23/09/2013 - The Kiwi girls have shone on the last day of competition at the Australian Showjumping Championships in Werribee.
Bridget Hansen Shakespear NZPH have finished second in the Australian Young Rider Showjumping Championship, with Samantha McIntosh seventh in the Senior Championship Grand Prix Final, and Rebekah van Tiel winning the young rider consolation class.
For 20-year-old Hansen, it could have been a win – they took a rail off the last fence of the final round, giving her good mate and the very in-form Aussie youngster Tom McDermott victory aboard Cumo Z.
Hansen has been riding brilliantly in Australia, and today notched the only clear round of the 27 combinations who made it through the qualifiers to the final. They carried their points – Nicole Bruggemann was leading with zero, McDermott second on one and then Hansen on four.
In the end, McDermott finished on five after taking a rail in the first round and going clear in the second, and Hansen bagged eight for her efforts after just nudging that last fence. But she wasn’t complaining. “My horses have been great,” said the 20-year-old from Ocean Beach. “I am just stoked with them.” She walked the course with Greg McDermott (Tom’s father). “Tom is one of my best friends over here and the family are so supportive. Greg warmed me up and we sorted out a plan . . . and it worked!”
The course was another whopper. “It was definitely as big as yesterday and rode a bit more technical.” She figures the grueling test of the qualifiers, set her up nicely to take today’s final in her stride.
“There was a bit of pressure going into today, but I didn’t think about it too much. I just wanted to stick to the plan . . . I knew my horse could do it.” She rates Shakespear as the best horse she’s ever ridden.
“It’s even more special that he is Nicalette’s son – she has always been one of the favourites, so it is cool to have brought her son along like this.”
Chef d’equipe John Cottle had plenty of praise for his 'girls'.
“There are a lot of positives to take out of today,” said Cottle. “But for that last fence of the day, Bridget would have been the Australian young rider champ!”
He was particularly chuffed with the efforts of Hansen and McIntosh. McIntosh and Estina (owned by Lakeridge Equestrian) was clear in the senior grand prix final but had a single time fault in the first round, and two in the second round.
There was just one combination of the top 20 who started, who went clear and inside time. “The mare jumped super,” said Cottle. “She was clear right up to the last double and the mare spooked at something.”
The bonus is that they now have their Certificate of Capability for the 2014 World Equestrian Games for their efforts. Ross Smith and Quite Cassini had five in the first round followed by a clutch of rails in the second that saw them finish out of the top 10.
Olivia Robertson and Ngahiwi Cisco had started well in the first round yesterday but things didn’t quite go to plan. Luke Dee also managed to get a little more out of Ombudsman and went double to finish seventh in the 1.35m.
Course designer Frederick Cottier (FRA) had challenged everyone. “The jumps were very open and gappy between the top rails, with hardly any clear rounds throughout the show,” said Cottle.
“I am thrilled with Sam’s horse who has improved so much, and the young riders . . . well Bridget’s riding has improved and she did very well. It was good experience for Rebekah who rode well and Luke’s horse jumped well so hopefully will be better for Melbourne.”
The team now regroup and will compete at the Royal Melbourne Show next weekend.
Australian Senior Jumping Champion: Jamie Kermond, Caracas 1, Clem Smith, Guru 2, Jamie Kermond, Valhalla III 3, Samantha McIntosh (NZL) Estina, 19, Ross Smith (NZL) Quite Cassini 14.
Australian Senior Championship Grand Prix Final: Tim Clarke, Caltango 1, Clem Smith, Guru 2, Jamie Kermond, Caracas 3, Samantha McIntosh (NZL) Estina 7, Ross Smith (NZL) Quite Cassini 12.
Australian Young Rider Champion: Tom McDermott, Cumo Z 5 points 1, Bridget Hansen (NZL) Shakespear NZPH 8 2, Tom McDermott, CP Rolex 9 3, Olivia Robertson (NZL) Ngahiwi Cisco 44 19.
Australian Young Rider Grand Prix: Sarah-Louise McMillan, Queen of Diamonds 1, Rom McDermott, CP Rolex 2, Bridget Hansen (NZL) Shakespear NZPH 3, Olivia Robertson (NZL) Ngahiwi Cisco 21.