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Special Trophy for Special Win

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Vicki Wilson bagged seven wins and seven placings at the 2014 NRM Horse of the Year Show, but the most special was lifting the Tom Gadsby Memorial Trophy as winner of the Premier Stakes aboard Showtym Cadet MVNZ.

The Northland rider competed against Gadsby for the best part of a decade, from Pony Club right through.

“That made the win very special for me,” said the 26-year-old.

Conditions for the NRM Premier Stakes were far from ideal and there were plenty of slips and slides as the 28 starters were challenged by the John Vallance-designed course.

Five were eliminated, and two retired, with four coming back to jump-off after two rounds.

Mathew Gilmour (Matangi) had two mounts through and ended up second on Cuba D Esquelmes Z (owned by Lakeridge Equestrian) and fourth on Branson MVNZ. Danielle Maurer (Auckland) and Double Dutch were third.

But the day belonged to Wilson, who was almost five seconds faster than Gilmour in the jump-off, stopping the clock at 44.58 seconds to his 49.41, with Maurer in 54.78. The top three were all clear, with Gilmour picking up four faults aboard Branson.

“Cadet warmed up beautifully and when we walked into the ring, he felt amazing,” said Wilson of the eight-year-old.

She has had him almost two years and he continues to impress with each outing.

It was a busy show for Wilson who had 11 horses entered, and took the quinella in the Six Year Old of the Year class, taking the title on Equador MVNZ.

When you factor in that Wilson also did plenty of shoeing, had nine pupils at the show, rode in the Hawke’s Bay Today Friday Night Extravaganza, coached, mentored and walked plenty of courses – that weren’t her own to ride – it’s clear she was one of the busiest riders there.

“I think there were only two classes I didn’t place in, but every horse got a ribbon and they all jumped amazingly. It has to be my best show ever! I have been wanting a title class in ring one for a long time but it has always eluded me . . . not this time!”

It is particularly impressive when you also consider that Wilson didn’t even start showjumping until she was 15 years old, having doing plenty of A and P Shows, round the ring jumping, Pony Club and games, until then. Showing also starred in her world and she won almost every supreme and champion ribbon from Auckland and north for four years.

All of her pupils – three of whom were competing in their first HOY – as well as her sisters Amanda and Kelly, also came home with ribbons.

“HOY is a show that just keeps on improving,” says Wilson. “Kevin (Hansen) has done a very good job this time. It was neat to have the eventing coming through the show too.”

And while many now enjoy a little down time, with the season at its end, it’s not the case for Wilson.

The competition ponies have all been turned out, but all the young horses will come into work and there are quite a few arriving to be broken in. Then there are the kids’ camps that continue to be popular and of course, the Wilson sisters passion for Kaimanawa horses is about to hit overdrive.

The Kaimanawa muster is the last week of May and the Wilsons have applied for six horses, but there is always the possibility they will take more.

They have been the driving force behind the Kaimanawa Challenge which will see key trainers around the country take in a stallion from the muster and prepare it for competition at Equidays and the 2015 Horse of the Year Show.

Wilson has clinics around the country, starting just after the April school holidays and running weekly until the end of August.

This weekend however, there is a small reprieve, as the family heads to Cape Rienga on a roadie.

“That is going to fun!”


CAPTION: Premier Stakes winner Vicki Wilson with the "gate keeper" Blake Keane.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kelly Wilson

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