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History-Maker Laurie Inducted Into Hall of Fame

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CAPTION: The newest inductee into the PlusFour Horse of the Year Hall of Fame . . . Katie Laurie. PHOTO: Kerry Marshall/KAMPIC


History-maker Laurie Inducted Into the Hall of Fame


Katie Laurie may just be the only person who didn't know she was being inducted into the PlusFour Horse of the Year Hall of Fame tonight.

The champion showjumper from Mystery Creek was floored when she was called to the stage before a sell-out 300-strong crowd – her mother Vicki McVean had told her that dad, Jeff McVean, was being inducted.

But for anyone who follows the sport, it was only a matter of time before she joined the 13 others honoured at the gala dinner since 2010.

She won her first major HOY title in 1999 when she took the Pony of the Year on Skylight, and since then has won a further 28 titles across all the majors, including the Young Rider, Norwood Gold Cup, Speed Horse of the Year, Lady Rider and of course, the Olympic Cup an incredible five times.

Laurie acknowledged her parents, husband Jackson, HOY director Kevin Hansen, her team and her sponsors, including Dunstan who had been with her for more than 20 years.

“There is no better feeling than riding in that (premier) arena on Sunday when the crowd is massive . . . it makes you perform the best you can,” she said.

“It is a massive team effort for us,” said Laurie. “I was lucky – I got a good start thanks to my sister having such good friends. It has been a good ride . . . hopefully it can continue.”

Next week Laurie heads to Las Vegas to represent New Zealand at the Longines FEI World Cup final.

The David Ross Memorial was presented to Hawke's Bay Sound Systems' Gordon Hannon, Pat Brady and Hugh and Alison Greenwood, who also had no idea they were being honoured.

Show director Kevin Hansen paid tribute to both the late David Ross and the sound crew.

“We miss David deeply,” he said. “He was a great asset to our sport, and tonight's winners are also very special. They have been part of the show for 17 years and we truly missed them when they retired.”

Earlier in the evening world class eventer Jock Paget was interviewed by Hawke's Bay radio journalist Ross Holden, giving the crowd an insight to his life with horses, including the shock of finding out his horse Clifton Promise had tested positive for a banned substance, and the long road back.

“Through all this I had to use my brain in a different way,” said Paget. “I had to research and learn a lot, because this was so important to me. It took my focus away from horses, and nothing had done that before.”

But it all helped, and just before the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Paget was found to be cleared of any wrong doing.

Now he's back on his mission to achieve the Grand Slam of eventing.

Hall of Fame organisers Kurt Sandtmann and Greg Howie of Etiquette Events were congratulated by master of ceremonies Stuart McLeod, for taking the gala evening to a whole new level.



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