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Hauraki Plains Gold team members Zara Culley, left, and Tamzin Forsyth-Lees. Photos: SUPPLIED

College equestrians ride to cup glory

Four Hauraki equestrians “screamed and jumped for joy” when they were announced the winners of the inaugural Secondary Schools Pegasus Cup.
The event, which was held on March 20 and 21 at Takapoto Estate at Maungatautari near Cambridge, roped in 45 North Island secondary school teams to compete in showjumping and show hunter events.

Team manager Theresa Worters said the Hauraki Plains College team, named Hauraki Plains Gold, included her daughter Hannah van der Struys riding Cookie, Zara Culley riding Felix, Anna Hart riding Katy and Tamzin Forsyth-Lees riding Connie.
The team competed in equitation and accumulator classes during the event.
The equitation class was judged on the effectiveness, style, and execution of excellent horsemanship skills of the rider, and the accumulator class involved six to 10 jumps at various heights.
Theresa said on the first day of the tournament, Hannah sped to first place in the 80cm equitation class, Tamzin and Zara placed second and sixth in the 70cm equitation class and Anna competed in the 90cm equitation class.
By the end of day one, Hauraki Plains Gold were in fifth place.
Theresa said Tamzin and Zara “rode amazingly” in the 70cm accumulator class on day two.
“Tamzin and Connie scored themselves a smashing first, while Zara and Felix followed in just behind with the second,” she said.
Hannah also competed in the accumulator class on day two and the last class for the team, before Tamzin had her second shot in the equitation, was the 90cm accumulator with Anna and her horse Katy.

Anna Hart and her horse Katy.

“Katy was fantastic, and Anna rode so well. They came out with a very well-deserved third place,” she said.
“Tamzin and Connie rode out into the arena with quiet confidence. They executed a very well-ridden equitation round, maintaining their third place standing and receiving the ribbon and points for our team.”
Theresa said the results and prizegiving soon followed where it was revealed Tamzin scored the highest individual points and the team scored the highest overall total with 138 points, crowning them the first Pegasus Cup champions.

Hannah van der Struys with the Pegasus Cup.

“Tamzin was surprised and overjoyed to find out she had collected the highest number of individual points, and had in fact won the Leading Rider Award,” she said.
“It was a very exciting moment to be with the girls near the stables and the horses when the overall places were announced.
“The girls screamed and jumped with joy… all the parents were there outside the stables in the pouring down rain, smiling and laughing and hugging with an overload of emotions.”
Theresa said the experience for the girls had been one of perseverance and determination.
“This sport takes grit and hard work and lots of tears. As a parent, I am so very proud of them all,” she said.