Zara dances to victory in Junior

Zara dances to victory in Junior

Zara Waldin made it two from two today, backing up her win in the Junior Tour Qualifier yesterday with victory in the final. The Havelock North 16-year-old was one of three to come through to the jump-off but as first to go she knew she had to do something special aboard U Can Dance NZPH.

“It was kind of scary,” she admitted. “I just wasn’t sure what everyone else was going to do so I wanted to go clear. I knew I was guaranteed a place so went as quick as I could without going crazy.”

By her own admission she was lucky to make it through the first round after a scare at the 11th fence. “Britta (U Can Dance NZPH) really saved me there and the jump-off ended up being one of the nicest rounds I have ever jumped on her.”

She paid tribute to her trainer Sally Clark and says she couldn’t do what she does without her input. “To win the final like this is such a big deal for me. I really didn’t expect it.”

Britta is a favourite at home where dad Dirk has a lot of more rambunctious young horses. “Britta is mum’s favourite because she is so nice and quiet. She can be a little quirky sometimes through.”

Zara loved the tracks riders faced in the class. “They were a bit more complicated than usual which suited me in the small arena because I had to be thinking all the time. It is quite different to the bigger arenas we are used to.”

She extended a huge thanks to Mitch and Kate Plaw and their team for hosting such an incredible show.

Today in the Junior Tour Final, Zara and runner-up Maddison Hale aboard The Minginui Kid were both double clear, with just .29 of a second separating them.


  1. Zara Waldin (Havelock North) U Can Dance NZPH (NZ sport horse by Fuego de Prelet, out of Nite Club Queen – owned by Kate Wood)
  2. Maddison Hale (Rotorua) The Minginui Kid (stationbred by Cruise, out of Daisy – owned by Maddison Hale)
  3. Shyanne Eagle (Tauranga) Prestige (warmblood by Pristige VDL, out of Distelbelle – owned by Shyanne Eagle)
  4. Isabelle du Plessis (Karaka) George Jetson (thoroughbred by Langfuhr, out of North Kiss – owned by Alanna Aarts)
  5. Maya Denis (Mexico) Cadenza (owned by Mark Walden) 
  6. Madison Smith (Cambridge) SK Halo (Selle Francais thoroughbred cross by Lindberg des Hayettes, out of Super Imposing – owned by Libby James and Nikki Smith)