Grace Roy & Benrose Comet winners of the Cat A 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

Ask nine-year-old Grace Roy what the best part about her riding is and she’s pretty quick to say it’s her pony Benrose Comet. “He is adorable and cute and I love everything about him.”

But it turns out, this Gore combination are also very good at what they do. In their first season together, Grace and Comet have won the Cartown Cat A High Points Series. At 17, Comet is an old hand at this, and won the same series last year in the hands of Ellie Templeton, but it is all new to Grace who until now has just been “pottering around” with her show hunter.

It’s no surprise this year 5 student has some talent though. Mum Amanda has previously won the Pro-Am crown at HOY and the series too with her horse Rumours NZPH. She shelved her riding to encourage her children but says she may head back into the arena in the not too distant future.

However, this HOY is all about Grace who has brought three ponies with her from way down south. Comet is her star, and aptly named. “He is very fast,” says Grace.

But he’s no push button pony and has taught his young rider plenty this season. “He is a little machine who knows his job,” says Amanda. “He is fast and quick and Grace has had to learn how to ride him. He has taught her so much this season.”

The series was one of Grace’s goals for the season and while it wasn’t all plain sailing, they did win by 11 points ahead of Brooke Scrivener (Auckland) aboard Fordlands Moonmist.

The youngster admitted to a few nerves coming into HOY. “They are all such good riders and it is a special show to be at.”

It is the first series Grace has ever won and the whole family are very proud of the youngster. “She is very dedicated and works hard,” says Amanda. “She is very keen to learn the right way to do everything.”

Grace has been riding since she was five and loves to get out on the hunting field with Comet, who the family lease Comet from Tania Scott.

The final at HOY was won by Camryn Young (Te Kauwhata) aboard Starlight Samara, who were nearly eight points ahead of runner-up Emily Oliver (Plimmerton) on Patui Ataahua. Grace placed fourth aboard Benrose Comet and fifth on Afallons Royal Salute.


Results –

Cartown Cat A High Points Series: Grace Roy (Gore) Benrose Comet 64 points 1, Brooke Scrivener (Auckland) Fordlands Moonmist 50 2, Zara Sutton (Palmerston North) Cheltons Light Secret 49 3, Logan Nation (Pauatahanui) Amberfield Golden Charm 38 4, Isobel Jayne Bevitt (Gisborne) Buffalo Man 35 5, Molly Smith (Timaru)/Zoe Slater (Geraldine) Rhythm N Gold 35 6.


Final: Camryn Young (Te Kauwhata) Starlight Samara 1, Emily Oliver (Plimmerton) Patui Ataahua 2, Ellie Flett (Christchurch) Ataahua Rapture 3, Grace Roy (Gore) Benrose Comet 4, Grace Roy (Gore) Afallons Royal Salute 5, Madison Cutfield (Auckland) Hololio Top Shelf 6.


By Diana Dobson

11 March 2020