Masterton’s Sarah Dalziell has kicked off her South Island campaign in winning form galloping away with the Saddlery Barn South Island Young Event Horse Championship at the National Equestrian at McLeans Island, near Christchurch, on Thursday.
Aboard her five-year-old part warmblood Valinquish, bred by Ashburton’s Judy Grant and Louise Grant, Dalziell led from the outset in the 12-strong field open to four and five-year-olds.
Judged by a panel of international judges, which included Ground Jury President Bill Phiskie (Timaru), Stuart Bishell (South Canterbury), Pakin Chamswaad (Thailand) and Sam Deverell (Ireland), combinations competed in dressage (30%), showjumping (30%), conformation and movement (20%), and a gallop suitable for cross country (20%), to find the next eventing star of the future.
Dalziell and Valinquish produced a lovely dressage test despite torrential rain to go into the lead and followed that up with strong scores across all other sections. The pair finished on a total score of 99.14, well clear of second placed Kate Cavanagh on the Thoroughbred Damani on 94.57 with Brent Jury and S.E Back To Black third on 91.43. The leading four-year-old went to Eve Hawes’ Thoroughbred Spookee Possum, with the best mare to WE Duranzo, ridden by Holly Morrell.
Dalziell was thrilled with the son of Voltaire II, who she bought last September. “I was rapt with him, especially given the conditions,” said Dalziell. “He’s has lovely movement and is bold across country.”
Dalziell also starts Valinquish in the Hei Hei Pharmacy CCN105, starting with today’s dressage phase.
RESULTS: Sarah Dalziell (Masterton) Valinquish 1, Kate Cavanagh (West Melton) Damani 2, Brent Jury (Cust) S.E Back To Black 3, Larissa Srhoy (Loburn) Rockquest 4.