Langley, BC — Olivia Stephenson had two mounts in Saturday’s MarBill Hill U25 1.40m. She felt all the confidence aboard Chaccalanda, an experienced mare with results up to the five-star level with her former rider. With Deister Z, she was experiencing more of a “learning curve.”
But things came together for Stephenson and Deister Z, a 10-year-old Zangersheide gelding, in the speed competition. They took the win in the class, crossing the timers of Peter Holmes’ course in 70.87 seconds.
Danielle Vahdat (USA) and Gernice van de Postbaan finished second (72.82s), with Oliva Combs (USA) and Oriana third (74.12s).
“I was pretty nervous going into the day, I wasn’t as confident on [Deister Z], and I haven’t been as confident with [him] recently,” Stephenson confessed. “But he was just amazing. He was really on it today. And I don’t know, I think he went with me and my competitiveness today, and I think he fed off of it.”
Stephenson had an earlier draw aboard Deister Z than she did aboard Chaccalanda, but a good warm-up put her in the right mindset. A tack change also left her with more ride-ability. .
“We just recently changed our bit [to an eggbutt snaffle], and I think it helps me. It helped me a lot today, just with the turning. He really backed off the jumps,” Stephenson said.
It was a year ago that Stephenson first spotted Deister Z at tbird, and after a short lease, the gelding officially joined her string. A week later, they were winners in the U25 division. But after a break from winter competition while Stephenson focused on school, the pair needed to rebuild their partnership. On course Saturday, they reconnected, with their round growing increasingly confident.
“Definitely the last two weeks have been a learning curve,” Stephenson said. “I think we really have figured him out since we bought him. So I’m really happy with that.”
MarBill Hill U25 1.40m
Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time
1. Deister Z / Olivia Stephenson / CAN / Olivia Stephenson / 0 70.87
2. Gernice van de Postbaan / Danielle Vahdat / USA / Danielle Vahdat / 0 72.82
3. Oriana / Olivia Combs / USA / Olivia Combs / 0 74.12
4. First Focus Z / Clara McDanniel / USA / Clara McDanniel / 0 76.22
5. Cool Quarz / Charlie Jones / GBR / Morning Star Sporthorses LLC / 0 80.46
6. Gutascha / Stella Chernoff / CAN / Stump Lake Ranch and Cattle Co Ltd / 4 67.85
7. Ecolano vs Romano / Georgia Knight / CAN / Georgia Knight / 4 69.8
8. Laviata / Cashelle Levasseur / CAN / Gerard Developments / 4 71.41
9. Ielinea JTL / Jaydan Stettner / CAN / Jaydan Stettner / 4 71.58
10. Sonny Brigade / Jennifer Clark / CAN / Jennifer Clark / 4 79.89