Golden Day for Tom and Popeye
Wednesday brought the first of the major show jumping titles as well as another picture perfect day of Hawke’s Bay sunshine.
The FMG Norwood Gold Cup was hard fought this afternoon with the honours eventually going to Tom Tarver-Priebe and Popeye. A tricky jump off was set and Tom was third out to post the first clear, and none could catch him. Australian young rider Brooke Langbecker came the closest on Quintago with a slow and steady clear round for second place, while last year’s victors William Willis and Dollar Roll MS were relegated to third with a brick falling off the wall in the jump off.
Earlier in the day the amateur riders had their time in the Premier Jumping Arena with the Wade Equine Amateur Rider of the Year final. 30 combinations had qualified the previous day and a beautiful course was set at a maximum of 1.20m by German course designer Werner Deeg. The course accentuated the flowing but technical track and of the 30, five horses and riders jumped clear and into the jump off.
She was the trailblazer in the first round and she had to do it all again in the jump off, but the pressure clearly didn’t faze South Islander Kate Cavanagh in the slightest. The Geraldine based full time rider rode Wallflower to the win in the final to take away the Wade Equine Amateur Rider of the Year ahead of second placed Anna Stephen and Lollipop SP.
Cambridge rider Rachel Malcolm piloted Monte Carlo MVNZ to a stunning win in the AHD Ltd Six Year Old Horse of the Year on Wednesday morning, coming in a full four seconds faster than runner up Samantha Peters on Cadillac NZPH. It was an impressive 11 horse jump off from 41 original starters and Malcolm was understandably thrilled with the victory on the horse she rides for the Tauranga stud Mount View Sport Horses.
Over in the Premier Dressage Arena, Vanessa Way had her second triumph of the show with NSC Pronto taking away the competitive Level 5 Title. They hit the 70% mark and are looking like a promising combination for the future. In the Level 4 Title Rebecca Rowlands was victorious with her Salutation gelding Solo.
The week continues with the Ultra Mox Lady Rider of the Year on Thursday as well as the Cape Kidnapper’s Hall of Fame Cocktail Party in the evening. Later, the Hastings Heart of Hawke’s Bay Friday Night Extravaganza is sure to draw the crowds with an Australia versus New Zealand senior test match as part of the Horseware Silver Fern Stakes. The weekend looms with the big titles up for grabs including the Farmlands Pony of the Year and Premier Stakes on Saturday, and the Olympic Cup, Land Rover 3 Star Eventing and GJ Gardner Homes Grand Prix Freestyle on Sunday.
Sun Shines on Day One
The Hawke’s Bay might have had a bit of rain on Monday night but Tuesday morning dawned bright and sunny for the first day of the 2018 Land Rover Horse of the Year.
The South Island riders proved that they weren’t at the show to make up numbers, with Cantabrian Harry Feast taking out the IRT Horse 1.40m class aboard Double J Bouncer. Sixty-three combinations lined up for the first class in the Premier Jumping Arena, used by many riders as a warm up for the bigger and more prestigious jumping to come.
Eight horses and riders came back for the jump off after jumping clear in the first round with Feast best of the bunch with a second clear round in 50.88 seconds. Australian Clint Beresford was the only other clear in the jump off but he and horse Emmaville Jitterbug weren’t quite fast enough to catch Feast. Young rider Briar Burnett-Grant proved she’s won to watch this year with the excitable Fiber Fresh Veroana coming home as the fastest four-faulter in the jump off. She was followed by Northland’s Amanda Wilson of Keeping Up With the Kaimanawas fame riding Showtym Cassanova in fourth place as best of the eight faulters.
The pony area teams event, the Saba Sam Shield, was dominated by the Canterbury team made up of Grace Manera, Rosa Buist-Brown and Holly Crean. Named after the iconic mount of Graeme Hansen, the Saba Sam Shield was donated in 1971 when Hansen decided an incentive was needed to prepare young riders for teams events ahead of them. Saba Sam himself was repurposed as a show jumper after a disappointing racing career and together with Hansen represented New Zealand at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. The Otago-Southland team kept up the South Island domination this year by coming a close second with their team of Ella Wylie, Noah Coutts, Jordan van Miltenburg and Pippa Collins.
The first class in the Premier Dressage Arena, the Donut Express Level 5 5C, was taken out by Vanessa Way and NSC Pronto with a score of 69.9%.
With good weather expected for the remainder of the week there will be plenty of excitement leading into the weekend. Hospitality ticket sales have been tracking well with the expectation of selling out of several of the speciality events including the Friday night Fish ‘n’ Chips evening and the Cross Country Brunch on Saturday.
Eventing – Raising The Bar
Horse of the Year is used to international visitors, but the 2018 line up is looking particularly diverse. The week-long event in March will play host to a number of global equestrian superstars who will further define the show as a truly international event.
The eventing discipline is looking especially star-studded, with both the CIC2* and CIC3* classes important for rider ratings at the international level. There are few opportunities in New Zealand to gain these points, with HOY providing an excellent chance for riders to make a mark on the charts of the international equestrian federation.
No stranger to eventing at the highest levels, 3*/4* judge Christian Landolt is looking forward to his first time at Horse of the Year, though he already has his own connection to the Hawke’s Bay. In addition to his judging career Landolt also rides himself, and his eventing mount is none other than Toblerone NZPH, bred and born at Ocean Beach stud NZ Performance Horses. Landolt is a regular feature judging at the world’s most prestigious events, including Badminton and Burghley Horse Trials, and was a member of the ground jury at the recent Adelaide 4* where Kiwi Clarke Johnstone triumphed. His experience at the absolute upper levels of the sport will be invaluable to competitors and spectators alike at HOY where the Swiss native will be a judge and member of the ground jury.
Landolt will be joined on the ground jury by Annabel Scrimgeour who also holds the highest qualifications as a 3*/4* judge. Scrimgeour flies in from the UK where she works closely with Kiwi rider Andrew Nicholson and many others at the top of their game. South Islander Helen Christie will head the ground jury as one of few New Zealanders with the top qualifications. Christie has been involved with HOY for years, fitting her home country event into a calendar packed with international expectations, including officiating at the World Equestrian Games.
Finally, eventing brings their superstar line up to a close with technical delegate (TD) Christian Persson. An Olympian in his own right, Swedish visitor Persson is also headed to his very first HOY and couldn’t be more pleased with the opportunity. A previous member of Sweden’s eventing team at the 1984 Olympics, Persson has been involved with eventing for decades and has been the TD at a number of major international events.
HOY organisers are looking forward to raising the bar on the eventing discipline.
“The next generation of Kiwi eventers are ready to break into the international circuit, so it’s important to get them in front of international judges, and for them to ride in an international atmosphere,” eventing director Erika Herries says. With New Zealand history steeped in eventing success at an Olympic level, it’s a discipline that deserves to be front and centre of the country’s biggest horse show.
Join us at Horse of the Year, New Zealand’s premier equestrian event, for an afternoon of indulgent desserts and New York style tea with internationally acclaimed dessert chef Adriano Zumbo.
Australian’s most celebrated patissier and star of Zumbo’s Just Desserts, Adriano Zumbo is looking forward to his first visit to the Horse of the Year show in Hastings. As part of an incredible sponsor activation, Zumbo will be designing a dessert degustation accompanied by Harney and Sons Fine Teas on Saturday March 11th. The afternoon will certainly be one to remember, with a dessert menu designed by Zumbo showcasing his unique flavour combinations, exciting textures and signature bold colours and created by Orton Tailored Cuisine.
Zumbo began a pastry empire back in 2007 with his Balmain shop front, and now has nine stores in Australia. Famous for his macarons, Zumbo has three books to his name as well as numerous appearances on television, including an appearance on MasterChef which introduced the croquembouche to an international audience and made macarons a household name.
HOY event director Dave Mee says to have someone of Zumbo’s standing appear at the show alongside the pool of talented riders is fantastic. “HOY is more than just a horse show, and we are always looking at how we can enhance the show, whether it’s the arena, stables or attractions to give our riders and spectators a better experience.” Mee says.
The show adds Zumbo to a list of new initiatives offering spectators plenty of things to see and do while at the show including new bar areas, wine tasting and an al fresco living space allows HOY to showcase the best in food, wine and lifestyle as well as equestrian.
The association with Zumbo wouldn’t have happened without HOY’s portfolio of fantastic sponsors, many of who are keen to provide additional attractions for the show and develop it for Hawke’s Bay locals. The dessert degustation will take place in the VIP lounge at HOY at 4.30pm Saturday 11 March, with limited tickets available. To purchase tickets visit www.hoy.kiwi.
What: Harney & Sons Dessert Degustation with Adriano Zumbo presented by Orton Tailored Cuisine.
When: Saturday 11th March 4:30pm – 6:00pm,
Where: VIP Lounge, Horse of the Year, Hawke’s Bay A & P Showgrounds
- Access to VIP Lounge
- 5 course canape dessert degustation created by Adriano Zumbo and prepared by Orton Tailored Cuisine.
- All-inclusive beverage package including 1 glass of champagne and Harney & Sons Tea and coffee
- VIP parking
- $79 per person (does not include GA entry to the show) or $105 per person for both GA ticket to showgrounds and Harney & Sons Dessert Degustation ticket.
The 2017 Horse of the Year show looks set to be one of the most competitive yet, with entries up on the 2016 event.
Olympians headline the most prestigious titles of the show, the show jumping Olympic Cup, 3* Eventing, and the Dressage Grand Prix, which have grown significantly from 2016, and will make for exciting and competitive viewing.
The growth in numbers has also filtered down to the other classes, and shows the popularity of the event and the high regard in which it is held in by riders throughout the country.
Dressage entries in general have increased substantially for the 2017 show and for the first time ever Horse of the Year has had to consider capping some classes to keep numbers within capability. Record numbers for this section indicate a strong growth for the discipline which may have been spurred on by the success of Kiwi rider Julie Brougham, who scored the highest ever percentage by a New Zealand combination at the recent Rio Olympics. Defending his 2016 win will be John Thompson riding JHT Antonello, though the two previous winners will have some stiff competition. Tthe ever professional Vanessa Way will also be on her A game with NRM Arawn.
The crown jewel of Horse of the Year, the Olympic Cup, will definitely be maintaining its reputation as the biggest prize in New Zealand show jumping. Currently holding 25 entries, the order for the class always changes slightly between entries closing and the date of the event, but even without those changes it will be a class act. There’s a definite representation of both experienced combinations and young riders stepping up however show jumping is all about leaving the rails up in the quickest time so it would be near impossible to predict a winner. World Cup round winners from the season will be present, including young talent Samantha Morrison and Biarritz, Natasha Brooks and Kapattack, and Lucy Fell on Tinapai. Young Lily Tootill in her first season at this level will be starting the class on Ulysses NZPH, with whom she won the Dannevirke World Cup round in January. And naturally, Katie Laurie will be as competitive as always with two rides, the beautiful Dunstan On The Point Eve and the winner of the Waitemata World Cup round, Dunstan Casebrooke Lomond.
Olympian Maurice Beatson will also be contesting on both Schimmel Warrior and Mandalay Cove, as will the reigning Olympic Cup champion Helen McNaught on Carnutelabryere. There are plenty of less experienced but none the less noteworthy combinations seeking the grand prize, too: Daniel Blundell will start Lavello after recent success at Grand Prix level, and the impressive and ever consistent 17 year old Emily Hayward-Morgan will ride AP Ninja. Also planning on lining up is Rio eventer Clarke Johnstone with show jumping mount Quainton Labyrinth.
Though he may be giving Rio mount Balmoral Sensation a quiet year, Clarke is planning on an anything but quiet Horse of the Year show. In 2016 he won the 3* Eventing Horse of the Year title on Balmoral Sensation before the two flew to the United Kingdom to further prepare for their Olympic debut. Clarke felt that the electric atmosphere, busy showgrounds and public pressure at HOY 2016 played a big part in their Olympic build up and will be returning to defend his title, this time riding Wolf Whistle II.
The eventing will be an exciting event with a massive 24 entries in the big 3* class, including current Super League series leader Donna Edwards-Smith riding DSE Mr Hokey Pokey. Eager to give her a run for her money will be Virginia Thompson and Star Nouveau, sitting in second on the series leader board after a super win in the 3* at Puhunui Three Day in December. Young rider Jackson Bovill has had some impressive placings with Visionnaire this season and he will be hoping for a good ride at HOY. Also entered is Samantha Felton who will be busy with three horses in the 3*, one in the 2* and another two entered in show jumping classes throughout the week.
With just four short weeks to go, anticipation is certainly building and entries have definitely reflected rider enthusiasm for the show. The 2017 Horse of the Year is set to be a very exciting event indeed – tickets can be purchased here: https://www.iticket.co.nz/events/2017/mar/horse-of-the-year-2017
HOY First Timers
For many riders, Horse of the Year has become a real ‘bucket list’ item that sits high on a list of goals that equestrians dream of achieving. Whether it’s the speedy show jumpers or the stylish show hunters, the brave eventers or the beautiful dressage riders – everyone wants a chance to compete at the show that is the epitome of equestrian in New Zealand.
Fifteen year old Ellen Davis has some particularly special memories from Horse of the Year. While 2016 was her first year competing, she visited the show as a spectator in 2013 and in 2015. During the 2015 HOY she met a grey pony named Tallyho Mozart who would go on to become her first show jumping pony. Together with Mozart, Davis found herself ready to compete at the big show in 2016 and recalls how nervous she felt beforehand.
“I just love the vibe of HOY and how all the disciplines come together for the week. I also loved working as a photographer there and working alongside some amazing photographers like Libby Law and Kelly Wilson,” Davis describes. Apart from competing, the highlight of 2016 for her was watching a friend compete in the speed slalom event during the Friday Night Extravaganza, and she’s looking forward to her second year competing at the show. “Riding in the Premier Arena is still a goal of mine that I can’t wait to achieve!”
For Natalie Solly, HOY is quickly becoming a family affair. Her two young daughters (pictured) have qualified for their first Horse of the Year in the showing discipline, with Amelia on her pony Waimea First Edition, and Imogen on Coroview Kingston. Solly describes her girls’ excitement at being able to compete at their first HOY – especially considering they have only been back in New Zealand for three years and acquiring their ponies only recently. The girls learned to ride while living in Asia, interacting with ponies in India and Thailand without ever being able to own them. Having their very own ponies was a driving force for the family’s decision to come home to New Zealand, and their mum is very proud that they’ve qualified for HOY after such a short lead up.
“They’re excited, a little bit nervous too! Although maybe that’s more me,” Solly admits – she holds the very serious position of leading her daughters and their ponies in the Lead Rein and Welsh showing sections. It’s a big commitment from the family; they will be travelling all the way from Kerikeri to compete and recently had their trial run at the big showing Nationals down in Fielding.
There’s always been more to the show for equestrians than just competing, of course. Hannah Comrie knows first-hand the amount of work it takes to get competition ready for HOY: for the past three years she’s attended not as a rider nor as a spectator, but as the groom of top dressage competitor Wendi Williamson. In 2016, Comrie felt that she wanted to experience the show as a competitor as well and was able to take her show jumper Peti Peti Spitfire to compete in their first 1.20m. She bounced back and forth from her busy show jumping arenas to where Williamson competed her horses in the dressage. This year, Comrie is planning to stick to her dressage duties with Williamson aiming to compete for the Dressage Horse of the Year title.
If you have a story about your first time at HOY, get in touch by emailing email@example.com
Photo provided by Natalie Solly – credit Julia Dagnall Equestrian Photography
Top Competitor Returns to HOY
Logan Massie has had quite a year.
The 21-year-old from Dannevirke is not long back from 21 months with top Irish showjumper Cian O’Connor.
He left just after the 2014 Horse of the Year Show, and took with him his star horse, the Hawke’s Bay bred Kiwi Ludo, which he co-owned with Annette Scott.
Massie has come home older and wiser, having been knee deep in the world of top-class showjumping. It was while he was with O’Connor – who won an individual bronze medal at the London Olympics – that a jump steward ran in front of the rider at the European Championships in Germany, and he then had the next fence down. It meant Ireland missed out on qualifying for the Rio Olympics.
Ireland lost two protests but the case was then heard before the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The hearing was held mid December, and a decision is expected in January some time. If successful, Massie says he will be on the first plane to Rio to help his friend and mentor.
But for now, he is happy to be back in New Zealand and putting together a strong team of horses.
He’s back based on his parents’ farm at Dannevirke. He has just one competitive horse at the moment – Mr Marmite (owned by Jock MacLennan) who he is confident will be lining up at Grand Prix level at the coming 2016 Farmlands Horse of the Year Show, and possibly in the Olympic Cup.
It is a show that Massie has done extremely well at – winning the Young Rider title two consecutive years on Kiwi Ludo and taking the hat-trick the third year aboard another horse. That was the year Ludo was second.
It was tough leaving behind the chestnut who he describes as the “building block” of his riding career, who is now in the process of being sold.
“He did a really good job for me,” says Massie.
While offshore he competed on him in France, Germany and Holland, with some solid results in world ranking classes.
Massie has also learnt a lot working for O’Connor while they travelled Europe and to the United States to some of the biggest shows in the world.
“It took my knowledge to the next level, particularly when it comes to the management of top horses.”
He’s putting that to good use too as he travels the country looking for new horses.
“It’s about finding the right one. I have done a lot of looking for new horses since I got home. I am looking for young horses with the potential to go international – and I need a bigger more powerful horse to suit my style of riding.”
Massie says his plan was always to come home and while he may do stints back to Europe or the US, he won’t be living there long term.
“It’s pretty cool to be back home.”
By Diana Dobson