Brilliant sunshine blessed the 2006 Kelt Capital NZ Horse of the Year Show in Hastings - a huge relief for organisers following the torrential downpours of 2005, and a cyclone threat for 2006.
The Kelt Capital Horse of the Year Show is a multi-discipline event catering for some 1300 horses over 5 days.
Former UK rider, Bill Noble, now a New Zealand citizen made seven hour drive to Hastings to defend his 2005 Grand Prix Dressage Horse of the Year title and was well rewarded with his NZ TBX Vincent St James winning the both the Vollrath Hanoverian Stud Grand Prix & the Astina Watches Kur from arch rivals Jody Hartstone & Landioso. These two combinations have dominated the major Grand Prix competitions in NZL this year and now both head to Australia to test themselves against their Trans-Tasman counterparts.
Vincent St James (Vinnie) is a twelve year old gelding bred at the St James Station on the South Island. The bay gelding by Wharfs Son xx out of Valea. He has been brought along patiently by Noble who judged him as a rather wayward four year and saw something special in the horse.
He has always considered that the horse needed time to gain strength and confidence for the Grand Prix work and this patience is now being rewarded with the piaffe/passage tour looking easy and a huge improvement in the canter pirouettes. "There is more to come yet" says Noble.
Angela Fergusson and Monique III, the attractive grey trakehener mare by Falkensee Marita (by Polarschnee), won the small tour Horse of the Year title - some compensation for their elimination for carrying a whip in the Advanced Final at the Bates National Championships when looking set to take that title.
The Cathay Pacific International Prix St Georges derby was contested by Hubertus Hufendiek from Germany, and Norwegian AnnaLene Holmen against the Kiwi pair of Jody Hartstone and Amanda Goldsbury. A Kiwi victory was well received by the home crowd. But Goldsbury is planning to learn more from the pair and plans to base herself in Germany at stable Hufendiek in the near future.
Photo credit: Barbara Thomson - Thomson Photography