No bugs on this dude
Emma Gaze has never done a derby course before, but today she and her homebred Woodland Bug were the only combination to conquer the Anne Symes Memorial Derby.
They were first out of 17 combinations and set the stage with a lovely clear in a comfortable time. “I’ve never done a derby before and I just wanted to have a little play out there. We had absolutely no expectations but a heck of a good time. He’s such a good boy,” she said of the gentle giant.
“A few years ago Vaughn (Jefferis) said he (Woodland Bug) wouldn’t show how good he was until he was nine or 10 years old. He’s just turned 10.”
She was completely surprised to win. “I just picked a pace that suited him – for me it is always about a happy horse. I want them to enjoy the work and want to do it.”
The two have been jumping 1.35m and a few 1.4m, and while Emma says she would love to get to Grand Prix level but she needs to do a little more work before that happens. “It is a rider thing.”
Woodland Bug has been a little mentally slow but Emma says more flat work will continue to improve the horse. “He’s come through this season quite responsive, and more work on the flat will mean a better horse in the long run.”
Emma paid tribute to her mother Wendy for all her work. “A lot of the credit has to go to mum,” she said. “Without her breeding expertise we wouldn’t have anything. She does all that vital pre-work too – it is a real family effort.”
It was Emma’s second rug from the show – earlier she won the Bronze Tour Final aboard Kowhai Bug. Both horses are out of Bush Bug.
Karen Riddle and her grey stallion LC Telepathy were second on four faults, with eight faulters filling the next four places. LC Telepathy was sixth in the derby last year and Karen felt he deserved another crack at it. She was rapt with the horse, in his just fifth start for the season.
- Emma Gaze (Ohaupo) Woodland Bug (warmblood by Prestige VDL, out of Bush Bug – owned by Wendy and Emma Gaze)
- Karen Riddle (Rotorua) LC Telepathy (NZ sport horse by Telegraph, out of Yadlavie – owned by Karen Riddle)
- Bernard Denton (Manawatu) Horsesports I Am Walter (sport horse by Windale Trumps, out of Craighaven Dallas – owned by Linda Virbickas)
- Sarah West (Matamata) Oaks Centurian (warmblood by Centus, out of ASB Indira – owned by Leanne West
- Amanda Pottinger (Havelock North) Good Timing (thoroughbred by Nom du Jeu, out of Baloushe – owned by Tinks Pottinger and the Volunteer Syndicate)
- Vicki Ridley (Karaka) Mosaic II (thoroughbred by Postponed, out of Splashed – owned by Vicki Ridley)