The Bay of Plenty Horse Trials at Riverdale, Rotorua, over the weekend, attracted a huge entry of horses from throughout the North Island, plus some from the South, and provided not only great cross-country courses but ideal conditions for what was the last run for many before the Puhinui Three-day Event.
Tich Massey was the FEI course designer while experienced 3* rider Campbell Draper cut his teeth on the 105cm track, and Jude Clifton, better known as Judy Hatfull, did the 95cm. Jock Paget remarked afterwards that Campbell’s course, with forward striding and good lines, was an excellent learning experience for horse and rider, showing the benefit of his extensive riding knowledge.
Campbell’s piece de resistance was Barbara’s fishing fence, a tribute to the late Barbara Thomson, photographer extraordinaire, who died while fishing in Lake Taupo, her favourite pastime. The photograph does not do justice to the trout Campbell carved, lying on a slab of wood, which jumped very well, so will be seen again for sure.
The Pub Charity CNC2* Plus was won comprehensively by Eventing Performance Development Coach Jock Paget, “walking the walk” on Heelan Tompkins’ Snow Leopard. The plan is to do the 3* at Puhinui, if Heelan’s nerves can stand it! Jock said, “We are not an established partnership yet, but I stepped it up a cog today and he went well.” Jock could have his own son by then, a playmate for Heelan’s Hudson!
Amanda Pottinger led after the dressage on Just Kidding, but a showjumping rail relegated them to third overnight. Amanda was rapt, however, that ‘Ferg’ went into both waters at the first asking, to finish second, albeit 20 odd penalties behind. Brooke Campbell was third on Freddy Dash, despite a “naughty boy” dressage test, but he made amends after that.
Madison Crowe was second on Waitangi Pinterest after the dressage and took the lead with a clear showjumping round, but an uncharacteristic refusal on cross-country was a hiccup in the consistently successful partnership Maddy has developed with this brilliant mare, hopefully not to be repeated any time soon.
The Dunstan CIC2* was a strong field of 34 starters, Clarke Johnstone withdrawing Kate Woods’ Wolf Whistle II at the last minute due to a stone bruise. Clarke’s former working pupil Jackson Bovill won with his big mare Visionnaire, adding just 0.4 of a time penalty across country to their third placed dressage score to regain the form that saw them named in the Oceania Young Rider team to Werribee.
Nick Brooks completed a highly successful few days on the eye-catching For Fame, adding 2.4 cross-country time penalties to their sixth placed dressage score to finish second, having won the Express Eventing at Equitana in Auckland the day before the Rotorua event.
Gemma Hampson rode a stunning round on the skewbald Pintado Prima Rosa, the only one inside the time, improving from thirteenth after the dressage to complete on their dressage score in third place. Gemma is very tall, so she makes Prima Rosa look like a pinto pony, but they scooted round that undulating track, foot perfect, with her little legs going nineteen to the dozen.
Blyth Tait was the overnight leader on Xanthus III, but he blotted his copy book again with a refusal at the same fence as Pinterest, the first of a three part offset combination. However I’m sure Blyth will have him firing on all cylinders at Puhinui, which will be their third start back in New Zealand.
The Prestige Equestrian CIC1* was won by Vicky Browne-Cole on the much travelled Amazing Spy, ahead of Junior Rider ODE champion Kate Herdson on Eon, who finished on their tenth placed dressage score, with dressage leader Greer Caddigan on the former Campbell Draper horse Mr Mancini finishing third, having had a showjumping rail down.
ESNZ EVENTING SUPER LEAGUE
There was not a Super League class at Rotorua, so the points remain unchanged.
Standings after 4 legs (Taupo, Takapau, McLeans Island, Adelaide):
Clarke Johnstone, Balmoral Sensation, 102 pts; Samantha Felton, Ricker Ridge Rui, 34 pts; Donna Edwards-Smith, DSE Cluny, 32 pts; Emily Cammock, Shaw Lee, 32 pts; Andy Daines, Spring Panorama, 30 pts; Abby Lawrence, Charlton Yamani, 30 pts.
EQUISSAGE PRO-AM RIDER
Lydia Truesdale is clocking up the miles with Allander Rocket in her quest to hold the lead in the Equissage Pro-Am series. They went to Ryal Bush in Southland at the weekend and won the CNC2*, to hold out Otorohanga veterinarian Cherie Jaques and Black Gem, who won a division of the CNC1* at Rotorua, following their elimination in the 2* showjumping at Arran Station.
Taupo school teacher Holly Morrell’s broken shoulder is now mended and she is riding Pampero again, after watching Amanda Pottinger compete the horse for her while she was regaining full fitness. A good showing in the 2* at Rotorua following a win in the Versatile Homes & Buildings CNC1* at Wellington sees them earning points again, and they are now equal fourth.
Current standings: Lydia Truesdale, Allander Rocket, 86 pts; Cherie Jaques, Black Gem, 78 pts; Larissa Srhoy, Rockquest, 52 pts; Chanel Griffiths, Astek Guardsman, 43 pts; Holly Morrell, Pampero, 43 pts.
MITAVITE YOUNG RIDER
Commentator’s curse, or in this case, author’s agony – the Mitavite Young Rider will not be a match race between Greer Caddigan on Mr Mancini and Jeffrey Amon on JA Take A Shot after all, as Greer is now a clear leader and several others have entered the race. Things did not go well for Jeffrey and Take A Shot at Rotorua, and they were eliminated in the showjumping.
However Greer’s third place in the CIC1* has given her a comfortable lead, with Gemma Hampson and Pintado Prima Rosa rocketing up the leader board, and Vicki Browne-Cole came from nowhere on Amazing Spy, to be third equal. Aiden Viviers and Giselle II came into reckoning with a second in the 1* behind Holly at Wellington and a win in the Fagan Motors CNC1* at Clareville in the Wairarapa.
Current standings: Greer Caddigan, Mr Mancini, 85 pts; Jeffrey Amon, JA Take A Shot, 57 pts; Gemma Hampson, Pintado Prima Rosa, 55 pts; Vicki Browne-Cole, Amazing Spy, 55 pts; Aiden Viviers, Giselle II, 52 pts.
PEL AMATEUR RIDER
Shannon Galloway continues to dominate the PEL Amateur Rider series, placing fourth in a division of the CNC1* at Rotorua. Behind her the places are changing but no new blood has entered the fray as yet. Helen McGrath on Woodbine Just In Case was second and Amanda Illston on Verdelho fifth in the same 1* division as Shannon.
Current standings: Shannon Galloway, Day Walker, 66 pts; Helen McGrath, Woodbine Just In Case, 53 pts; Amanda Illston, Verdelho, 46 pts; Ingrid Herdson, Mr Tambourine Man, 38 pts; Kyle Calder, Apteryx, 31 pts.
Likewise the Junior Riders are juggling places at the top of the table with Elizabeth Wylaars in the lead on Wairoa Renegade after placing second in the CNC1* run by the North Otago Pony Club at their event on Oamaru Racecourse. Caroline Howell is hanging in on Telestory, with Kaitlyn Freeman on Landisohn entering the fray after winning the 105cm class at Clareville. Samuel Amon completes the top five with both his horses, after RM Let It Be placed second in the Junior 95cm class at Rotorua.
Current standings: Elizabeth Wylaars, Wairoa Renegade, 51 pts; Caroline Howell, Telestory, 46 pts; Kaitlyn Freeman, Landisohn, 33 pts; Samuel Amon, RM Let It Be, 33 pts; Samuel Amon, Trojan Warrior, 31 pts.
Ashley Johnstone extended her lead in the Grassroots series on Miss Vee NZPH following their second place behind Aiden Viviers in the 1* at Clareville, while the rest are bunching up behind her.
Current standings: Ashley Johnston, Miss Vee NZPH, 43 pts; Jenny Pearce, Top Steel, 21 pts; Eleisha Walls, Daimler Benz, 20 pts; Yvonne Steers, Poldark, 20 pts.