Kathryn Loiselle riding Haupouri Drama NZPH to win in the Norwood Gold Cup. Photo Credit: Michelle Clarke

Kathryn Loiselle turned a ‘warm-up’ class into the biggest win of her career today when she steered Haupouri Drama NZPH to a win in the Norwood Gold Cup.

The historic trophy is considered the first of the big classes at HOY and one everyone wants to etch them name on.

“It’s just incredible,” said Kathryn. 

The plan was to us the class as a warm-up for the Silver Fern Stakes and Olympic Cup, but Drama had other ideas. “I worked her this morning but you couldn’t tell! She was really firing in the first round.”

Kathryn and Drama were one of just three clear rounds from the 27-strong opener, with the others coming from Sophie Scott (Palmerston North) aboard both Benrose Stellar and Waitangi Skynet. Coming back for the second round were seven four-faulters.

There were four clear rounds in the second, but only Kathryn notched a double clear.

Coming in for second on four faults was Sophie with Waitangi Skynet on four faults in 46.71 seconds, with Vicki Wilson (Hawke’s Bay) on Millionaire VWNZ in third on four faults in 49.2. Julie Davey (Hastings) filled fourth and fifth with LT Holst Freda and Just D with Sophie and Stellar sixth on eight faults.

“She is so special,” said Kathryn of the mare who has been with her since she was five years old. Her husband Alex rode Drama in her first half season as a five-year-old before Kathryn took over the ride.

“The moment I sat on her I just fell in love,” she said. 

Drama has always lived up to her name, being a little spooky and generally needs a warm-up class in an arena to settle in a little bit.

But not today. Kathryn had sought advice from friend and mentor Maurice Beatson in deciding what to start Drama in at the show. “He knows what he is talking about . . . he has done this a lot and won plenty along the way!”

Drama is now 11 but has only done one Horse of the Year Show previously. 

“This is such a special win,” said Kathryn. “You see everyone winning this and to have get my name on the trophy and be part of history is amazing.”

Life is busy for Kathryn who is mum to eight-month-old Ava. She rode until she was 34 weeks pregnant – “just hacking though” – and waiting all of two weeks post-partum.

“I was itching to get back on. I had sat on the sofa watching so much showjumping I just wanted to be back out riding.”

The 29-year-old is hoping her golden start is a sign of things to come. “I hope this will be the best weekend ever! Alex has always rated this horse and believe she will go all the way.”She and Alex are the best of mates and love to see each other do well. “It is so much fun doing this with him.”