Oliver Croucher and Waitangi Surf
The cash-rich Young Rider class at Takapoto Estate Show Jumping lived up to all expectations and more this afternoon, with Oliver Croucher smoking a super-talented field to pocket the lion’s share of the $12,000 prize purse.
Twenty-nine combinations started the class with eight coming back for a speedy jump-off. Annabel Francis (Taupo) was first out with her Aussie-import Carado GHP, picking up both time and jump penalties. Next out was Emelia Forsyth (Clevedon) and former eventer Henton Faberge who nudged a couple but came home all clear in 43.17 seconds.
Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) and Fiber Fresh Delphine NZPH went one better to stop the clock at 42 seconds. Australian competitor Amelia Douglass came flying out aboard the lovely Upperclass Z and went one better to lay the challenge at 40.31 seconds.
And then came Takapoto rider Oliver Croucher aboard his sometimes-flighty Waitangi Surf. They started with a hiss and a roar, and continued to step it up with each jump, slicing corners and taking risks as he chased the win, crossing the flags all clear in 35.13 seconds, much to the delight of the hugely parochial crowd.
Those who followed couldn’t match his speed, with Amelia Douglass and her second mount Cassis Z Ten Halven going close with 36.29 but in the end having to settle for second. Eventer Kate Herdson and her imported horse Idol D were third in 38.69 with Amelia and Upperclass Z fourth.
Oliver was ecstatic. “She was just amazing,” he said of his grey mare. “It feels amazing to win on my home turf. It is just amazing.” He admitted to being a bit nervous before the jump-off, knowing all were more than capable of super-fast rounds.
“Paris (Waitangi Surf) really knows her job and just tries her heart out but I did think I had bitten off more than I could chew at one stage.”
He extended huge thanks to Mitch and Kate Plaw for their ongoing support. “It is amazing to have them as part of our sport.” Oliver’s grandfather Ian Moore presented Oliver with the winning ribbon.
A fully-committed Jesse Linton blitzed the second round of the Provincial Teams’ Final to score a brilliant win for Fergus Rural Northern Hawke’s Bay. Torrential rain saturated horses and riders but didn’t dampen the spirits of the very vocal supporters.
Seven teams started the first round but were quickly whittled to four for the second round. Scores from all three riders over the two rounds counted, and with a two-way tie on 12 faults, it went to time. Times from all three riders were added together and the win awarded to Northern Hawke’s Bay by .56 of a second.
Jesse and Vitess were the last combination to go for Northern Hawke’s Bay and left nothing in the tank, flying into every fence, cutting every possible corner and galloping into the last. But it was all worth it. His efforts broke the hearts of team Screen Art Taranaki who had to settle for second, with Waikato third.
Double clears came from Jesse, Nakeysha Lammers aboard Resolution (Taranaki), Jaime Tiller on Lanice van de Heffinck and Clarke Johnstone aboard his Rio Olympic horse Balmoral Sensation (Waikato), and Kathrine van Tuyl aboard Centavino (Central Districts).
The Diamond Lodge sponsored series went to Central Districts with 20 points, Northern Hawke’s Bay were second on 14 points and Taranaki third on 13 points.
The show continues tomorrow with the Anne Symes Memorial Speed Derby and the Equissage Horse Grand Prix before a two day rest and the start of the second week.
Young Rider: Oliver Croucher (Cambridge) Waitangi Surf 1, Amelia Douglass (Australia) Cassis Z Ten Halven 2, Kate Herdson (Auckland) Idol D 3, Amelia Douglass (Australia) Upperclass Z 4, Annabel Francis (Taupo) La Quinara 5, Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) Fiber Fresh Delphine NZPH 6, Emelia Forsyth (Clevedon) Henton Faberge 7, Annabel Francis (Taupo) Carado GHP 8.
Provincial Teams Final: Fergus Rural Northern Hawke’s Bay (Melody Matheson/Cortaflex Illusion, Kathryn Alabaster/Haupouri Drama, Jesse Linton/Vitess) 12 faults, 170.41 seconds 1; Screen Art Taranaki (Nakeysha Lammers/Resolution, Mathew Dickey/Absolute NZPH, Nakeysha Lammers/Balboa NZPH) 12 faults, 170.97 seconds 2; Waikato (Jaime Tiller/Lanice van de Heffinck, Christine Cornege/Varekai SL, Clarke Johnstone/Balmoral Sensation) 20 faults, 166.08 seconds 3; Float Factory Central Districts (Chloe Hansen/Kiwi Motto, Daniel Webb/Centaur, Katharine Van Tuyl/Centavino) 20 faults, 176.78 seconds 4.
Diamond Lodge Provincial Teams’ Series: Float Factory Central Districts 20 points 1, Fergus Rural Northern Hawke’s Bay 14 points 2, Screen Art Taranaki 13 points 3.
1.4m speed: Oliver Edgecombe (Waipukurau) Henton Excalibur 1, Bernard Denton (Feilding) Horsesports Sequell 2, William Willis (Karaka) Dollar Roll MS 3, Logan Massie (Dannevirke) Fairview Animation 4, Rachel Malcolm (Cambridge) Twerk 5, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Gold Locks 6.
1.3m two phase: Sam Carrington (Takapau) Double J Breeze On 1, Emma Gaze (Ohaupo) Kowhai Bug 2, Clarke Johnstone (Matangi) Aces High 3, Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) Alacazam MH 4, Phillip Steiner (Tauranga) Kiwi Sunup 5, Olivia Dalton (Karaka) Yalambi’s Garibaldi 6.
1.15m two phase: Jessica Giles (Upper Hutt) Dining at Dusk 1, Clarke Johnstone (Matangi) SB Attitude 2, Laura Knight (Rangiotu) Aria 3, Kate Ramsey (Pukeatua) Lady Bug 4, Philippa Corcoran (Cambridge) Cardrona 5, Kady Prujean (Hastings) VPS Call Me Cash 6.
1.25m two phase: Caira Manson (Auckland) Waitangi Attachment 1, Samantha Morrison (Tauranga) Elmo 2, Alexa Randall (Auckland) Carnival NZPH 3, Emily Hayward (Te Awamutu) Bellagio GNZ 4, Clarke Johnstone (Matangi) SB Attitude 5, Blyth Tait (Karaka) Billy Sparky 6.
Junior Rider Qualifier: Marie Baumgart (Cambridge) SE Rumor Has It 1, Olivia Prendergast (Matamata) Stellar 2, Isabelle Saxton (Tuakau) Double Shott 3, Phoebe Burns (Hastings) CentaRoc 4, Rose Windross (Auckland) Leeston Eagle 5, Kimberly Carrington (Takapau) Double J Barmaid 6.
Diana Dobson 22 February 2020