The Timaru Herald

NZ’s best pony showjumper prepares for last show of season

- Yashas Srinivasa

Young Geraldine showjumper Molly Smith was crowned New Zealand’s best pony showjumper at the 2024 Horse of the Year Show in March.

But she’s not finished for the season just yet, and is preparing for one last show, which will be held across the Tasman.

The 15-year-old, riding Jessica and Karen McCann’s Kabo Fortune Cookie, won the coveted Somerset Fair Trophy for the Pony of the Year title in Hastings on March 10.

Emily Oliver and Doctor Jones came in second and were followed by Jade Miller and Eleanor Rigby in third.

Molly said it felt “pretty good” to win the title. “It was a really good competitio­n. The field was quite big and technical.

“There were three rounds and on the third round we had a jump off. I knew as soon as the last rider finished that I had won. I was pretty nervous.”

Next up is the Larapinta World Cup Show Jumping competitio­n in Australia which starts on April 24.

Molly said she felt prepared and ready for the event and was heading over there aiming to win. “I’m going for the experi- ence and it should be fun.”

Molly’s top horse Vapour Trail NZPH was sidelined a month prior to the Horse of the Year show due to an injury.

“It scared me because he was my number one horse. This was the first time I have competed in a grand prix with my other pony [Kabo Fortune Cookie].

“Mum was surprised because no one expected me to win on the other pony.”

Jumping South Canterbury North Otago chairperso­n Tim Douglass said it was an “absolutely fantastic” result for Molly and the pony’s connection­s.

“As far as I’m aware, this is the first time that the Somerset Fair Cup for Pony of the Year has been won by a competitor from our area,” Douglass said.

“Extra special is that the course designer for the premier arena, where the Pony of the Year was held, was Roger Laplanche, from Lyalldale, in the Waimate District in his final outing as a course designer at this level.

“Normally, this role would be fulfilled by someone from overseas, and it was great to see the organisers honour Roger’s many years of service with this opportunit­y.

“It was great to see numerous other results for competitor­s from this area, and a number of officials from here get the callup as well.”

 ?? KAMPIC/KERRY MARSHALL ?? Molly Smith riding Jessica and Karen McCann’s Kabo Fortune Cookie after winning Pony of the Year.
KAMPIC/KERRY MARSHALL Molly Smith riding Jessica and Karen McCann’s Kabo Fortune Cookie after winning Pony of the Year.

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