Brave Olivia’s lucky break


Talented young rider gets doc’s OK on wrist’s double fracture


Not even a broken wrist could keep Queenstown’s Olivia Robertson from entering the South Island’s most prestigious riding event this weekend.

With her pony Sweet Addition, the plucky 14-year-old competes in the Springston Trophy three-day event from tomorrow – just four weeks after breaking her left wrist in two places in another equestrian event in Clyde.

Olivia, a 2009 Horse of the Year entrant and national show hunting champion, had her cast removed last Thursday and was given the all-clear by her doctor, mum Jan Hunt says.

“She bounced back really quickly. We didn’t know if we were going or not until [last Thursday]. Luckily, this time it was all good.”

But Olivia didn’t sit around carefully nursing her wrist so it could heal quickly – she was still riding and training for the big event.

“You can’t stop Lib,” Hunt laughs.

Olivia adds: “I couldn’t handle [not riding].

“The cast was a wee bit annoying but it wasn’t anything you’d worry about.

“I was so worried [about not making the team].”

Olivia is one of six Wakatipu team members entering the Springston, at the National Equestrian Centre in Christchurch.

She’s joined by Anna Nesbit, 16, Grace Manners Wood, 18, Emma Milliken, 15, Kristi Doherty, 13, and Lisa Milliken, 11.

Auckland-based national coaching guru Jacque Williams has been flown down twice “to give the girls a good tune-up” in dressage, crosscountry and show jumping, Hunt says.

The girls have high hopes for the competition – the four eldest were part of the team that won the trophy in 2007.
But they slid to sixth place last year after a rider fell off during one event, costing them penalty points.

“The girls are a very strong team but as we know from last year, things can happen,” Hunt says.

“But they’re looking good and the kids are really keen and happy.”