The last time Olivia Robertson rode in a premier league class was five years ago . . . but today she was transported back in time when she and her European import Grandaire won the big class at the Showjumping Canterbury Xmas Cracker Premier Show at McLeans Island.
The Queenstown rider who previously was very successful in the Premier League with Ngahiwi Cisco, was over the moon. “He has never jumped that big before. I went out with a plan – just to aim for a clear round. I wasn’t thinking about placings or winning. I would have been thrilled just with the clear, and to get that in the first round was pretty incredible.”
The combination had two “tired” rails in the second to finish on a total of eight faults. “He was pretty knackered and had given his all in the first. He tried his guts out for me – I just love this horse.”
Olivia said she was still pinching herself. “We aren’t chasing anything, just seeing how things go and producing horses and having a bit of fun in the meantime. “I am very surprised to come away with the win. There were three in there who had all done World Cups before so I can’t believe it!”
Donella Still’s course had been “technical, quite big and tough enough”. It certainly caused a few problems for other combinations, with the only other clear from the two rounds coming from Nicole White (Invercargill) and LC Samson who finished in third place.
The win rounded out a great show for Olivia, who had also won the Matthews Hanoverians Seven-Year-Old Series aboard Casino GNZ. Olivia is currently studying real estate and working in her partner’s contracting company driving trucks, tractors and diggers. Next for her and the 10-year-old Grandaire is the South Islands Champs in Gore where she hopes they’ll nail another Premier League class.
In the Country TV Pony Grand Prix, Johanna Wylaars (Christchurch) and Wembleybrook Tiffan won with eight faults from the two rounds. Runner-up Emma Gillies (Oamaru) and Benrose Playtime were also on eight but considerably slower.
A special new addition to the show was the Graham McClintock Future Stars Championship where riders had qualified over three rounds at two events with the final today at the champs. The sheep and beef farmer, who is also patron of the Showjumping Group, is a passionate long-time showjumper, hunter, breeder and supporter of equestrian. The class was won by Katie Meredith (Ohoka) aboard Whole Hearted.
The show this year attracted large entries, 570+ horses and 390+ riders. Sarah Ching designed the courses in ring two and Tony Hutton in ring three.
POLi Payments Horse Premier League (sponsored by Kinloch Farms): Olivia Robertson (Queenstown) Grandaire 1, Kimberley Bird (Ashburton) Cera Cassina 2, Nicole White (Invercargill) LC Samson 3, Molly Buist-Brown (West Melton) Vali 4, Todd Magner (Hokitika) Awatuna Jonesy 5.
Country TV Pony Grand Prix (sponsored by Saddlery Barn): Johanna Wylaars (Christchurch) Wembleybrook Tiffany 1, Emma Gillies (Oamaru) Benrose Playtime 2, Emma Gillies (Oamaru) Benrose Eclipse 3, Emma Gillies (Oamaru) Benrose Starlight 4, Molly Moffatt (Christchurch) Te Ngaio Raggamuffin 5.
FMG Young Rider Series (sponsored by BetaVet): Steffi Whittaker (Canterbury) Whimsical WDS 1, Molly Buist-Brown (West Melton) Vali 2, Rebecca Wardle (Hokitika) Dingmac Eccles 3, Peita Milne (Nelson) Ngahiwi Warrior 5, Peita Milne (Nelson) Global PH Mylorde 5, Grace Manera (Christchurch) Cazette HSH 6.
Main-Events Tertiary Series: Stephanie Suppan (Christchurch) Ngahiwi Blackjack ECPH 1, Courtney Townsend (Darfield) Corofina ECPH 2, Elsa Rosanowski (Rangiora) Coromiko Gold 3, Tayler Nalder (Rangiora) Wall Street III 4.
Harrison Lane Pro-Amateur Rider Series (sponsored by Hussey Paint & Panel Ltd): Tamara Silcock (Nelson) TMS Vincenzo 1, Jess Land (Christchurch) Emilio MSH 2, Courtney Townsend (Darfield) Corofina ECPH 3, Helen Ensor (Blenheim) Zactac Carnival 4, Claudia Faulkner (Christchurch) Tripel Shot 5, Kirsty Sharapoff (Christchurch) Shoot the Breeze 6.
Mainland Coachwork Junior Rider Series: Samantha Gillies (Oamaru) Socrates De La Ve Z 1, Molly Moffatt (Christchurch) Starlight Daytona 2, Kirk Magner (Hokitika) Awatuna Moonlight Madam 3, Beth Coleman (Clarkville) Sea Minor 4, Meg Bisset (Blenheim) Bewitched NZPH 5, Olivia Adams (Christchurch) Castelada II 6.
Dunstan Horsefeeds Amateur Rider Series (sponsored by Tavern Harewood): Elizabeth Bell (Rakaia) Archie Amor 1, Amanda Roy (Gore) Rumours NZPH 2, Louise Marriott (Rangiora) Clicquot 3, Zoe Shore (Ashburton) Saffron 4, Angela Ruddenklau (Christchurch) Anthem 5, Louisa McClintock (Cheviot)
Matthews Hanoverians Seven-Year-Old Series (sponsored by Jess Land Equestrian): Olivia Robertson (Queenstown) Casino GNZ 1, Rose Alfeld (Leeston) Eye Catcher NZPH 2, Sally Spicer (Christchurch) Corrine HSH 3, Rosa Buist-Brown (West Melton) Bellick ST 4, Molly Buist-Brown (West Melton) Mountain Eutopia 5.
UltraMox Six-Year-Old Series (sponsored by Hazlett Ltd): Rose Alfeld (Leeston) Footloose NZPH and Katie Meredith (Ohoka) Vulcan GNZ =1.
East Coast Performance Horses Five-Year-Old Series (sponsored by Canterbury Equine Clinic): Luci Askin (Ashburton) Gatsby NZPH, Rebecca Wardle (Hokitika) WS Empyrean, Courtney Townsend (Darfield) Cassandra GNZ, Rose Alfeld (Leeston) Celebration ECPH, Amy McMullan (Timaru) Pure Cascade and Todd Magner (Hokitika) Awatuna Rocketman =1.
Graham McClintock Future Stars Championship: Katie Meredith (Ohoka) Whole Hearted 1, Tamara Silcock (Nelson) FF Lisandro 2, Nicole White (Invercargill) Blytheburn Cuban Rose 3, Katie Meredith (Ohoka) Quantum Queen GNZ 4, Anna Nalder (Rangiora) Icebreaker II 5, Steffi Whittaker (Canterbury) Sultan GNZ 6.
For full results, head to www.main-events.com
By Diana Dobson
6 December 2020