The Hyundai Derby, the feature event of the second day of Equidays, was won by local rider, Lucy Olphert on a horse she and her family bred and produced.
Eve Saint Laurent has been a nine year project for Lucy. “It is just a very special and rewarding feeling when hard work and patience pays off. It has been a tough road and a lot of people have asked me why I have hung on to her. She has not been easy, but I think the good ones have those quirks and that is what makes them so special.”
Lucy went into the tough competition with a positive mindset. “We had prepared for this as best as we could, I have a very special horse and at the end of the day, you just have to ride your heart out and she jumped her heart out.”
When asked what she was going to spend the $10,000 first prize purse on, Lucy was taking the sensible approach. “The equipment I use, the horses’ nutrition and those sensible items, I need to put the money towards those things but maybe I will be able to upgrade my tow vehicle. We are so lucky to have incredible sponsors like Hyundai. It is a really really generous prize.”
Lucy was the only rider in the two-round competition to produce two clear rounds. Vicki Wilson on Ngahiwi Showtym Premier really put the pressure on Lucy, jumping clear in the second round after having just one rail in the first round and finished second. Taupo rider, Holly Morrell was third on Pampero and last night’s horse Grand Prix winner, Amanda Wilson on Showtym Cassanova was fourth.
The class all the pony riders wanted to win was the Equidays Pony Grand Prix and the competition was hot but in the end it was Emma Watson on Fun Time who won by going just over a second faster than Deanna Horsburgh on Showtym Endeavour in the timed jump-off.
Emma gave her 12 year old part-Appaloosa pony, who goes by the nickname of ‘Pink’, a lot of the credit. “The competition was very tight, there were some really fast clear rounds. I am lucky enough to have Pink and we took an inside turn that no one else did and so we came away with the best time!” Emma was last to go in the jump off so she knew what she had to do. “It was either make it or break it with that inside turn.”
Both Lucy and Emma were raving about Equidays. Lucy thinks this venue is world class. “I love this show, I absolutely love it. This event is very special, it brings like-minded people together for three days of awesomeness. It is not just the competitions, but you can learn so much from the clinicians and other people’s ways of teaching.” Emma agreed. “This show is just so amazing, the atmosphere is just awesome.”