New Zealand’s young riders hold the upper hand in the Trans-Tasman Test clash with a day to go at the Larsen Sawmilling North Island Jumping and Show Hunter Championships in Gisborne.

Today belonged to the Kiwis – Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo), Oliver Croucher (Cambridge), Emily Hayward (Te Awamutu) and Steffi Whittaker (Canterbury) – who finished the day with a bonus point thanks to three clear rounds to sit on six points to the Australians’ three. Chefs d’equipe Todd Hinde (Aus) and John Cottle (NZ) were both highly complimentary of their young charges. “I am very proud of our guys,” said John who has always been a very vocal supporter of team events. “The second rounds by riders from both teams were much improved as they all got to know their horses better.” It was a challenge for young riders to gel quickly with their borrowed mounts.

Todd congratulated the New Zealand riders, saying it just wasn’t the Aussies’ day – despite being Australia Day across the Tasman. The whole Australian team was on debut and would head home with a huge amount of knowledge and confidence from the trip. “And congratulations too on the hospitality and horses too. Good show committees are hard to come by and we are very appreciative of all that has been done for us here.”

Briar Burnett-Grant aboard Sugarman (owned by Melanie Bridge) was the only rider to go clear in the first round of competition today however in the second, clears came from Australian Lucie Aldridge aboard KPH Stowaway (owned by Melissa Stratford) as well as New Zealand’s Emily on All About Fun (owned by Oliver Croucher), Steffi on Sicily (owned by Becky McPhail) and Briar again.

The competition concludes tomorrow on the final day of the show.


January  26, 2019