Kimberley Bird celebrates in Cambridge with her family. Photo supplied.Kimberley Bird has added another big feather to her cap.
Following her world-beating deeds last year, the Chertsey rider added to the trophy cabinet earlier this month.
The 24-year-old and her 11-year-old Holsteiner mare Cera Cassina rode to victory in the Premier Series Grand Prix at Takapoto Estate in the Waikato.
It was her first appearance at the elite showjumping event.
The dynamic duo were the only combination of the 13 starters to complete both rounds without taking a rail, recording just a single time penalty in the second round.
It completed a standout display during the weekend for this pair as they had placed second in a 1.40m class on the Friday.
“That was sort of a pre-run to get her out and burn off some energy and get a feeling for how we were going and she felt amazing,” Bird said.
“I knew by Sunday she was going to feel pretty good.
“She’s got plenty of jump in her and she’s a fiery wee thing.”
Last year, she achieved a career highlight with victory in the fourth round of the FEI World Cup at the Taupo Christmas Classic.
She said the latest milestone was one of her best.
“It’s definitely one of the bigger ones I’ve won,” she said.
“It’s up there, going up against some of the country’s best.
“It was pretty damn good.”
The Bird family could not hide their delight following the win.
“Mum was crying which doesn’t take much,” she laughed.
“It was pretty damn fantastic.”
As was the case during her benchmark performance in Taupo in 2019, she avoided the limitations of less experience than the rest of the field.
“It was only the second time myself and that horse had ever jumped at that height (in Taupo),” she said. “She was really green and were up against some people who have been doing it for a couple of years now.
“She’s pretty special and it’s only really the start for us.”
Bird and Cera Cassina will be vying for further success next weekend at the Egmont A&P Show in Hawea for the second World Cup event of the season.
By Adam Burns © The Ashburton Guardian - 14 November 2020