Easter showjumping competition won and lost on final hurdle

Tyrone Vdl James Harvey Dsc 0263  TBW Newsgroup

Sue Rolwlandson, Lynette Martin, Tyrone Vdl James Harveydsc 0365 TBW Newsgroup
GRAND SUCCESS: Judge Sue Rolwlandson and mayor of Mount Gambier Lynette Martin congratulate the winner of a dramatic 2019 Senior Grand Prix, James Harvey aboard Tyrone at Monday’s 37th annual Mount Gambier Easter Showjumping Festival at Blue Lake Sports Park. Pictures: THOMAS MILES

REGIONAL showjumping star Kristy Bruhn has stumbled at the final hurdle to hand James Harvey a dramatic win in the 37th annual Mount Gambier Easter Showjumping Festival Senior Grand Prix.

Riding her horse Jack, Bruhn was in the box seat after leading the field heading into the final run at Blue Lake Sports Park velodrome on Monday.

But the South Australian Senior State Showjumping champion pulled a rail in the closing stages of her run.

It was a costly mistake as Harvey, riding Tyrone, held his nerve during his flawless final run, clearing every jump.

As a result, Harvey was awarded the blue ribbon from the mayor of Mount Gambier, Lynette Martin.

Bruhn’s penalty saw her slip from the lead, back to third place, which allowed Sam Williams and horse Anssioso to claim the runner-up place in the nine-competitor field.

It was a slow start to the final run, as a technical difficulty delayed the start to proceedings, which left the first competitor Katrina Clark riding Oaks Gun, waiting in front of the large crowd which gathered around the velodrome.

The course challenged the skills of both the horses and riders, with a number of high jumps placed around a tight course.

The first event of the four-day festival was the 95cm super 2 phase on Friday morning.

Rider Indi Officer was the class of the field, claiming the top two spots riding Simpson (winning horse) and Moretti (runner-up).

Sam Williams and horse Commander NZPH dominated the opening two events on Saturday, winning both the class six and seven events.

Fiona John rode Wilson to vicotry in class2, while Harvey won the class 3 welcome stakes event.

The headline event on Good Friday’s schedule was the John Wilsher Speed Championship.

It was Harvey’s first win of the four-day event, his time of 65.28 seconds on board Patangas Hiccup, was a second and a half clear of runner-up, South East rider Kane Johnson and horse Harbarty.

Beckham and Robert Agnew came home third, six seconds adrift in the 21-strong field.

Wendy Schaeffer-MacDonald rode Sparkling Sun to victory in the class 8.1 event, while Officer claimed her third win of the event, this time riding Moretti in class 8.2.

Saturday’s final two events were won by Geoff Bloomfield and Kiel Park Impact (class 9.1) and Tori Stuckey and Belcam (class 9.2) respectively.

A 105cm class 10.1 meeting kicked off Sunday’s schedule, with Rachael Gane and Woodglen Clyde taking home the chocolates, while Tenacious Red rode by Kelly Fyfe won the class 10.2 shortly after.

Valid and Max Height were the victors in the 120cm class 11.1, while Fiona John and Wilson defeated Johnson in class 11.2.

Harvey secured another success, this time riding Patangas Hiccup in the 130cm class 12 meeting.

Bruhn and her horse Jack did not go home without any silverware though, her win in the 140cm class 13 David Clark Memorial event the highlight of her campaign.

Williams aboard Yandoo Pennsylvania secured the win in the 110-115cm class 14 championship event, which brought an end to Sunday’s schedule.

Easter Monday’s proceedings began with a class 15 win to Ally Wake and Olympia, while Ruth McCrae and Brooklyn Cruiser won class 16.

The final event of the four-day festival was the Blue Lakes Stakes, which saw a crushing performance from Williams, who rode two horses to a first and third place finish.

He rode Commander  to victory and Yandoo Pennsylvania to third position, which capped off an impressive campaign for Williams.

Harvey also completed his own impressive four-day performance with a runner-up finish, while horse Harbarty ridden by Johnson, was awarded the best performed thoroughbred.