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Elements test riders on day 1

EQUESTRIAN by Diana Dobson

It was a brilliant albeit soggy opening day for the equestrian at the Poverty Bay A&P Show but that didn’t get in the way of top-flight competition from some of New Zealand’s best combinations.

Showjumping, show hunter, showing and Tomorrow’s Stars were all run yesterday in what were sometimes testing conditions.

Chief steward Kaye Williams said the rain meant the going was near-perfect in the competition arenas.

“The quality of the fields is excellent and it is lovely to see the likes of Olympian Samantha McIntosh, Tegan Fitzsimon from the South Island and all our top riders here.

“We’ve also got Lisa Coupe and Colin and Toni McIntosh, who have all come home from offshore and are back at our Show because they’ve heard just how good it is.”

The top horse and pony showjumping classes were switched to one-round speed competitions to save the ground and limit the time everyone was out in the rain.

Riders were happy that Roger Laplanche was designing the courses in ring one as next week he is tasked with the same job but for the opening round of the FEI New Zealand World Cup Series in Hawke’s Bay.

Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) and her New Zealand 2020 World Cup final-winning mare LT Holst Andrea took out the open horse 1.4m class, with Simon Wilson (Waipukurau) and McMillans Ariados second and Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) and Central Park third.

Anna Wilson (Waipukurau) took out the main pony class of the day, the 1.15m-1.2m, aboard Redcliffs Bill edging local hope Lily Beaufoy and Jakaranda into second with Dylan Bibby (Ongaonga) filling third and fourth with My Funky Monkey and Daisy Patch.

Larina Dolman and Kiwi Lansing took the honours in the open horse 1.2m.

Kirsty Harnett and Ngahiwi Prince won the open horse 1.1m.

Wairoa’s Trudi Mitchell took the quinella in the open horse 1.15m — on Cadbury and Epic NZPH.

Jessica McCann and Galaxy Knight In won the open pony 1.05m and 1.1m, with other local riders featuring in lower classes.

In the Tomorrow’s Stars classes, Arabella Murphy and Corivale Black Magic had a brilliant day. They won four classes on their way to champion, with Zara Trafford and Pebbles reserve.

Today features mainly national showjumping series classes with the big ones tomorrow —the ESNZ/East Coast Wools Horse Grand Prix, which has attracted one of the biggest fields in years, and the Country TV Pony Grand Prix.

WET START: Jane Hunt and Rabbit clear a jump in the open horse 1.2-metre showjumping class on the opening day of equestrian at the Poverty Bay A&P Show. Picture by Paul Rickard