The competitors and the weather turned out in full force for Day One of the Tavendale and Partners NZ National Jumping & Show Hunter Championship 2021.
All eyes were on Olympian and World Championship representative Samantha McIntosh in the first round of the Tavendale and Partners NZ National Premier Horse Championship. The class is part of the POLi Payments Premier League Series and over the course of the competition riders will contend for the esteemed Rutherford Cup, awarded to the winner on Sunday.
However it was the first of four combinations on course, Nicole White and LC Samson, whose performance could not be rivalled. The rest of the placings also mirrored the draw; a single rail from Sam and Takapoto Alaid de Chez Nous sits her third going into the next round, behind second-placed Kimberley Bird (Ashbutron) and Cera Cassina, and ahead of fourth-placed Olivia Robertson (Queenstown) and Grandaire.
Samantha did not start Takapoto Malarkey in the Graham McClintock June Cresswell NZ National 1.30m Horse Championship. That class was won convincingly by Mandy Illston and Iguazu, making their trip down from the North Island well worthwhile. Mandy believes Iguazu is the best horse she’s ever owned, and is pleased to be back competing in the South Island after a 32-year hiatus.
In the Wilcox Perlas Potatoes NZ National Grand Prix Horse Championship, Sophie Scott (Wellington) and Lakota blitzed the field by more than three seconds. They will be looking to retain a leading edge in tomorrow’s round to secure them a spot in the final on Sunday and in good contention for the Mary Dalley Trophy.
Canterbury teen Samantha Gillies, aboard Socrates De La Ve Z, spearheaded an impressive field of more than 31 competitors in the Wade Equine Coaches NZ National 1.20m Horse Championship.
The equally competitive Zealandia Horticulture NZ National Open Pony Championship Round A followed, which is part of the Country TV Pony Grand Prix Series. A speedy and clear performance, 3.24 seconds faster than the next best, saw Keira Page and Redcliffs Colour Me In take top honours.
The championship format across the event means each combination has to qualify for the next day and will carry through any points over the three days of competition.
21 January 2021