By DAVID DAWKINS - The Marlborough Express | Monday, 19 March 2007
Marlborough endurance rider Kylie Avery added another national title to her already impressive resume, winning the 100km CEI two star ride at the Horse of the Year in Hastings on Friday.
Avery and Silands Jasark were second across the Havelock North finish line, just seconds behind race leader Jenny Shander. However, Avery took the title after Shander's horse was unable to pass the final vet check. After the half hour rest period Shander's horse still registered a heart rate of 78 beats per minute, well above the required 64. Silands Jasark easily passed the check, registering 54bpm after 11 minutes of rest.
Avery completed the 100km in six hours 37.46 minutes to head off Waikato's Lois Hosking and Highlander who finished in 6.38.37 hours. Denis Hill and Sheree placed third in 6.56.34 hours.
Riders started at the Hastings show grounds at 7am on Friday and were escorted by police through Hastings for 5km. The riders then completed four laps of a farmland circuit out at Cape Kidnappers before heading to the finish in Havelock North township where they were greeted by a crowd of over 300.
The race was held on a cool, clear day with dry, hard conditions underfoot. Despite the ideal conditions only 17 of 39 horses qualified with a number vetted out with high heart rates.
Avery's performance helped the New Zealand team to vict-ory in the team's race. They headed off a world team made up of two Spanish, a Belgian and a Kiwi. South Africa finished third.
The win earned Avery a trip to compete in South Africa in June. Details of the South African race are yet to be confirmed.
Nicola French was also in winning form at the Horse of the Year. Riding Buckton Tumbledown in the dressage she took out the open elementary pony musical freestyle title yesterday. The win wrapped up a consistent show that saw French place third in the open elementary pony on Friday and fourth in the elementary pony on Thursday.
Also competing in the showing, French and Buckton Tumbledown were reserve champion for New Zealand bred ponies, third equal in the child rider 13 and 14 years, fourth in the paced and mannered pony 128cm-138cm and sixth in the intermediate rider of the year 13-16 years.
Fellow dressage rider Angela Fergusson and Monique III recorded two fourths, in the FEI Prix St George on Wednesday and the advanced musical freestyle on Friday. Monique III was ridden by international rider Calet De Vos to fifth in the international class on Saturday.
In the showing, Sandra Pilcher and Southwind Just Cruising placed third in the in-hand pony three year old. Emma Pilcher and Rosewood Little Maestro were fourth in the paced and mannered pony of the year while Lucy Allen and Nala Emblems Nichole were fifth. Emma Pilcher also placed fifth in the paced and mannered pony 128cm-138cm and Emily Wallace and Kessley Kiss n Tell were fourth in the child rider 11-12 years.
Emma Pilcher also recorded a number of top placings in the side saddle with fifth in the concors d'elegance and side saddle rider.
Sally Adams and Wynard Freedom were runner-up in the side saddle rider and side saddle mount, fourth in the concors d'elegance and fifth in the Sue Moss Memorial Side Saddle Horse of the Year.