History-Maker Briar Wins Olympic Cup
Briar Burnett-Grant created a slice of history today when the 17-year-old hoisted high the very special Olympic Cup. With all the pressure in the world, Burnett-Grant and Fiber Fresh Veroana went head-to-head against the calm Clint Beresford (Aus) aboard Emmaville Jitterbug. After two exciting rounds of jumping they were the only two with clean slates In the opening round, Burnett-Grant, Beresford and defending champ Lily Tootill aboard Ulysses NZPH were clear, seven combinations were on four faults, five on eight faults and the remainder on more. Ten came back for the second round where clears came from Beresford, Burnett-Grant, and Aussie visitors Stuart Jenkins aboard Fairview Aliquidam and Brooke Langbecker on Quintago I. It’s been years since double clears have jumped off for the top honours, and the packed grandstand along with the thousands around the Premier Arena picked their favourites and rode the Werner Deeg course with them. Burnett-Grant was over the moon with her nine-year-old roan, and especially because she almost scratched from the big class on the back of a rather average show. “Flash was just amazing . . . I just love him,” she said. “Clint definitely had a spotless round and I came in thinking I have got to be clear and cut tighter corners.” She thanked her coach Jeff McVean and particularly her family – parents Dave and Karen, sister Hannah and others. Burnett-Grant was presented the Olympic Cup by the first-ever winner of the cup, Peter Holden, with Equestrian Sports New Zealand patron Jennifer Millar. Beresford was quick to praise his opposition. “She was better on the day. She absolutely deserved it,” he said. “It is hard being first out – you don’t know how fast to go and I thought I had done enough.” Results – Olympic Cup: Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) Fiber Fresh Veroana 1, Clint Beresford (Aus) Emmaville Jitterbug 2, Stuart Jenkins (Aus) Fairview Alquidam and Brooke Langbecker (Aus) Quintago I =3, Lily Tootill (Karaka) Ulysses NZPH, Lisa Cubitt (Cambridge) Matawai Sentana and Tom Tarver-Priebe (Kawerau) Popeye =5, Tegan Fitzsimon (Christchurch) Double J Monarch and Katie Laurie (Aus) On the Point Sandy =8, Fraser Tombleson (Gisborne) Mea I 10.