Nicola Hammond made the Showjumping Waikato Grand Prix Show at Mystery Creek one to remember, taking out both the Equissage Horse Grand Prix and FMG Young Rider class.
The 21-year-old Waikato University student and her 12-year-old Dutch import Carlo I were one of five combinations to come back for the second round of the Grand Prix, which incorporated the Cambridge Cup. Laura Hilhorst (Hamilton) and LC Underberg were the only combination to have a clear slate, with Logan Massie (Dannevirke) aboard Intellect carrying a single time penalty and Nicola one of three on four faults.
However, going clear in the second in a speedy time saw her take the class, with Laura second on four penalties and Logan third on five. It is Nicola and Carlo’s first Grand Prix victory. “We’ve been doing Grand Prix for a couple of seasons and have had a few minor placings with our best a third at the end of last season at the series finals, so I just couldn’t be happier,” she said.
The combination had already done two Grand Prix and the opening World Cup round this season. “We were clear up to fence 10 in the World Cup and then he got tired and we had the last few rails down. The course was massive, so coming into this after the World Cup the height looked nice. He had tried his guts out in the World Cup and this class was a lot more manageable. It was not too technical but there was enough to do out there.”
Trainer Jeff McVean told her to keep her turns tight and economic and make sure he didn’t get away on her. “I really wasn’t expecting the clear,” she said. “We didn’t come into the class with any expectations, but just wanting to focus. It is really exciting – we have come close quite a few times and to win both the Grand Prix and the Young Rider is great.”
Carlo has a tendency to be fast and strong, so for Nicola it is about managing that around the course. “The indoor is not so big so he doesn’t have as much of a chance to do that.”
This season she is aiming for consistency. “He has showed some good form in the World Cup last season but both of us were a bit green, so this season we want consistency and experience.”
Carlo was imported by the McVean family as a three-year-old and broken and ridden by Katie until Nicola bought the horse three years ago. In their first season together Carlo and Nicola made the ESNZ Talent ID Squad but a bad bout of mud fever and patchy second season saw them lose their place.
Nicola is a Sir Edmund Hillary Scholar who has just finished her second year of study of a Bachelor of Social Science (majoring in Psychology). As well as studying, Nicola is a full time coach at St Peter’s Equestrian Academy. She has also ridden numerous times for Singapore – where she used to live – in Taiwan, Beijing and South Korea.
Sally Steiner (Tauranga) and Cartoon NZPH won the FEI 1* class with Georgia Bouzaid (Cambridge) and Redcliffs Bill taking out the Country TV Pony Grand Prix with the only double clear of the class.
Equissage Horse Grand Prix (incorporating the Cambridge Cup): Nicola Hammond (Cambridge) Carlo I 1, Laura Hilhorst (Hamilton) LC Underberg 2, Logan Massie (Dannevirke) Intellect 3, Annabel Francis (Taupo) Carado GHP 4, Drew Carson (Putaruru) Winston V Driene 5, Leeshelle Small (Auckland) AMS Glenbrooke Archie Bunker 6.
FEI 1* 1.4m: Sally Steiner (Tauranga) Cartoon NZPH 1, Duncan McFarlane (Taupo) Be Mind NZPH 2, Natasha Brooks (Cambridge) Versace C 3, Olivia Dalton (Karaka) Yalambi’s Garibaldi 4, Glen Beal (Te Kauwhata) All Expenses of Renton 5, Natasha Brooks (Cambridge) Twerk 6.
Country TV Pony Grand Prix: Georgia Bouzaid (Cambridge) Recliffs Bill 1, Katie Readings (Tuakau) Rump Shaker 2, Rylee Sheehan (Te Aroha) Tony the Pony 3, Aimee Collinson (Clevedon) Moonlight Glow 4, Keira Page (Auckland) Redcliffs Colour Me In 5, Isabelle Jameson (Northland) Pacific Dream 6.
FMG Young Rider Series: Nicola Hammond (Cambridge) Carlo I 1, Emily Hayward (Te Awamutu) Belischi HM 2, Drew Carson (Putaruru) Winston V Driene 3, Nicola Hammond (Cambridge) Le Bam 4, Leeshelle Small (Auckland) AMS Glenbrooke Archie Bunker 5, Ally Carson (Putaruru) Letano 6.
Dunstan Horsefeeds Amateur Rider Series: Anna Kincheff (Rotorua) Red Socks 1, Chris Peterson (Whakatane) Ngahiwi Mardi Gras 2, Louise Gilmore (Pirongia) Aratoro Melodia 3, Anna Kincheff (Rotorua) Request 4, Philippa Corcoran (Cambridge) Cardrona 5, Megan Schischka (Hibiscus Coast) Hollywood Wannabe 6.
Equifibre Junior Rider Series: Emma Watson (Morrinsville) Double J Image 1, Rylee Sheehan (Te Aroha) Bandito NZPH 2, Leeshelle Small (Auckland) AMS Ajaccio NZPH 3, Natalia Lammers (Northland) Romeo NZPH 4, Amelia Newsom (Tauranga) Tribute OL 5, Anneke van Rooyen (Taumarunui) Double J Monarch 6.
Harrison Lane Pro-Amateur Rider Series: James Cottle (Auckland) Imagine 1, Jaime Tiller (Cambridge) Lanice van de Heffinck 2, Alexa Randall (Auckland) Cirrus GNZ 3, Vicki Prendergast (Matamata) Selena C 4, Melissa Marriner (Auckland) Spiritus MVNZ 5, Alexa Randall (Auckland) Carnival NZPH 6.
Matthews Hanoverians Seven-Year-Old Series: Paula Mussen (Auckland) Déjà vu NZPH 1, Charlotte Wear (Taupo) Double Shot NZPH 2, Jaime Tiller (Cambridge) Takapoto Tabitha 3, Vicki Prendergast (Matamata) Selena C 4, Alex Loiselle (Ocean Beach) Haupouri Da Vinci 5, Melody Matheson (Hastings) Cortaflex Enya MH 6.
Cheleken and UltraMox Six-Year-Old Series: Sam Matthews (Cambridge) Fleur DeLacour 1.
East Coast Performance Horses Five-Year-Old Series: Julie Davey (Hastings) LT Holst Freda and Michelle Wakeling (Wellsford) BMW Braveheart =1.
By Diana Dobson
4th November 2019