Tom Tarver-Priebe Triumphs

16 Mar

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Tom Tarver-Priebe and the wonderful Equifibre Popeye triumphed this evening in the Bucas Silver Fern Stakes at the Land Rover Horse of the Year show in front of a big crowd who cheered him all the way.

The jump-off was action-packed, and the pressure went on with every clear round, each faster than the one before. Tom was last to go and he cut all the corners, galloped where he could and raced down to the last. When he cleared that, the crowd went wild and so did Tom, waving his helmet to the appreciative audience.

“I tried to stay calm, and not let it get to me,” he said afterwards. “I do get a bit nervous but I still had to go and do the job.”

As to his nine-year-old horse, Tom described him as a “good guy” and “special.” The pair has had some good results recently, including this time last year winning the Norwood Gold Cup.

“I planned my season around this show. I didn’t jump much earlier on as I wanted to peak now.” Tom, from Kawerau, plans on taking Popeye to Australia at the end of April but before that, he has the Horse of the Year class on Sunday to compete in and he rates his chances.

“It’s anyone’s class but there are realistically about ten horses that could win it. Yes, Popeye is in that 10.”

The crowd also appreciated the talent shown by 16-year-old Annabel Francis from Taupo on Carado GHP. The pair jumped clear, cut as many corners as they could, but they were just not quite fast enough. She was however just a fraction faster than Cantabrian Tegan Fitzsimon on Windermere Cappuccino, who has been winning everything in his path this season, but today they had to settle for third place.

Cambridge’s Nick Brooks and Versace C were fourth, having incurred one time fault in the first round.

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