Sweet Victory for Dolley and Chocolate
Sweet Victory for Dolley
Lucarne Dolley had to pinch herself to make sure her victory in the Young Dressage Rider of the Year was real.
Hours after winning the crown the 17-year-old from Kumeu was still coming to terms with it.
“It is just so cool,” she said. “Especially considering I haven’t even had her for a year yet.”
She’s talking about 11-year-old Matilda – or Devil’s Chocolate as she is known in the competition arena.
“She is a typical mare and can have her moments – lots of people know that, but it so cool when we get it together. I am so pleased with my marks from HOY – I didn’t think I would get as high as I did. We have had a score over 70% at a regional show, but to have international judges give me over 70% is amazing. It reinforces that I am doing OK and we are on the right track.”
That includes her trainer Vanessa Way, with whom she based herself for a month before HOY to prepare for the big show.
“It was so cool and I learnt so much.”
Way had a hand in both the champion and reserve young rider – Molly Lumb and KH Arvan were reserve.
Way was chuffed.
“Both girls are very special to me and I knew it would be close battle,” said Way.
It was at the 2015 HOY while competing on Mzungu that Dolley realised it was time to start looking for another horse.
“I realised he wasn’t going to go for too much longer so thought git would be a good idea to get another and have two going at the same time,” said Dolley.
However, the best laid plans don’t always go smoothly, and 18-year-old Mzungu, who she was reserve in the young rider title last year, ended up retiring in October.
“That was great to be reserve, and is the closest I had ever been to winning a title.”
She had previously competed on ponies but, by her own admission, was generally mid field.
Dolley switched her education to correspondence last year so she could focus on her riding.
“I want to do horses and this is really workable around them.”
Young Dressage Rider of the Year: Lucarne Dolley (Kumeu) Devil’s Chocolate 1, Molly Lumb (Taranaki) KH Arvan 2, Caitlin Benzie (Pukekohe) Rosari Royal Gem 3, Louisa Ayres (Paraparaumu) Playmate 4, Devon Raos (Whitford) Busuto 5, Una Cahill (Parnell) Dream of Angels 6.