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Miss Mae West Takes Pony of Year Crown

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 CAPTION: Grinners are winners . . . Molly Buist-Brown and Miss Mae West. PHoto: www.dianablack.com

The South Island sweep of titles in the premier arena at the Farmlands Horse of the Year Show continues today with a win to Molly Buist-Brown and Miss Mae West in the Farmlands Pony of the Year.

The feisty pony was the only one of 30 combinations to jump three stunning clear rounds, and she is believed to be the first Southern combination to win the Somerset Fair Cup since Julie Foster in 1975.

Five went clear in the opening round today – Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) with Pioneer Jade and Fiber Fresh Kabo Silver, Ally Carson (Putaruru) on Tony the Pony, Olivia Miller (Te Puke) on Kaycee Mackay and Buist-Brown.

The second round welcomed back those with eight faults and less. Emelia Forsyth (Auckland) and Soleado adding nothing to their eight faults, while Burnett-Grant and Fiber Fresh Mighty Maximus went clear to stay on their four faults from the opening round, and Buist-Brown kept her slate clean.

Six came back for the jump-off where it all came down to Buist-Brown and Burnett-Grant who each had double clears.

Burnett-Grant took the last rail with Silver to finish on eight, but went clear on Maximus to sit on four. But unfortunately, she parted company with Pioneer Jade and were eliminated.

It was Buist-Brown's to lose . . . go clear and take the title.

The 15-year-old had her hands full with her national champion pony, but took it all in her stride.

“Winning the nationals gave me a bit of confidence going into this,” she said.

And she backed herself to go clear in that final round with her 12-year-old horse she bought sight-unseen from Australia.

It's been a good show for the teen, who has twice ridden for New Zealand offshore – as well as the Pony of the Year title, she was also part of Canterbury's Saba Sam winning team and with Yipee Ki Yay was in the second-placed Canterbury team in the Pony Club Teams event.

As happy as Buist-Brown is, it was a nervous wait for mum Rochelle.

“We never expect to win,” she said. “What will happen, happens, but this time I was more than a little nervous with it coming down to needing that clear round to win.”

Burnett-Grant finished second, third and fifth with her trio of ponies.


Results -


Farmlands Pony of the Year: Molly Buist-Brown (Christchurch) Miss Mae West 1, Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) Fiber Fresh Mighty Maximus 2, Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) Fiber Fresh Kabo Silver 3, Grace O'Sullivan (Rangiora) Galaxy Masterpiece 4, Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) Pioneer Jade and Emelia Forsyth (Auckland) Soleado =5.






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