“It’s my best HOY ever,” said a very excited Wiremu Priest who took out the Cat A Pony Show Hunter of the Year aboard My Gemma Bear along with the 12 and under equitation crown and the sportsmanship award.
Wiremu only teamed up with the well-performed pony this season, when he took the ride for owner Emma Bates to sell on behalf. He figures they probably weren’t the preferred combination to win but the nine-year-old chestnut mare was second in the same class last year.
“I am pretty happy because this is my first-ever title at HOY,” said the 12-year-old. “She is a pretty cool pony and I thought we had a fair chance of doing well.” This was his fourth year competing at HOY.
When he’s not riding, Wiremu is likely to be found playing rugby or riding dirt bikes. As much as he’s shown his talent for show hunter, the youngster is keen to do more showjumping and is already competing a couple of youngsters at 90cm level.
Wiremu Priest (Rotorua) My Gemma Bear 1, Grace Roy (Gore) Benrose Comet 2, Helena Brinker (Auckland) Diego 3, Emily Oliver (Plimmerton) Patui Ataahua 4, Hannah Honeyfield (Patea) Brecon Bach Tussock 5, Georgia McKeon (Cambridge) Greyfrairs Dancer 6.
By Diana Dobson
14 March 2020