Taupō teen Briar Burnett-Grant enjoyed a brilliant weekend at the Larsen Sawmilling North Island Jumping and Show Hunter Championships in Gisborne.

She produced a win in the Equissage Premier League and was a member of the victorious New Zealand team in the trans-Tasman young rider clash.

Twelve started the premier league with seven combinations with four faults and less coming back for the second round.

Sitting on zero faults were Drew Carson (Putaruru) aboard Winston V Driene, Briar aboard Fiber Fresh Veroana, Tess Williams (Hastings) on Sinatra II and her flat mate Melody Matheson (Hastings) aboard Graffiti MH. Clears in the second came from Emily Hayward (Te Awamutu) aboard Yandoo Lady Gold, Drew, Briar and Melody but it all came down to time.


Briar and Fiber Fresh Veroana are always fast and they wasted no time in zipping around the Heather McDonald-designed course in 51.21s. It wasn't without a couple of heart-stopping moments but in the end everything stayed up.

The 18-year-old was ecstatic to win her second North Island premier title.

"I am so excited. I really wanted to win the (Larsen Sawmilling) chair for my stables."

Briar admitted Veroana, who last year won the Olympic Cup as showjumper of the year, is a handful and erratic but he does listen to his rider. It was a big course on the day, which was welcomed by the top riders.

"It's nice to get more experience on the bigger tracks so I was happy with the height and Flash (Veroana) loves big fences. It was a very strong field too – in my head I was thinking I would be happy with a nice double clear but once we had done a clear in the first of course I just wanted to win. I am so lucky to have such an awesome horse."

In the Easts Outdoor Work and Leisure New Zealand v Australia Young Rider Test, New Zealand – represented by Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupō), Emily Hayward (Te Awamutu), Oliver Croucher (Cambridge) and Steffi Whittaker (Canterbury) finished with eight points to the visitors – represented by Lucie Aldridge, Lucy Evans, Clemancy Hughs and Cameron Moffatt – four.

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