Keira Page still got to hear the special ‘Stand up for the Champions’ song today but it wasn’t quite as she had envisaged. With the Land Rover Horse of the Year Show cancelled, the 17-year-old instead had to settle for winning the Country TV Pony Grand Prix class aboard Redcliffs Colour Me In at the Burmester Realty Grand Prix Show Jumping and Show Hunter Show at Woodhill Sands.
It is Keira’s last season on ponies and she plans to go out with a bang. With HOY cancelled she has the series well in her sights and headed to Woodhill to get more points on the board. “Today would have been Pony of the Year so people on the sidelines were playing ‘Stand up for the Champions’ which was pretty cool,” said the Year 13 St Peter’s student.
She has had her nine-year-old Pintaloosa mare for coming up five years and says it will be very tough saying goodbye to her. “We have gone right through from 90cm to Grand Prix – she is pretty special.”
Keira rides Rain, as the mare is known at home, in a western bosal. “We tried every single bitless option and she went the best in this.”
Last season the Mystery Creek combination struggled to make the top 20 in the Country TV Pony Grand Prix Series but this year, they are leading from the front. “It is very cool – I think it is just because we are both more experienced.”
Today, Keira says the course had a few technical lines, but their experience shone through. They were the only combination of 14 to go double clear, with Shanae Savannah (Silverdale) and Tiger Tale LS finishing second with four faults from the jump-off.
Keira and Rain are trained by Tim Featherstone, who owns a share in the horse with Keira’s mum Cindy.
The only other series class at the show was the Dunstan Horsefeeds Amateur Rider class which was won by Ashley Johnstone (Whangarei) aboard Miss Vee NZPH.
In the Burmester Realty Horse Grand Prix Super Series, eight of the 19 original starters came back for the jump-off where the top four all kept clear slates. Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) and Windermere Cappuccino came home in 39.39 seconds to take the win ahead of Olivia Dalton (Karaka) aboard her new ride Cassera MS in 40.05 with Tessa Ranger (Auckland) and Lavello third in 42.03 and Tegan filling fourth spot with Campari in 46.86 seconds.
It was a similar result in the Pacific Motor Group Pony Grand Prix Super Series where winner Samantha-Lee Wakeling (Wellsford) was both first and fourth with her mounts BMW Sharpshooter and BMW Renegade. Samantha-Lee and BMW Sharpshooter were the only combination of the 12 starters to go clear in the opening round, with the next four slots filled by four-faulters.
The final of both super series will be held at the Burmester Memorial Grand Prix Show on March 27-28.
This weekend’s show was originally scheduled to run at the end of February as a lead-in to the Land Rover Horse of the Year Show but was cancelled due to Auckland going into Level 1 COVID lockdown.
Wayne Bragg designed the courses in ring one with Gina Moss in ring two and Danielle Watts in ring three. Last week’s rain meant the footing was near perfect.
A show hunter ring was included for the riders wanting a start before the series’ finals which are now being held at the Glistening Waters and ESNZ Series’ Finals Show next month.
Country TV Pony Grand Prix Series: Keira Page (Mystery Creek) Redcliffs Colour Me In 1, Shanae Savannah (Silverdale) Tiger Tale LS 2, Liv Teixeira (Kerikeri) EB Esperanza 3, Rylee Sheehan (Te Aroha) Tony the Pony 4, Zara Preece-Twose (Greenhithe) TC Piano Man 5, Cassie Topper (Whangarei) Redcliffs Wizz Bang MF 6.
Dunstan Horsefeeds Amateur Rider Series: Ashley Johnston (Whangarei) Miss Vee NZPH 1, Shelley Bridgeman (Auckland) Oaks Vendetta 2, Jessica Trow (Auckland) Kiwi Sunup 3, Kelly Chapman (Albany) Eye See Ruby 4, Kelly Angell (Pukekohe) Centavito 5, Vanessa Veart-Smith (Auckland) The Notorious Fez 6.
Burmester Realty Horse Grand Prix Super Series: Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) Windermere Cappuccino 1, Olivia Dalton (Karaka) Cassera MS 2, Tessa Ranger (Auckland) Lavello 3, Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) Campari 4, Olivia Dalton (Karaka) Cil Dara Bonaparte 5, Ben Weir (Auckland) Lanice van de Heffinck 6.
Pacific Motor Group Pony Grand Prix Super Series: Samantha-Lee Wakeling (Wellsford) BMW Sharpshooter 1, Francesca Bishell (Auckland) Galaxy Disco Fever II 2, Maya Hegh (Taupaki) Triple Star One of a Kind 3, Samantha-Lee Wakeling (Wellsford) BMW Renegade 4, Meredith Williams (Awhitu) TCP Nevada’s Moonstone 5, Summer Denize (Kerikeri) Limerick’s Black Samba 6.
For full results, head to www.equestrianentries.co.nz
By Diana Dobson
15 March 2021