By Devon van Til
The South Island Show Jumping and Show Hunter Championships became a show to remember for the Adams sisters after a clean sweep on Sunday, which also happened to be the Birthday of youngest sister Olivia. The champs, which rotate annually around the South Island areas, were hosted by Ashburton over the weekend 11-12 November.
The Country TV Pony Grand Prix provided a fantastic competition for both riders and spectators. The course set by Lex Peddie was challenging and at maximum height. There were four clear first rounds, with all riders coming back for the second round.
The last of the four faulters, Grace Manera and Rednalhgih Cowan applied the pressure to the following riders with a clear second round in a tidy time. Next out Rosa Buist-Brown and Junior Disco wanted to set a slick time, but paid for it with a rail.
Caitlin Adams followed, but played it safe, opting to guide her pony Sushi around clear and in generous time. This tactic paid off, with the following riders taking rails, to award Adams the win.
The sisters had even more reason to celebrate after the birthday girl Olivia went on the win both the Canterbury Saddlery Pony Mini Prix and the Pony 1.10m Championship on Mr Black Magic and Sweet Cappuccino respectively.
It was the first Bayleys Real Estate Premier League for the South Island season and three contenders stepped up to the challenge. Harry Feast and Double J Bouncer had a stand out performance being the only double clear, finishing well ahead of second and third place getters Kimberleigh McKabe and Chris Harris.
Feast can only hope his full brother Double J Barman is starting to follow in the same foot steps as he won the Mitavite 6 Year Old South Island title.
Many South Island titles were up for grabs over the weekend, which included special events in the form of pony and horse speed championships. Run under Table C rules, a rail added four seconds to the competitor’s time.
However in the pony class they proved clear jumping was essential to keep their times down, with the top three achieving clear rounds. The fastest of them all was Olivia Harkerss, who has taken over the ride on her brother’s pony Cocamo.
When it comes to speed, you could put a fairly safe bet on Steffi Whittaker, coming from a harness racing family. She lay down the benchmark on her first horse Ngahiwi Cruise finishing in 61.41 seconds. From then on everyone was trying hard, but couldn’t quite do enough. Whittaker proved it wasn’t a fluke, when she rode her second horse Tribute OL to better her own time by one second, nabbing the Quinella.
The second leg of the FEI World Jumping Challenge in the South Island saw a big change up in the prize getters. Things didn’t go to plan for last round’s winner Whittaker, only managing fourth place this time around. Local Jaimee Bird aboard Double J Wilma could do one better than Whittaker this time, finishing in third. The youngest in the class, Olivia Harkerss could be pleased with her efforts stepping up to second place. The only double clear of the competition came from Lauren Buckley and Icey storm to round out the shake up in the standings.
The Ashburton area made a huge effort to put on a wonderful show, even though they were missing two of their long serving legends. A minutes silence was held for the passing of Adreinne Cromie and more recently Ian Bell. Both had given so much to the sport in this area and the wider South Island. It was only appropriate that their contribution was mentioned and life celebrated at the South Island Championships.
Ashburton South Island Champs
Bayleys Real Estate Premier League: Harry Feast (West Melton) Double J Bouncer 1, Kimberleigh McKabe (Invercargill) Kace 2, Chris Harris (West Melton) Glenbrooke Archie Bunker 3.
Cavalleria Toscana Horse Mini Prix: Lucinda Askin (Ashburton) Portofino 1, Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) Double J Monarch 2, Steffi Whittaker (Springston) Eros K 3, Amanda Roy (Gore) Rumors NZPH 4, Nicole White (Invercargill) LC Samson 5, Kimberley Bird (Ashburton) Cera Cassina 6.
Country TV Pony Grand Prix: Caitlin Adams (West Melton) Sushi 1, Rosa Buist-Brown (Burnham) Junior Disco 2, Grace Manera (West Melton) Rednalhgih Cowan 3 Ella Wylie (Invercargill) MF Spot Me 4, Gretchen Anderson (West Coast) Tallyho Cleopatra 5, Grace Manera (West Melton) Tallyho Scoundrel 6.
Canterbury Saddlery Pony Mini Prix: Olivia Adams (West Melton) Mr Black Magic 1, Polly Harper (Oamaru) Jubilee Showman 2, Kirk Magner (West Coast) Awatuna Louis Vivant 3, Pippa Collins (Palmerston) Waiotahi Belle 4, Sophie Geddes (Tai Tapu) Te Ngaio Raggamuffin 5, Brianna Bailey (North Canterbury) KFL Zanzibar 6.
FMG Young Rider: Lucinda Askin (Ashburton) Portofino 1, Kimberley Bird (Ashburton) Cera Cassina 2, Grace Percey (Glenorchy) Kiwi Spirit 3, Makenzie Causer (Christchurch) Elleway GNZ 4, Steffi Whittaker (Springston) Eros K 5, Jaimee Bird (Ashburton) Double J Wilma 6.
Dunstan Horsefeeds & Equifibre Pro Am: Louise Marriot (Rangiora) Concur 1, Gus Taylor (Ohoka) Oak As 2, Abby Hore (Millers Flat) Beaumont Geldolf 3, Mary Wakeman (Tuahiwi) MJ Lubeck 4, Arabella Jarman (Ohoka) Pukatea Kokomo 5, Devon van Til (Woodend Beach) Winterberg 6.
Dunstan Horsefeeds & Equifibre Junior Rider: Grace Manera (West Melton) Vittoria 1, Molly Buist-Brown (Burnham) Prestige 2, Tayler Nalder (Cust) Icebreaker ll 3, Steffi Whittaker (Springston) Tribute OL 4, Olivia Harkerss (Leeston) Astek Reformer 5, Sophie Townsend (West Melton) Kingslea Kiwi 6.
Dunstan Horsefeeds & Equifibre Junior Rider Equitation: Tayler Nalder (Cust) Icebreaker ll 1, Olivia Harkerss (Leeston) Lacona Ammoe 2, Olivia Harkerss (Leeston) Astek Reformer 3, Grace Manera (West Melton) Vittoria 4, Rohan Tennekoon (West Melton) Elysium GNZ 5, Molly Buist-Brown (Burnham) Prestige 6.
Caledonian Holdings Amateur Rider: Kate Perry (Christchurch) Casiraghi 1, Lana McKay (Balfour) Silk Road 2, Carissa McGregor (West Melton) Blytheburn Coruba 3, Anna Douglass (Timaru) Young Pretender 4, Harriet Gardiner (Timaru) Evenstar 5, Jessica Sonne (Rolleston) Summer Haze 6.
Purpine Shavings 7 year old: Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) Windermere Cappuccino 1, Georgina Dormer (Christchurch) Bravados NZPH 2, Harry Feast (West Melton) Bonjour SPH 3.
Mitavite 6 year old: Harry Feast (West Melton) Double J Barman 1, Georgina Dormer (Christchurch) Casanova NZPH 2, Molly Buist-Brown (Burnham) Vali 3, Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) Cappuccino NZPH 4, Annabel Francis (Darfield) Catapult Xtreme 5, Chris Harris (West Melton) Casebrook Commissioner 6.
East Coast Performance Horses 5 year old: Katie Meredith (Ohoka) The Prosecutor GNZ 1, Courtney Townsend (West Melton) Adele 2, Kirsten Beaven (West Melton) Dolly NZPH 3, Emma Power (Christchurch) Houdini GNZ 4, Harry Feast (West Melton) Double J Barista 5, Hayley Curd (Ashburton) Eastcoast Annie 6.
FEI World Jumping Challenge South Island Round 2: Lauren Buckley (Queenstown) Icey Storm 1, Olivia Harkerss (Leeston) Lacona Ammoe 2, Jaimee Bird (Ashburton) Double J Wilma 3, Steffi Whittaker (Springston) Ngahiwi Cruise 4, Nicole White (Invercargill) Lil LeRoux 5, Louise Marriot (Rangiora) Concur 6.
FEI World Jumping Challenge South Island Round 2 Best Presented: Steffi Whittaker (Springston) Ngahiwi Cruise
SI Speed Pony Championship: Olivia Harkerss (Leeston) Cocamo 1, Jordan van Miltenburg (Southland) Harrison James 2, Gretchen Anderson (West Coast) Tallyho Cleopatra 3, Rosa Buist-Brown (Burnham) Junior Disco 4, Ella Wylie (Invercargill) MF Spot Me 5, Makenzie Causer (Christchurch) She’s a Cracker 6.
SI Speed Horse Championship: Steffi Whittaker (Springston) Tribute OL 1, Steffi Whittaker (Springston) Ngahiwi Cruise 2, Nicole White (Invercargill) Lil LeRoux 3, Kate Beattie (Dunedin) Smartymarty 4, Gus Taylor (Ohoka) Oak As 5, Grace O’Sullivan (Sefton) Blastov 6.