Winning Colours For Local Pony Of The Year Victor
It was an absolute dream come true for Takapau’s Samantha Carrington, who claimed the 2020 Farmlands Pony of the Year title aboard her little chestnut mare Colours Of Lansing.
As 31 of the country’s best young riders and their pocket rocket ponies tackled the 1.25-1.35m course, nine returned for the second round.
Early leader Phoebe Howson riding Grand Prix superstar Aorangi Ragtime had an unfortunate elimination in the second round. Of the nine it was just Carrington and 13 year old Emma Gillies from Oamuru who pulled off a faultless second round, resulting in a two pony jump off.
The crowd was on the edge of their seats and the pressure was well and truly on for the two super star combinations. Eight faults was earned by first up Gillies aboard her dun mare Benrose Playtime. A composed Carrington took to the Premier Arena and made it clear over the last, dropped her reins and punched the air.
“I think it’s everybody’s dream.” she effused of her newly crowned title.
An emotional Carrington couldn't hold back the tears as she clung to the Somerset Fair Cup.
“We’ve been together for five years now, so we know each other pretty well.”
What is their fourth Land Rover Horse of the Year together, this is their very first win at the show.
Watching from the sidelines was Mum Wendy, and Aunt Robyn. The two identical twins who run the Double J Stud in Takapau are two of her biggest supporters.
“I’m absolutely over the moon,” said Wendy.
“All our horses are family members and we know how hard it is to get a win.”
Last year Wendy considered selling the mare to help the family financially.
“I thought no I will give her another year. And it's the best decision I ever made.”
Now, a year on and her very composed daughter has claimed the country’s most prestigious pony title aboard the quirky little mare.
“Just as long as we’re trusting each other on the day, it works out pretty good,” said Carrington.
As her last season on ponies, the possibility of selling is still very much on the cards, or the possibility of breeding through their stud.
“If I can’t find the right home, she stays.”
The Land Rover Horse of the Year Show culminates tomorrow with the event’s hallmark show jumping event the Stirrups Equestrian Olympic Cup. With 21 starters it’s set to provide a crowd spectacle, with the country’s top riders riding for supremacy.