Amelia Douglass and Upperclass Z take out Silver Tour Qualifier at Takapoto
Above: Amelia Douglass and Upperclass Z
Young Australian superstar Amelia Douglass and her mare Upperclass Z beat a class field of combinations this morning to win the first Silver Tour Qualifier in the second week of the Takapoto Estate Showjumping event. The win qualifies her for Saturday’s final and a shot at the $8000 on offer for the Silver Tour winner. However, before taking the win Douglass had to prevail in a high-pressure jump-off against the four other combinations who went clear in the first round.
Douglass, who has brought three horses over from Australia to compete at Takapoto, was the last of the five to qualify for the jump-off and the last to go, needing a clear round in less than 40.15 to snatch the win from the very experienced New Zealander Clarke Johnstone who rode the 12 year old gelding Versace C. In a nail-biting ride, Douglass completed the course in 39.94 to the cheers of her supporters who have travelled across the Tasman.
Forty combinations entered the Silver Tour, all vying for one of 30 places in the final, 20 of which would be secured today. With rails set at 1.40m, and a course designed by Frenchman, Michel Ismalun, clear rounds were difficult to come by and with half the field gone, Logan Massie and Fairview Animation had the class to themselves as the only clear round. Soon after Emma Watson and Maddox Letino ensured that a jump-off would be required by going clear.
Next into the jump-off was another trans-Tasman traveller, Jess Rice-Ward and Dusky Farm Cavalier. This combination was quickly joined by Douglass and Johnstone.
Jess Rice-Ward and Dusky Farm Cavalier
Amelia Douglass and Upperclass Z
With the jump-off order the same as in Round 1, Massie and Fairview Animation set the benchmark with a single rail and a time of 39.33 seconds. Watson and Maddox Letino also took a rail, but their time was slower leaving Massie in the lead. The Australian combination of Jess Rice-Ward and Dusky Farm Cavalier were next, however a single rail and a time slower than the first two, relegated them to provisional third place. The penultimate pairing of Clarke Johnstone and Versace C slotted into the lead with a clear round, However, it was Douglass and Upperclass C which reigned supreme on the day, taking the win in convincing fashion.
Clarke Johnstone and Versace C
Douglass, who is in fine form, was part of the Chatham Park team which took out the teams challenge last weekend at Takapoto, was thrilled with the win. After the class she said that Upperclass Z was brought from Europe just two years ago and had taken a while to settle in and find form. She thanked her coach, Australian jumping legend George Sanna for finding the horse for her and said that she was enjoying this, her second visit to Takapoto.
Australian Jumping wishes both Amelia and Upperclass Z and Jess Rice-Ward and Dusky Farm Cavalier the best of luck in the final.
The top eight placegetters in this class were:
|1st||Amelia Douglass||Upperclass Z|
|2nd||Clarke Johnstone||Versace C|
|3rd||Logan Massie||Fairview Animation|
|4th||Emma Watson||Maddox Letino|
|5th||Jess Rice-Ward||Dusky Farm Cavalier|
|6th||Annabel Francis||Cherokee NZPH|
|7th||Kate Herdson||Idol D|
|8th||Duncan McFarlane||Be Mine NZPH|