Claudia Hay and Euro Sport Centavos won the prestigious Bostock International Olympic Cup at New Zealand’s Farmlands Horse of the Year Show in Hastings on Sunday. The combination headed a 17-strong field, which included previous winners Katie Laurie and Maurice Beatson, and international riders Daniel Meech and Helen McNaught-McFarlane.
Hay, the first South Islander to win the $200,000 Olympic Cup since the 1970s, and her black German-bred stallion also won the second-richest class of the show, the McMillan Equine Feeds Silver Fern Stakes. The first round of the Olympic Cup saw clears from just four combinations – teenager Amanda Wilson and her coloured horse Showtym Cassanova, followed by Hay, then former Olympian Meech on his imported mare Queen of Dance WHS, and finally McNaught-McFarlane on her quirky young grey Carnutelabryere.
Those with 12 faults or fewer came back for the second round where five-time winner Laurie went clear on her 2014 Olympic Cup champ Dunstan Springfield. Beatson and his 20-year-old star My Gollywog, who won the cup in 2013, picked up just a single time fault, to finish on nine faults from the two rounds. Hay also went clear but had a single time fault, to sit on one, while Laurie and her youngster Dunstan Breeze went clear to sit on eight, and McNaught-McFarlane had a rail at the second to finish on four.
Hay also won the Leading Rider of the Show.