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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo provided by Natalie Solly – credit Julia Dagnall Equestrian Photography
International Flavour at HOY 2017
Horse of the Year is one of the most prestigious equestrian events in the southern hemisphere, and as such attracts notable names from all around the globe. 2017 will see international officials from Australia, Japan, Germany and the Philippines.
Dressage is one of the biggest disciplines showcased at the show, with the likes of Julie Brougham and John Thompson raising the section’s profile around the world with their international achievements. This year 4* FEI judge Jane Ventura flies in from Victoria, Australia, bringing with her recent experience from large shows in Tokyo, France, Italy and Spain. Incredibly passionate about dressage, Ventura has judged in Australia for more than 30 years and has begun to lend her time to educating future judges. The dressage section is also welcoming Vittorio Barba from the Philippines as part of their team of officials as well as Susie Hoevenaars as a judge.
In eventing again officials are hailing from all corners. A technical delegate and a steward – both very important roles on the officials team – are both flying in from Japan, and in several years will both be reprising their roles at the 2020 Olympic Games. Sukhdev Rathore will be visiting from India to take part in judging the eventing, though he often takes on other official roles in his work across India.
The showing discipline will also see judges flying in from the UK and from Australia. Though showing is big in New Zealand through frequent and popular A&P shows, it’s also a very popular discipline across the ditch as well as in the UK and parts of Europe. David Bartram and Chris Lawton have a long trip from the UK while Di and Harry Tunnicliffe will take part as the Australian judges.
Competitor wise, as always it’s unlikely that only Kiwis will be left to contest the impressive prizes on offer. Several top Australian show jumpers are proving interested at flying their horses over to take part, including recent Olympic candidates. Following Clarke Johnstone’s success at the Rio Olympics after his win in the 3* Eventing Horse of the Year title in 2016, there have been rumours that some Australian eventers are also keen to give the big title a crack. The popular mounted games section has also attracted interest from foreigners, teams coming from Australia and the United States to compete. While nothing is ever certain with horses, an international pool of riders always adds a bit of interest and creates a bit of mysterious competition amongst the riders.
International course designer Werner Deeg returns from Germany to build the big tracks jumped in the Premier Arena. His first trip to design at Horse of the Year was in 2016 and he came away pleased with the quality of the show, and of the horses and riders. Likewise, those who rode his courses enjoyed the challenge, with six days of exciting competition unfolding for the show. With previous experience at the European Championships and Spruce Meadows, Deeg boasts an impressive CV. Key to him is that the course reflects the horse’s natural movement, making his courses technical yet ground covering and jumped off a fairly forward stride.
Vittorio Barba – International Dressage Judge
Clarke Johnstone Tells us why he loves HOY
Olympian Clarke Johnstone tells us why he loves Horse of the Year and how it helped him prepare for Rio 2016.
For more videos or behind the scenes footage follow us on Facebook and Instagram! @Horseoftheyear
Julie Brougham has her eyes on some very big prizes this year.
She and her imported chestnut Vom Feinsten (owned by Brougham and husband David) will be back at HOY to defend their Dressage Horse of the Year title, but they’re also looking to the Rio Olympics.
It means a very busy year for them . . . all things going well.
She and Vom Feinsten created history at the 2015 show when they scored 76% for their musical freestyle – and despite some high-ranking competitions on both sides of the Tasman, they still hold it. They also set a New Zealand record for the Grand Prix Special.
Brougham is very excited about what the year holds for her.
“I am definitely defending at HOY,” she says. “It is such a special show – to win a title is special but to do so at HOY is the icing on the cake.”
HOY brings a whole new set of challenges to most horses – with a huge atmosphere, lots of people and many distractions, it is like nothing else in New Zealand.
It was the first time she had won the overall title, but lays claim to other crowns.
“The Dressage Horse of the Year title was a long time coming, so the victory was even sweeter,” she says.
Following HOY, Brougham went on to compete successfully in Australia at the Sydney CDI and more recently at the Australian Dressage Nationals where they were reserve champion in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDN (67.882%), third in the FEI Grand Prix CDI-W Freestyle (72.1%) and fifth in the FEI Grand Prix CDI-W (67.32%).
In late January she and Vom Feinsten head to Australia to the CDI at Boneo Park, followed by two New Zealand CDIs at the dressage nationals and HOY in an effort to gain the necessary two remaining scores required to make her eligible for selection for Rio.
“The timing is tight between these shows, particularly with the international travel involved, but we believe Vom Feinsten will cope with it. He is a strong horse and has coped well to date with all travel and some very hot Australian conditions so far.”
As well as Vom Feinsten, Brougham has Furst Fellini, who she imported from Germany in 2012 and has high hopes for.
“He is certainly one for the future,” she says of the horse who will compete at Level 6/7 at HOY.
Meanwhile, Brougham and Vom Feinsten have been working closely with trainer Andrea Raves in preparing for perhaps their biggest season ever.
It’s been confirmed . . . the 2016 Farmlands Horse of the Year Show will be held from Tuesday, March 1, through to Sunday, March 6.
HOY board chair Cynthia Bowers announced the new dates today, saying the show was likely to attract more international competition from across the Tasman.
“Our new dates are an opportunity to attract Australian competitors without clashing with their Easter Show,” says Ms Bowers. “HOY is the number one equestrian show in the Southern Hemisphere, and we see trans Tasman relationships as an area to develop, not just for competitors, but also sponsors, spectators and trade.”
It also worked in well with Equestrian Sports New Zealand’s endeavour to lengthen the competitive season.
ESNZ chief executive Vicki Glynn welcomed the news, saying there had been plenty of consultation with the many stakeholders who could be affected by the date change.
“We have consulted with our ESNZ disciplines – jumping, eventing, dressage and para-equestrian – and also with the RAS who run the showing classes at HOY. RAS were also consulted on behalf of many A and P Shows,” said Ms Glynn.
“Every equestrian aspires to compete at HOY and we look forward to it continuing to be a celebration of all things equestrian in 2016. ESNZ values the international competition with the Australians, and we hope more will cross the Tasman to be part of HOY at the earlier date.”
The board will be announcing the new event manager of HOY by late May.
The show will be hosted in Hawke’s Bay for the next 12 years.
“We are excited about the future and confident that the Bay will deliver an outstanding HOY in 2016,”said Ms Bowers.