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Leading the way.... Gore rider Taris Gilder (19) and her Pinto horse Mystic Lace won reserve champion led pinto, reserve champion ridden pinto and champion novice pinto at the New Zealand Agricultural Show in Christchurch earlier this month. PHOTO: SUPPLIED.

“It was just very rewarding, especially the turnout classes because I had plaited her and done everything myself.”

Five years of hard work and dedication with her horse Mystic Lace paid off for Gore rider Taris Gilder when she won three categories at the New Zealand Agricultural Show in Christchurch.

Gilder (19), who competed in the Pinto section, was awarded reserve champion led pinto, reserve champion ridden pinto and champion novice pinto earlier in the month.

Heading to the show, Gilder never expected to receive a ribbon and was elated with Mystic Lace’s (7) performance.

“I’m really, really happy with her – it’s the best she’s ever been.”

She was judged on Mystic Lace’s performance in turnout, pace, mannered and pattern.

The entire experience had been extremely rewarding to be involved in.

“‘It was just very rewarding, especially the turnout classes because I had plaited her and done everything myself.”

Leading up to the competition, Gilder received instruction training from Jeanette Nanoah.

“They were so helpful – I wouldn’t have been able to do this otherwise.”

It was three years since Gilder first appeared at the show – in 2015 she rode show ponies for Julie Wilson, of Gore.

“It was a big experience then and a learning curve for me,” Gilder said.

The encounter gave her a taste of the competition and left her wanting more.

“Ever since then I’ve wanted to come back and do it with my own horse.”

She did not usually compete with Mystic Lace at shows but her horse had begun making a name for herself in Southland and Gilder decided to have a crack at a bigger event.

“Last year at the Gore A&P Show she cleaned up in the pinto classes – there isn’t a lot of pinto classes in Southland and Otago really.”

Gilder was first introduced to Mystic Lace when the horse was a rising 3-year-old. She broke her in and did everything herself.

“I just think she’s very special – she’s a different sort of a horse,” she said.

The combination will compete in the Wyndham A&P Show this weekend before competing in the Tokomairiro A&P Show in Milton in December to finish off the year.