The last day of the three-day Equidays show saw the prizes being awarded for two very popular classes where horses and riders had to participate in competition for the last three days.
In the Kaimanawa Heritage Horses Stallion Challenge, trainers had 150 days to tame, geld and train their newly mustered and randomly assigned Kaimanawa stallion. Tina Fagan won the class for the second year in a row, this year with Bullwinkle. “It feels really good to come out and win it with another horse, a different type of horse. He is more energetic, he has a lot more play drive, he likes to move a lot more.” Tina was sure that it was his personality that gave him the edge. “You can see the boy humour, he likes to get in and play and do things. People like that sparkle.” In the future, Bullwinkle will probably do some showjumping and Tina plans on doing more liberty demonstrations with the Kaimanawa pony.
Beyond the Barriers Dunstan Ex-Factor competition is for retired racehorses. Competitors chose three of six different types of competition to show off their thoroughbred horse’s skills. DSE Sunset Pass came out the winner, ridden by Donna Edwards-Smith. The 8-year-old bay gelding, by Yamanin Vital out of Janet’s Chance, had 25 racing starts including in hurdles and steeplechases. He has taken to his life as a sports horse very well and Donna thinks he has the potential to be a four-star eventer. “He is one of nicest, most talented horses I have ever ridden with a very good brain.”
Ex-jumps jockey, Tommy Hazlett, was on hand to see one of his favourite horses do so well. “Jason Bridgman used to train him, and I used to look after him. It is a pleasure to see horses having a great life after racing, and I am so pleased he is with Donna. He is the type of horse that should go right to the top.”
David Smith, from sponsor Dunston Horse Feeds, presented the prizes. “It is such a good event but more importantly it is so well organised by Gina and Nicky. They put so much work into it. I am only too happy be able to support them.”
Coatesville’s Trey Cadwallader riding Leeara Park First Edition won the Lisa Chittick Memorial class, for the Champion of Champions in the Northern Premier Showing Championships. The beautiful palomino pony, with the nickname of Leo, is ten years old. This is Trey’s first season on the pony. “I don’t know how to explain it, I just feel quite grateful to even be here. All my three ponies qualified for the final, so it has been an awesome show. It is one of my favourite shows of the year.”
The judges commented that there were high quality and well presented competitors in the showing classes. “They were happy competitors too, and that is always important. Every one in the final deserved to be there, so it is hard to judge but that pony definitely had the x-factor.”
Holly Morrell also had a really good show, culminating with a win in the Isuzu D-Max Cross Country and Showjumping Challenge on her two-star eventing horse, Alani. Holly, from Taupo, was the first out on the 2,200 metre course which included both showjumping fences and John Nicholson-designed cross country fences. “This course just suited him, it was long and loopy and he just stayed in the same rythym, and just kept going. It was a little bit hard going first, no one really knew the time so you just do it and hope it is alright. He is actually for sale, so maybe someone will buy him now. Equidays has been a great weekend, very profitable for me!”