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Fond memories of Show given boost

EQUESTRIAN.

Sarah West always thinks fondly of Gisborne’s A&P Show — it was where she and her lovely grey, Oaks Centurian, won their first FMG Young Rider class — and yesterday made for two.

West, an 18-year-old from Te Aroha, was one of just two riders to come through to jump-off over the Roger Laplanche-designed course.

She nudged the second-to-last and gave the wall a good bump at the end, but crossed the flags with a clean slate, laying down the challenge for Ally Carson (Putaruru) on Whiorau Ritchie.

Carson started strongly, slicing corners and taking risks but it came unstuck midway through and she opted to retire, giving West the win.

“I am very happy,” West said.

“It was a quality field out there and I knew Ally would be strong and fast, so I had to go clear. While you are riding against others, you are competing against yourself, too. It was a very twisty course — you have to ride off your corners.”

This is her third season with Chewy, as he is known at home, and their fifth Young Rider win. They are a consistent presence in the hotly contested national series for riders under 21. They are also regulars at Gisborne shows.

“We love coming to Gisborne,” she said.

“It is such a nice show and the people are great.”

West, who works part-time at Te Akau Racing stable, is trained by Penny Stevenson.

It was a day for national series at the show. Tasha Hart (Hastings) on Kiwi Windfall took the honours in the Dunstan Horsefeeds Amateur Rider, Leeshelle Small (Auckland) on Dolce NZPH won the Mainland Coachwork Junior Rider, Sally Clark (Dannevirke) on Victoria’s Secret won the Harrison Lane Pro-Amateur Rider and Logan Massie (Dannevirke) on Global PH Caretinjo won the Matthews Hanoverians Seven-year-old.

Anna Wilson (Waipukurau) and Redcliffs Bill backed up their win on Thursday with another, this time in the open pony 1.15m-1.2m.

The open 1.35m accumulator proved popular with Samantha McIntosh (Cambridge) and Takapoto Alaid de Chez Nous winning comfortably with their 49.23-second time, with Oliver Edgecombe (Waipukurau) on Henton Excalibur second in 57.74 and Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) on Windermere Cappuccino third in 58.53.

SAFELY OVER: Sarah West guides Oaks Centurian over a jump in the Young Rider Class. Picture by Paul Rickard