Olivia’s Top Sporting Bloodlines

24 Feb

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Olivia’s Top Sporting Bloodlines

Olivia Robertson is living proof that good genes count for a lot.

The 21-year-old daughter of All Black Duncan Robertson and former eventer Jan Hunt is a bright light on the showjumping circuit. She’s one of the young guns that continue to impress.

Robertson is backing up her brilliant 2014-2015 season with some very solid performances in the current one . . . and she’s hoping HOY will be just as kind too.

After winning the Young Rider of the Year crown at HOY, she backed it up with a second place in the Country TV Horse Grand Prix Final giving her enough points to take the series aboard Ngahiwi Cisco. She also won the Excel Premier League Grand Final, finished fourth in that series. Aboard her imported mare DHS Ceniki, she was fifth in the Canterbury Equestrian Young Rider Grand Final and sixth in the series.

Olivia Robertson rides Nghiwi Cisco in the World Cup Qualifier, Fiber Fresh Taupo Christmas Classic 2015, National Equestrian Centre, Taupo, Saturday, December 19, 2015. Credit: KAMPIC / Sarah Alderman

Olivia Robertson rides Nghiwi Cisco in the World Cup Qualifier, Fiber Fresh Taupo Christmas Classic 2015, National Equestrian Centre, Taupo, Saturday, December 19, 2015. Credit: KAMPIC / Sarah Alderman

The 2015 Young Rider of the Year now has her sights on a consecutive title, and says a placing “would be nice” in the Olympic Cup.

Her hopes lie with her Gisborne-bred Ngahiwi Cisco and imported mare DHS Ceniki.

“Winning the Young Rider was pretty big . . . and also our first premier start at the South Islands too,” she says.

Funnily enough, Cisco was on the market at the end of the season but Robertson changed her mind.

“I’m so happy we didn’t sell him,” she says of the 12-year-old. “We had a bit of interest in him but I just decided it would be hard to replace him.”

Cisco did the Olympic Cup last year and had a couple of rails.

“He was just really tired after the Young Rider I think,” says Robertson, “but a good placing in that this time would be nice.”

Nine-year-old Ceniki will do the Lady Rider and Young Rider classes at HOY.

“She is in much better form this season. She can be a bit tricky . . . well, to be honest, neither of them are conventional.”

She will be spending some valuable time with her long-standing coach John Cottle before HOY.

Robertson also feels her winter months spent at De Dinkel Hoeve in Holland have been valuable to her progress.

“It’s really good for me. I love it over there. The people are great.”

Last winter she spent five months there, competing at some big shows with two 1.3m horses in her care.

Her confidence in jumping the big courses continue to grow.

“They don’t scare or stress me so much now. We’ve had some really good wins this season – especially in the young riders.”

Queenstown is home but she spends much of her time at the family’s Christchurch base.

“It’s crazy – we still have a farm, house, stables, a cross country course and probably the most scenic arena in the country in Queenstown but it is just too far to travel from there all the time.”

However, for much of this season she has been based at Otaki in the North Island as she chases the Ultra•Mox FEI World Cup New Zealand series.

“The World Cup is a lot tougher, but I am really happy with how we have been going.”

Showjumping wasn’t always her gig though.

“I came up through the Pony Club system and you do get swayed towards eventing in that. I got four or five horses to 1* but then sold them before I could progress,” she says. “Then showjumping took over and I enjoyed it a lot more.”

And she continues to do just that as she works her way carefully and quietly up the ladder.

 

 

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