationwide. The horse won the Olympic Cup back-to-back. Folklore has it that former HOY director Kevin Hansen was dropped three times by Nationwide at Taihape Show and came out of the ring offering to sell him to anyone nearby. Beatson took him up on the offer and went on to do very well with him.

The cup is presented to the showjumping rider with the most points at HOY. Vicki Wilson has won it seven times, four of those back-to-back. Beatson himself has claimed it four times.

Molly Buist-Brown with the Somerset Fair Cup for Pony of the Year. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

Molly Buist-Brown with the Somerset Fair Cup for Pony of the Year. Photo by Libby Law Photography.

Somerset Fair Cup

Archie Millen donated the Somerset Fair Cup for the Pony of the Year winner. First presented in 1959, it is the ultimate prize to chase for pony riders at HOY. Misty Morn is the most pony, having won it three consecutive years from 1983-1985 – twice with Daniel Webb and once with Fraser Webb. Several other ponies have carried two different riders to victory – Millbrook, Solitaire and Kizzy.

 

 

 

Olivia Robertson with the Big Red Cup for Young Rider of the Year. Photo by Sarah Alderman/KAMPIC

Olivia Robertson with the Big Red Cup for Young Rider of the Year. Photo by Sarah Alderman/KAMPICBig Red Trophy

 

 

Big Red is named after Joe Yorke’s fabulous showjumper of the same name. The horse won many a top prize, including the Olympic Cup, the Norwood Gold Cup, the Pilmer Plate and Rutherford Cup, among others. Yorke took the horse to the 1976 Montreal Olympics where it competed with a damaged splint bone – an injury that was not picked up until after the games.

It is presented to the Young Rider of the Year, but previously went to the Junior Rider of the Year.

 

Lowry Medallion

The Lowry Medallion, donated by Mr JN Lowry, is for the rider with the most points across HOY. The honour was first awarded as the Presidents Spurs Trophy by WR Duncan, but then as the Lowry Medallion from 1962.

Merran Hain has won the honour nine times, including six times on the trot from 1981-1986. Vicki Wilson has also been very successful, having won it five times including a hat-trick of medallions to her name from 2009 -2011.

 

Tom Gadsby Memorial Trophy

Tom Gadsby was living his dream as an eventer in the UK when his life was cut short after a fall during the cross country at an event in August 2013. His family donated the trophy in his memory, to be presented to the winner of the Premier Stakes at HOY.

Vicki Wilson and Showtym Cadet MVNZ won the inaugural trophy in 2014.

 

Ian Nimon Memorial Grand Prix

Ian Nimon’s involvement with equestrian was one that made a big difference across the board. He was a chairman of showjumping, and well respected former director of the Horse Society.

Nimon was a farmer and contractor from Havelock North whose passion was showjumping.

 

SHOW HUNTER

 

A St H Vallance Challenge Trophy

Tony Vallance always believed very strongly in the concept of show hunter, and in 1991 donated the A St H Vallance Trophy for the Open Show Hunter of the Year winner. Olympian and World Champion Vaughn Jefferis has won the title four times on three different horses, while more recently, Chloe Akers and Kiwi Motto have won it four times. Kiwi Motto has actually won it five times, as Chloe’s sister Lucy took the ride for her after a fall in 2010. Double O Eight has also won the trophy four times, but with three different riders.

 

DRESSAGE

 

Rigoletto Trophy

Presented by Mrs Pam and Mr GGH Gilmour in 1977 and awarded to the Grand Prix Freestyle winner.

At that time, Gordon Gilmour was the managing director of WD and HO Wills, who were a major of HOY.

Bill Noble – the only male to win the trophy – has stamped his mark on this one, having won it five times. His most recent victory was in 2014 with Airthrey Highlander, who is now being campaigned by his daughter Anya. Noble won it three times with Vincent St James and once with Icarus Allsorts.

Some of New Zealand’s greatest dressage horses feature on the trophy, including Tiny White’s Rigoletto for whom the trophy was named, Gaye Withers’ Kaihuna, Merran Hain’s Smiley John, Marcia Bayley’s Kentucky and Louisa Hill’s Olympic horses Gabana and Bates Antonello, among others.

 

The Auf Weidhersen Trophy

Julian Aaron presented this trophy as a tribute to the mare Auf Weidhersen who won both the HOY and national level two titles. It was first presented in 2014 and is for the Level Two Dressage Horse of the Year. Aaron and his wife Elizabeth, who moved to New Zealand from the UK, are avid supporters of dressage in New Zealand and still involved in projects with Dressage New Zealand.

 

Pam Weal Memorial Trophy

The Pam Weal Memorial Trophy is presented to the Dressage Young Rider of the Year. Weal, the mother of top New Zealand dressage rider Christine and eventer Judith. She was heavily involved in the national equestrian scene, including as a team manager of the New Zealand Pony Club Inter-Pacific team. She died in 2001. Sue Hobson and Marcia Bayley donated the trophy in her memory.

 

Judith Simpson Memorial

First presented in 2010, the Judith Simpson Memorial is given to the Grand Prix Horse of the Year. Simpson’s contribution to the sport of dressage was huge. She was the chef d’equip for the first dressage team to Australia, which won the inaugural Trans Tasman Trophy. Simpson also accompanied teams to World Equestrian Games and Olympics.

Many consider her to be the first ‘steward’ before stewarding was even formalised.

Vanessa Way and KH Arvan have twice won the memorial trophy.

 

Dressage NZ Advanced Plate

Louisa Hill and Kallista Field share the honour of most wins of the Dressage NZ Advanced Plate, which was donated by the federation discipline. Hill has won the plate – presented to the Advanced Dressage Horse of the Year – four times with her horses Gabana, Rockafella and Witzstein, while Field secured a hat-trick of wins with Waikiwi FE and earlier with JK Lots of Fun. Marcia Bailey and Rubicon also had three back-to-back wins in the mid 1990s. The plate was first presented in 1990.

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