Love conquers elements in sunset ride along beach

What better time or place to pop the question than during a romantic horse ride at sunset along Raglan’s picturesque Ngarunui Beach?

Well, it might have helped if there wasn’t a raging southwesterly and even the odd squall sweeping across to make this particular dusk a less than engaging scene.

But love conquers all – so the saying goes – and Taupo’s George Smyth got the answer he wanted when he crouched on bended knee in the black ironsand and asked his partner of three years, Sammie Lilburn-Taylor, to marry him.

“I wanted to do something special for her,” 28 year old George told the Chronicle. “She loves the beach.”

The proposal came as a complete surprise to Sammie even though he’d made sure she packed a favourite top for the outing. He in turn was carrying a diamond ring ready to present at the appropriate moment.

Petra Yorke of Surf & Turf Horse Riding, who set up the romantic ride just before Christmas, says it came barely a week after a Hamilton couple did something very similar, with a rug and two wine glasses arranged at the southern end of Ngarunui Beach to celebrate.

Petra’s been offering horse rides and swims on the beach for a few years now “but this has never happened before,” she laughs of the two surprise proposals in quick succession.

Edith Symes