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Robert Steele made it look easy on his way to victory in the Bomac super league at the New Zealand Showjumping Series Final Show in Taranaki yesterday (Saturday).
Aboard his lovely big dark home-bred horse Gospel is loped around the Roger La Planche (Timaru) designed course taking a comfortable win over eight other combinations in the class at the Egmont A and P Showgrounds in Hawera.
The Hawera dairy farmer was one of only two through to the jump-off. First out was Aussie visitor Brook Dobbin aboard Advisor who set a cracking pace, going clear in 45.07 seconds but it just wasn't enough for the hometown lad.
The experienced Steele – as always – took excellent lines and never looked bothered.
In the pony grand prix Rebekah van Tiel (Auckland) and Tui Gold swept aside their opposition with ease too. The combination were the first of five to go in the jump-off from the original 25 start list, whipping around in 39.08. The rest tried hard, including series winner and eventual second place-getter Logan Massie (Dannevirke) aboard Kickin the Clouds, but just couldn't come close – Massie coming home in 41.94.
Danielle Maurer (Auckland) and Blue Rinse continued their relentless march in the young rider classes, taking the final class and the series.
Kylee Timm (Clevedon) dominated the five-year-old series winning on LC Schweppes and placing second on LC Riviere Rouge and fifth on LC Rodeo Drive.
Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) may not have been in the country for the series final show but she and her horses still featured with Dunstan Daffodil taking both the leading mare crown and the super league series.
Aussie rider Billy Raymont, who is currently based with NZPH at Ocean Beach, may not have been in New Zealand that long but still managed to make an impact on the super league series, finishing third on Nicalette NZPH and fourth on his own horse Stardom.
Chris Harris' (Christchurch) top season continued too with victory aboard Zilco Te Peka Luciano in the grand prix series on the back of his win in the Rutherford Cup at the nationals recently.
The three day show marked the end of New Zealand's national showjumping series, with a fantastic awards dinner last night.
Next for the nation's top riders is the NZ Horse of the Year Show which starts in Hastings on March 15.
Main show classes, Bomac super league: Robert Steele (Hawera) Gospel 1, Brook Dobbin (Australia) Advisor 2, Adrian Bruce (Wellington) Witheze 3, Simon Wilson (Waipukurau) Cortaflex Swinger 4, Jamie Kermond (Australia) Colthaga 5, Ike Unsworth (Tauranga) NRM Seremonie VDL 6.
Pony grand prix: Rebekah van Tiel (Auckland) Tui Gold 1, Logan Massie (Dannevirke) Kickin the Clouds 2, Rebecca Porter (Hastings) Chobidong 3, Morgan Percy (Masterton) Surprise Illusion 4, Luke Dee (Gisborne) Wild Thing 5, Laura Hutterd (Taranaki) Spot You Later 6.
Cathay Pacific horse grand prix: Sally Steiner (Tauranga) Wickliffe Brannigan 1, Angela Illston (Marton) Yapen 2, Ike Unsworth (Tauranga) NRM Wimbledon MVNZ 3, Oliver Edgecombe (Waipukurau) Cortaflex Billistic 4, Julie Davey (Hastings) Air Hill Myka 5, Robert Steele (Hawera) Countryman 6.
Young rider: Danielle Maurer (Auckland) Blue Rinse 1, Rachel McGregor (Cambridge) Kabo Benny Boy 2, Kim Winks (New Plymouth) Elle Supre 3, Mathew Dickey (New Plymouth) Kiwi Guard 4, Jamie Thurlow (New Plymouth) Mister Pirate 5, Luke Dee (Gisborne) Ombudsman 6.
Series results -
Astek Stud five-year-old series: Kyle Timm (Clevedon) LC Schweppes 1, Kyle Timm (Clevedon) LC Riviere Rouge 2, Jaime Campbell (Auckland) Velocity II 3, Claire Wilson (Waipukurau) Cortaflex Finneto 4, Kyle Timm (Clevedon) LC Rodeo Drive 5, Kate Taylor (Kurow) Landzone 6.
Mitavite six-year-old: Louise Marriot (Kaikoura) Concur 1, Phillip Steiner (Tauranga) Annandale Branson MVNZ 2, Karen Riddle (Cambridge) Littoria WS 3, Kyle Timm (Clevedon) LC R Mister Berg 4, Kyle Timm (Clevedon) LC Funny Lass 5, Melanie Purcell (Whakatane) Kiwi Ironmark 6.
Cushionride seven-year-old: Lisa Coupe (Kumeu) Bates Amaretto 1, Kate McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Zasjany D 2, Ross Smith (Christchurch) Quite Cassini and Amanda Wilson (Northland) Showtym Viking =3, Nigel Horton (Palmerston North) Miss Mopsie 5, Phillip Steiner (Tauranga) Waitangi Triple X and Claudia Hay (Mosgiel) Eurosport Heartbreaker =6.
Pony grand prix: Logan Massie (Dannevirke) Kickin the Clouds 1, Melanie Weal (Te Awamutu) Hopeful Illusion 2, Luke Dee (Gisborne) Wild Thing 3, Emily Fraser (Dannevirke) Tony the Pony 4, Rebekah van Tiel (Auckland) Guthrie 5, Morgan Percy (Masterton) Surprise Illusion 6.
Cathay Pacific grand prix: Chris Harris (Christchurch) Zilco Te Peka Luciano 1, Anna Stephen (Martinborough) Constantine 2, Kate McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Daffodil 3, Simon Wilson (Waipukurau) Cortaflex Right Royal 4, Sally Steiner (Tauranga) Wickliffe Brannigan 5, Robert Steele (Hawera) Gospel 6.
Young rider: Danielle Maurer (Auckland) 1, Mathew Dickey (Taranaki) 2, Brad Cunningham (Christchurch) 3, Hannah Burnett-Grant (Taupo) 4, Rachel McGregor (Cambridge) 5, Tegan Fitzsimons (Christchurch ) 6.
KiwiSpan junior rider: Candice Fox (Auckland) 1, Rosie Commons (Auckland) 2, Bridget Grylls (Te Awamutu) 3, Georgia Pinckney (Christchurch) 4, Natasha Brooks (Cambridge) 5, Hannah Harding (Auckland) 6.
STH pro amateur rider: Sarah Beal (Auckland) 1, Amy Sprague (Northland) 2, Tasha Brown (Opotiki) 3, Caroline Tatere (Dannevirke) 4, Sophie Boardman (Auckland) 5, Kirsten McLeod (Gisborne) and Megan Stacey (Tauranga) =6.
Iverquantel amateur rider: Tim Finch (Waipukurau) 1, Merran Hain (Gisborne) 2, Louise Marriott (Kaikoura) 3, Tarnia Morris (Auckland) 4, Simon Harrison (Wanganui) 5, Angela Frewer (Amberly) and Jaime Campbell (Auckland) =6.
Bomac super league: Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Daffodil 1, Ike Unsworth (Tauranga) NRM Seremonie VDL 2, Billy Raymont (Ocean Beach/Australia) Nicalette NZPH 3, Billy Raymont (Ocean Beach/Australia) Stardom 4, Phillip Steiner (Tauranga) Annandale Online NZPH 5, Bernard Denton (Gisborne) Suzuki 6.
Equibreed leading mare: Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Daffodil 1,
Louise Marriot (Kaikoura) Concur 2, Ike Unsworth (Tauranga) NRM Seremonie VDL 3.