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South Islanders Take Two Big Titles at HOY

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CAPTION: Claudia Hay and Euro Sport Centavos on their way to victory in the McMillan Equine Feeds Silver Fern Stakes. Photo: Kerry Marshall/KAMPIC


South Islanders Take Two Biggies at HOY


Claudia Hay added to a cracker day for South Islanders at the Farmlands Horse of the Year Show in Hastings tonight, winning the $50,000 McMillan Equine Feeds Silver Fern Stakes on her stunning black stallion Euro Sport Centavos.

Earlier today, Olivia Robertson (Christchurch) and her East Coast horse Ngahiwi Cisco won the Dunstan Horsefeeds Young Rider of the Year crown.

It was the biggest win of her career for the quietly-spoken Hay (Mosgiel) who imported the 10-year-old horse from Germany as a three-year-old.

“I know he is a brilliant horse and was capable of winning tonight,” she said.

The combination headed home a rather smart field, that included the golden girl of New Zealand showjumping, Katie Laurie, as well as the newly-crowned Lady Rider of the Year Lisa Cubitt, former Olympic Cup winner Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) and the in-form Brit-turned-Kiwi Helen McNaught-McFarlane (Taupo).

Eighteen started the class, but faults were plenty, and just Hay on Centavos and Laurie on her youngster Dunstan Breeze going clear. In the second round, McNaught-McFarlane and Carnutelabryere notched the only clear of the nine combinations to come back. Hay and Laurie took a rail apiece, forcing a jump-off between the two.

Laurie was out first and despite Breeze being a little tricky in that second round, she was all class, leaving the track in tact and stopping the clock at 46.88 seconds. Hay came out, and with a very deceptive looking round, was all clear in 46.3.

“I had my plan and just stuck to it. I was just looking for a good performance,” said the 27 year old Hay. “In the second round it was more of the same . . . to try and have him settled and give him as good a ride as possible.”

However, heading into the grand stands, Centarvos – a Hanovarian by Escudo I out of an Argentinus mare – was a little distracted and they took a back rail.

“It was quite difficult out there with the lighting, but he felt good.”

Hay says she hasn't done many jump-offs with the horse, and was not expecting to beat Laurie.

“It is amazing, just amazing!”

Olivia Robertson was just as pleased with her victory in the Young Rider, where she and Cisco headed home a 36-strong field.

The vet nurse student was one of 12 to go clear in the first round. And eight of those repeated the feat in the second round, and with three leaving their slates clean in the jump-off, it was all down to time.

“To win this is just incredible,” said the 20-year-old. “It is what you dream about.”

She and Cisco flew around to take the honours in 41.07 seconds, just ahead of last year's Young Rider champ Rose Alfeld (Christchurch) and Super Nova who came home in 42.99.

“It was go hard or go home,” said Robertson. “This is what you train for all year, but this wasn't a practice any more. I just had to keep riding.”


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