Maurice Beatson has scratched evergreen campaigner My Gollywog from the NZ National Jumping and Show Hunter Championships in Christchurch, which start today.
The Dannevirke farmer and his 19-year-old part-trotter were looking for their unprecedented fourth victory in the coveted NZ Senior Horse Championship after scoring three consecutive wins from 2007 to 2009, but it wasn’t meant to be.
Winner of the Olympic Cup at the Horse of the Year show last year, My Gollywog showed he is still in form, finishing third behind Katie McVean in the $50,000 McMillan Equine Feeds Super Grand Prix indoors at the Forsyth Barr Stadium as part of Ride The Rhythm last weekend, sitting on four faults after jumping clear in the second round in 50.21.
“He’s pulled up okay, but he’s probably not quite 100 per cent,” said Beatson. “It’s a grueling competition and I didn’t want to risk him jumping for three days. I want to save him for the Horse of the Year show.”
Beatson was pleased with the rest of his team though. “We had a good run in Dunedin. I think everything is going okay,” he said.
He still has two chances to lift the title with Conyers and Schimmel Warrior, both of whom have strong recent form.
Competition starts today with the first speed rounds of the Senior Horse Grand Prix Championship and One Star Horse Grand Prix Championship at the National Equestrian Centrea at McLeans Island, with the rest of the championship classes set to get under way on Friday. Finals are on Sunday.