The progeny of the Oaks Sport Horses breeding program tasted success at the PSI DJWTS show in Werribee last weekend.
The most successful horse on the weekend was the mare Oaks Abracadabra, ridden by Emma Collins in the Current Stars-Mini Prix competition, where they completed five rides for five clear rounds. In the first round of the series, they went clear to finish 14th of 44 starters and in the second round on the Friday, they went double clear to finish in sixth place and secure a start in the Final on Saturday, when they really stepped up their game. Another double clear performance and a very fast time saw them slot into second place, only beaten for the title by the renowned speedsters, Clem Smith and Quantico 12. It was another step forward for this combination after their sixth placing in the Ruby series at the Australian Championships last November.
Also in the Current Stars competition were Oaks Ever Red and Andrew Lamb who put together a very competitive 4-fault ride in the first round, before encountering some problems in the second round and missing out on a place in the final. Oaks Kiribatiand Samuel Williams were unfortunately eliminated in round 1 and took no further part in the show.
The D&JWTS show is all about the young horses and Oaks had several representatives competing in the young horse championships. In the 5-year-old competition Oaks were represented by two combinations. Oaks Empire and Angela Dobbin, produced a couple of clear rounds in the preliminaries to make Saturday’s final for the top 15, where they produced another clear performance to finish in fifth place on the day and 11th in the overall championship. Emily Riley combined with Oaks Quinella, for a 22nd and a 16th place and did not make the final, finishing 18th overall.
Also engaged in the 5-year-old championship was the Oaks Stallion Yalambis Monte Cristo who was ridden by Josh Collins over the weekend. They had a clear fifth placing in the first round, before a clear 12th in Round 2, to qualify them for the final on Saturday. A couple of rails in the final saw them finish in 15th place in the overall championship.
The most successful Oaks horse in the Young Horse classes was Oaks Chingo in the 6-year-old championship. Ridden by Clint Beresford, the mare left all the rails intact over the three days, finishing in 13th place in round 1 and sixth of 24 in round 2. In Saturday’s final, they managed to end up in third place, which saw them placed fifth in the overall championship out of 25 combinations who had entered. This could be the start of a bright future for this mare.
In the 7-year-old championship, Oaks Sport Horses were represented by the gelding Oaks 007 and mare Oaks Encryption, ridden by Jennifer Wood and Josh Collins respectively. In the preliminary rounds, only Oaks 007 managed a clear round on the Friday and as a result, both combinations failed to qualify for the 10-combination final with Oaks 007 in 13th and Oaks Encryption 17th in the overall competition.
There were three Oaks geldings in the Bronze Tour competition. Oaks Card Trick and Claire McDermott accumulated a number of faults in the preliminary rounds, finishing 59th and 42nd and did not qualify for the 35-combination final. Oaks Kingfisher, ridden by Clem Smith took four faults in the final, to finish in 23rd place out of 35 starters, while Oaks Constantino with Tilley Fair aboard, took two rails in the final to finish three places further back in 26th. These positions probably did not reflect the ability of these combinations as each achieved a top 12 place in Friday’s second round by going clear before taking a single rail in the jump off.
There was just one Oaks horse in participating in the Silver Tour, gelding Oaks Van Dyke and Victorian based rider Rhys Hamlyn. The took 6 faults in the first round to finish 21st, before a clear performance in the second round saw them into 14th place, securing a place in the 32-combination final. Here they took just four faults to finish up in a very creditable 20th place in the championship.
The feature class of the program was the FEI World Cup Qualifier where, in a remarkable achievement, there were five Oaks horses engaged in the field of 30 starting combinations. Performances on the day were mixed with Oaks Gunn with Katrina Hope aboard being eliminated and Oaks Conjuror and Clem Smith retiring during the first round. This was probably a little surprising as Oaks Conjuror and Clem Smith had put in a clear round to place second in the World Cup Warm-Up class held on Thursday.
Brad Frankum and Oaks Calypso accumulated 16 faults on what turned out to be a very tough course to end up in 19th place out of the 30 starting combinations, while Sally Simmonds and Oaks Charleville were just one place further back after collecting a total of 20 faults.
Undoubtedly, the Oaks stars of the World Cup Qualifier were Oaks Ventriloquist with Izabella Stone aboard. This combination who were second in the Australian Senior Championship with a brilliant double clear performance in the final late last year, finished in fourth place in Saturday’s world Cup. In the first round, they had two rails, which was enough to see them just scrape into the top 12 for the second round of competition. As the first pair on course, they did a fantastic job in the second round to go clear in a fast time to put some real pressure on all of those who followed. Only two combinations finished the competition with less than eight faults and the time recorded by Stone and Oaks Ventriloquist was only 0.27 seconds outside what was needed to secure a place on the podium.
It was a very solid weekend for our horses and we look forward to seeing how, the young horses in particular, develop over the coming months and years.