Australia’s Young Rider team has successfully defended their Oceania crown today after a very soggy showjumping round at the New Zealand Three Day Event in Taupo.
As the first Southern Hemisphere test of the new Olympic format there was plenty of interest in how the competition would play out, and it didn’t disappoint. Australian chef d’equipe Will Enzinger said he had no doubt both countries would be “crunching the numbers” to see what scenarios could have played out.
Australia got all three team members home safely, albeit with faults while New Zealand had two team members and a reserve home clear and inside time but lost an all-important rider which hit them hard with penalties.
“It was unfortunate for New Zealand they had that mistake yesterday which gave us the lead,” said Will. “Because so much has happened across all the teams this has been a good test of the new format.”
He was rapt with the efforts of all his riders – Jordyn Faint aboard Double S & Evergreen Jackpot, Tayah Andrew aboard Silver Force and Isabel McLachlan on Ventura along with reserve Hannah Klep on Reprieve. “I am absolutely stoked with them all. They all held it together today and looked solid the whole way through. That’s a lot of pressure and they have really done their country proud.” For all it was their first international competition. “I am sorry the Kiwis didn’t come up trumps but glad we won.”
His sentiments on the new format were reiterated by New Zealand young rider chef Annie Styles. “It has been a very interesting competition and we have all learnt a lot about the new Olympic format,” she said. “It really can have a massive effect on the results. Teams really need to get all three nominated riders to the finish line. We saw yesterday losing one of our riders to a fall in the cross country which meant accruing 200 penalties and despite the three others coming home clear, we were miles behind the Aussies who had none clear.”
However, she was very proud of her young charges. “They all put in really good dressage performances and three great clear cross country rounds from very talented combinations which is exciting for the future.”
Annie congratulated the Australian team, saying they were deserving winners. “Overall it was a fantastic competition and we will have all gained a lot from the experience.”
Oceania Teams’ Young Rider Championship: Australia (Jordyn Faint/Double S & Evergreen Jackpot 71.2, Tayah Andrew/Silver Force 81, Isabel McLachlan/Ventura 77.6 and Hannah Klep/Reprieve reserve) 229.8 1, New Zealand (Beth Wilson/Alto et Audax 44.6, Lucy Turner/Astek Victor 329.6, Vicky Browne-Cole/Cutting Edge 53.5 and Katrina Butler-Gallie/Tarndale Endeavor reserve) 427.7 2.