Laurie Five Times a Lady
Laurie Five Times a Lady
Katie Laurie added a fifth Lady Rider of the Year crown to her cabinet today after a nail-biting jump-off at the Farmlands Horse of the Year Show in Hastings.
Riding her 2014 Olympic Cup winner Dunstan Springfield, the 22-week pregnant Laurie was every bit the cool-headed professional as they jumped a third clear round to take the title.
Thirty-five started the first round of the Ultra Mox sponsored class, with 26 combinations – those with eight faults or less – coming back for the second round, and 10 of those with a clean slate.
Rails fell pretty freely over the technical but free-flowing course, designed by Werner Deeg (GER).
That was whittled down to just four – with young gun Sam Morrison (Tauranga) aboard Frangipanne De Toxandria up against former Olympian and World Champs representative Laurie. Both were still all clear, with former two-time Lady Rider winner Lucy Akers (Longburn) aboard her 17-year-old former racehorse Tinapai and Laurie aboard her stallion Luego GNZ coming through with four faults apiece.
Akers had been unlucky to pick up four faults in the opening round after nudging the last fence, but went clear in the second with a super round.
The 31-year-old was out first in the jump-off and rode another brilliant round to stay on four faults, stopping the clock at 43.36 seconds.
Laurie and Luego carried four faults into the jump-off but a run of rails saw them finish on 16 faults.
The pressure was on 21-year-old Morrison aboard the showy chestnut horse Laurie took to California last year. By her own admission, hesitation near the end of the course saw them pick up four faults, coming in at 45.24.
Laurie just needed a steady clear to take the win. The 29-year-old rattled the last but left everything in place to come home in 54.65.
“It is such a relief to have a good round on him,” said Laurie, who had to have a little cat nap during the early part of the class thanks to her pregnancy. “We went for the steady clear as I knew we could never catch Tinapai. This win means so much, especially with him as he has had his ups and downs.”
Springfield – or Bart as most know him – may now start in Sunday’s Olympic Cup where Laurie will chase a record-equalling sixth title.
The win was also very special to Bart’s breeder Sarah Milne who was ringside to see the class – the first time she has seen him win at HOY.
This will be Laurie’s last show of the season as she prepares for the arrival of her second child.
Morrison was disappointed with herself, but rapt with her horse, while Akers said she wouldn’t have ridden the opening round any different.
“I know we did everything right on the day and that rail was just sheer bad luck as we touched it so lightly,” said akers. “I am thrilled with second.”
In the CIC3* eventing, Rio hopeful Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation have a substantial lead on the rest of the field after the dressage, sitting on 35.5 penalty points, with Andy Daines (Kumeu) and Spring Panorama in second on 48.3. The eventing continues tomorrow with the showjumping phase, followed by the cross country on Saturday.
Ultra Mox Lady Rider of the Year: Katie Laurie (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Springfield 1, Lucy Akers (Longburn) Tinapai 2, Sam Morrison (Tauranga) Frangipanne De Toxandria 3, Katie Laurie (Mystery Creek) Luego GNZ 4, Tegan Fitzsimon (Canterbury) Alacazam MH 5, Danielle Maurer (Auckland) Supernova NZPH 6.