Jessica Townsend and Tallyho Neptune winners of the Cat B and Pony Equitation Show Hunter Series at The Land Rover Horse of the Year 2020, HB A&P Showgrounds, Hastings, Hawke’s Bay, Wednesday, March 11, 2020 Credit: KAMPIC / Sarah Lord

The multi-talented Tallyho Neptune can add another couple of series crowns to his cabinet, this time winning both the Sure Grip Mats Pony Equitation and Grassyards Farm Cat B High Points in the hands of 15-year-old Jess Townsend.

Nemo as he is known at home, was previously ridden by older sister Sophie and won the Cat B High Points, but has also starred with various riders in showjumping, won the World FEI Dressage competition and four times the Canterbury Cup for hunter round the ring jumping.

In short, the 15-year-old grey is “a gem of a pony”. This is Jess’ third season with him but first doing “proper” show hunter. “It’s good for my riding and he’s good at it too. I quite enjoy it,” says the year 11 student from Darfield High School.

At the beginning of the season, Jess said her goal was to go out and do her best every show with an eye to constant improvement. “Half way through mum said there was the cat B series and I thought that would be cool. I am really excited to have won and happy for him.”

The two series are the biggest of her career and very important to the teen. It rounds out a great season – the combination also won the cat b crown at Nationals, the South Island title, the Otago Southland Show Hunter Cat B Series, the Sandpit Equitation Series and the Canterbury Championship Pony Points Series.

“I had never won a rug until this season – it’s amazing.”

Nemo has been with the family for six years but is on the market as Jess will be moving to hacks shortly. “I love him lots,” she says. “It’s his personality – I can get on him and he is just happy doing anything. He really is my best friend. When he is in the ring he thinks everyone is there to watch him – he just loves to be the centre of attention. He is a very special pony.”

He is certainly considered to be a much-loved part of the family. “We all just love him.”

The Suregrip Mats Pony Equitation Final today, Libby Wilson (Taupo) and Waimeha Tayza were the victors with Jessica Blackburn (Rotorua) and Paradise Pride second and Molly Coutts (Palmerston North) aboard Monkey Puzzle third.

The Grassyards Farm Cat B High Points Final went the way of Emily Oliver (Plimmerton) aboard Summer Fiesta with Hollie Falloon (Masterton) and Farleigh Catterick second and Loulou McNelly (Masterton) on Shanghigh Vixen third.


Results –

Sure Grip Mats Pony Equitation Series: Jess Townsend (Darfield) 68 points 1, Libby Wilson (Taupo) 62 2, Kaitlin Brown (Feilding) 59 3, Quinn Coutts (Mosgiel) 57 4, Molly Coutts (Palmerston North) 48 5, Jaime Botha (Kumeu) 36 6.


Suregrip Mats Pony Equitation Final: Libby Wilson (Taupo) Waimeha Tayza 1, Jessica Blackburn (Rotorua) Paradise Pride 2, Molly Coutts (Palmerston North) Monkey Puzzle 3, Quinn Coutts (Mosgiel) Benrose Eclipse 4, Kaitlin Brown (Feilding) Tawa 5, Jaime Hogg (Wanganui) Step it Up 6.


Grassyards Farm Cat B High Points Series: Jess Townsend (Darfield) Tallyho Neptune 70 points 1, Libby Wilson (Taupo) Waimeha Tayza 64 points 2, Georgie and Vienna Wilson (Taupo) Ashbury Robin Hood 52 points 3, Emily Oliver (Plimmerton) Summer Fiesta 52 points 4, Hollie Falloon (Masterton) Farleigh Catterick 48 points 5, Amelia Newsom (Tauranga) Moonspirit Jitterbug 40 points 6.


Grassyards Farm Cat B High Points Final: Emily Oliver (Plimmerton) Summer Fiesta 1, Hollie Falloon (Masterton) Farleigh Catterick 2, Loulou McNelly (Masterton) Shanghigh Vixen 3, Holly Cambie (New Plymouth) Mr Mika Choo 4, Libby Wilson (Taupo) Waimeha Tayza 5, Oliver Steiner (Tauranga) Too Easy 6.


By Diana Dobson

11 March 2020