Classy Corlinka Takes Junior Crown
Brigitte Smith may come from a highly-successful endurance family but today she made her own mark with victory in the Fiber Fresh Feeds Junior Rider of the Year. Both her mother Andrea and sister Georgia rode for New Zealand at the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games in France, where Brigitte groomed for her mum. Today Brigitte showed nerves of steel as the last to go in the 30-strong class. Ahead of her the other two clear rounds – Ally Carson aboard Whiorau Ritchie and Samantha Carrington on Double J Breeze On – had both taken the last rail in the time-crucial round. The 18-year-old knew her horse Corlinka had plenty of speed, but the goal was to go clear. “I was a bit nervous but when Sam took the last rail I felt even if we had a rail we would be quick enough,” she said. The Mangaweka combination had their first start in late January and since have bagged a win and two thirds from their three junior rider starts. They had to qualify at HOY to make the final. Today was Brigitte’s first ever venture into the premier arena at HOY and their efforts earned them the rather special Super Moth Trophy. Corlinka is owned by her cousin Kelly Smith, and will stay with Brigitte for next season too. “A huge thanks to Kelly,” she said. Brigitte is in her first year at Massey University where she is studying agriculture, majoring in international agri-business. As much as she would love to ride full time she figured “uni is a good idea”. Sarah West won the equitation prize for the class. Results – Fiber Fresh Feeds Junior Rider of the Year: Brigitte Smith (Mangaweka) Corlinka 1, Keean Cooper (Te Kauwhata) LT Eloquence 2, Emma Watson (Morrinsville) Maddox Kiwi Silverkee 3, Ally Carson (Putaruru) Whiorau Ritchie 4, Sarah West Matamata) ERL Grey II 5, Samantha Carrington (Takapau) Double J Breeze On 6.