Liv Launches to Final Win
Olivia has really stepped into the limelight this season with some brilliant results with her team. The 15-year-old had two horses through to today’s final after placing second yesterday with Caretino Jewel and fourth in the opener with Distinction MSNZ. But today it was Caretino Jewel’s turn to shine.
“I am so, so happy,” said Olivia. “It has always been a dream to win at Takapoto.” But she had the crowd holding their breaths as they somehow cat-leapt over the second of the double and still bagged a fast time.
“He is well known for his leaps. All I could think was ‘oh please, don’t take the back rail’. He is a bit of an idiot around the stables but he tries so hard for me.”
She has had Caretino Jewel three years. He’s not an easy horse to ride but he and Olivia just seem to get on. “He bucks everyone else off and can be tricky but he is nice to me and always backs me up. We are such good friends.”
The top 30 combinations from the two qualifiers started today’s final where just eight went clear over the Michel Ismalun (France) designed course, producing a very exciting jump-off.
First out was Emma Gaze (Ohaupo) who set a cracking pace with her homebred Kowhai Bug, coming home all clear in 41.55 seconds. The next clear came from Olivia and Caretino Jewel who came home in 40.2. Alexa Randall (Auckland) and Carnival NZPH provided the only other clear of the jump-off with their 47.97 seconds.
“We have been through a bit of a stage over the last few weeks where we have been double clear but not quite fast enough, so this really is special,” said Olivia.
She is now looking towards the Land Rover Horse of the Year Show with an eye to the Lady Rider of the Year class. Olivia was very grateful for the support of her family and trainers Toni and Colin McIntosh.
Dunstan Silver Tour Final: Olivia Newsom (Tauranga) Caretino Jewel 1, Emma Gaze (Ohaupo) Kowhai Bug 2, Alexa Randall (Auckland) Carnival NZPH 3, Nakeysha Lammers (Cambridge) Balboa NZPH 4, Annabel Francis (Taupo) LT Holst Elizabeth 5, Vicki Prendergast (Matamata) Selena C 6.
For full results, head to www.main-events.com
Photo by Cheleken Photography, words by Diana Dobson