Second dressage crown for Williamson

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Horse Of The Year

By Lisa Potter

It’s been quite a show for Kumeu’s Wendi Williamson. The full-time geologist has won everything she set her cap at - on both of her horses. With six Horse of the Year dressage tests under her belt this week, the busy mum is heading home with both the Advanced Horse of the Year title on Cortaflex Watergate and the Level 2 Horse of the Year title on her starry youngster Cortaflex DejaVu MH.

“It’s a fantastic outcome,” she said, elated. “Obviously to win both was the goal, but a dream goal!” Williamson blitzed the Advanced field, winning both title classes and setting an early lead after being second to go in today’s Musical Freestyle, in a strong field of 23 starters. “I’m most pleased about how generous Watergate was, he was not feeling great in himself and he still tried so hard.” Asked if she planned to celebrate by treating herself at the Horse of the Year shops, Williamson said “there’s nothing that makes them go better other than hard work and good management.”

The pair also won the Zilco Musical Freestyle Accumulator Series. Reserve Advanced Champion went to new combination Christine Weal (Te Awamutu) riding Emma Geor’s Speilzeit. The win is more remarkable given that this is just their fifth outing together. Weal is renowned for her extravagant evening displays at Horse of the Year on her beautiful stallion Landro L who unfortunately died earlier this year. “I’m so grateful to the Geor family for the ride on Speilzeit. It has really filled the gap after losing Landro and I’m enjoying riding him so much.”

The pair headed of some serious competition to take the titles, including strong showings from Andrea Bank (Auckland) and her two rides Limonit and Northern Fortuous, and Jody Hartstone (Raglan) and schoolmaster Donnerwind, ‘dragged out of retirement’ this year and downgraded to Advanced level for one more shot at a HOY title. Advanced Horse of the Year Champion: Wendi Williamson, Cortaflex Watergate Reserve Champion: Christine Weal, Speilzeit.