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Premier showing title to dynamic Dannevirke duo

EQUESTRIAN by Diana Dobson

Dannevirke rider Rebecca Aplin has a bit of a “thing” about the Poverty Bay A&P Show.

It’s a happy hunting ground for the 19-year-old and yesterday she bagged the most prestigious showing award at the annual Show — the Christine Beatson Memorial.

It was introduced last year to honour Beatson, who died in 2018.

A gifted rider, she was not only successful in multiple disciplines but was also generous with her time and knowledge.

Last year Aplin placed third when her 12-year-old gelding Sherlock decided not to put his best foot forward.

“There is never any middle ground with him,” she says.

Yesterday he was unbeatable, showing why in one season alone he won more than 20 supreme champion awards.

This is their fourth season together and Aplin says the horse has come back firing.

“He has been going really amazing the past few weeks,” she says. “He has come into this season better than he was at the end of the last.”

The weather saw the Christine Beatson Memorial class moved inside where combinations had to do a set work-out before four judges, with the conformation of the horse also taken into account.

Finishing second to Aplin was Andrea Baxter aboard Seattle, with local Henrike Puketapu and HSP Soe third, Amanda McPherson and Frieden Star fourth, Mary Copeman and VP J’Adore fifth and Sue Reynolds and Clear Choice sixth.

Puketapu, who was first and second in the memorial class in 2019, this year won champion rider of show, supreme paced and mannered of show and champion show riding horse with HSP Soe.

“This is a very special class to win because you are beating everyone, not just the champs,” says Aplin, who trains weekly with Rachel Bird during the season.

Aplin and Sherlock also won the supreme horse of the show award.

She is competing in the harness classes with Crimson Court today and tomorrow.

Aplin has only been doing this discipline for five months and is thoroughly enjoying it.

Meanwhile she’s looking positively to the season ahead with the mission of winning the one big title that has so far eluded them — the Saddle Hunter of the Year crown.

FITTING PERFORMANCE FOR A SPECIAL TROPHY: Dannevirke rider Rebecca Aplin and Sherlock delivered an outstanding performance to win the Christine Beatson Memorial in honour of a much-loved rider. The winners are pictured with Beatson’s mother Shirley Hyland (left) and judges Eva Best, Megan Hawkins, Tryphena Carter and Jo Wills. Picture by Ashleigh Sheldrake