The new Rising Star class proved a big hit with riders, parents and spectators, with 12-year-old Zara Robertson and Showtym Mamma Mia heading home a competitive 26-strong field.
Nearly all of the under-13 riders made it through the two phases but it was super quick at the top with Zara flying home in 22.84 seconds to take the honours. Right behind her was Kiera Smellie aboard Bruce Almighty on 23.04 and just a snip behind Lucy Browne on Coastal Girl in 23.05.
Zara, a Year 9 student from St Peters School in Cambridge has been riding since she was four and competing from six. She’s done a lot of show hunter and started showjumping part way through last season. Her family have had Showtym Mamma Mia for four years and this is Zara’s second season aboard her.
“She’s been a great pony to start showjumping o,” she said. “We’ve been competing up to 1m and picked up a number of placings. I love that she is so honest and that she takes care of me. I feel I just have to steer her.”
She was very happy with the win. “It’s such a prestigious show – I honestly didn’t think I would win it.”
Zara went quite early in the field and had to watch the rest chase her time. “I felt they were all going faster than me. I was just hoping for a top 10 finish.”
The young rider was particularly happy with Mia’s calmness today. “It’s probably our calmest show ever. It was such a fun class to do.”
Course designer John Vallance (Aus) says his main goal was to ensure the budding young stars had a great ride, stayed on board and got home safely.
- Zara Robertson (Auckland) Showtym Mamma Mia (pinto – owned by Philippa Baker)
- Kiera Smellie (Matamata) Bruce Almighty (owned by Alicia Bowie)
- Lucy Browne (Mystery Creek) Coastal Girl (owned by Chloe Browne)
- Pippa Dixon (Hamilton) Mr Cottonsox (part Gypsy cob by Monteith Ridge – owned by Rachel Dixon)
- Elizabeth Struijck (Matakana) Fairburn Cosmic Star (Welsh part bred by Ataahua Valentino, out of Fortification Rose – owned by Elizabeth Struijck)
- Stevie Collins (Matamata) Miss Moonstone (owned by Stevie Collins)