Bundy Philpott rides Tresca NZPH in the CCI4*, Land Rover Horse of the Year 2020, HB A&P Showgrounds, Hastings, Hawke’s Bay, Saturday, March 14, 2020 Credit: KAMPIC / Sarah Lord 

It was the Waikato eventers who took home the top honours in the Land Rover Horse of the Year CCI3* and CCI4*-S competitions today, attracting the praise of the event’s defending title holder.


The highly anticipated cross country phases got underway this afternoon at the Land Rover Horse of the Year, as riders flew around the 3.8 kilometre Burghley themed track.


Returning course designer Chris Ross gave audiences front row seats to all the action, as the course’s 34 jumps asked plenty of questions of both horses and riders.


Friday’s CCI4*-S surprise leader Bundy Philpott maintained her winning position as the Cambridge eventer made short work of the course aboard her 13 year old gelding Tresca NZPH.


Incurring a 0.4 time penalty taking her final score to 35.8, just ahead of last year’s winning combination Amanda Pottinger and Just Kidding, with 36.2 after four faults in the show jumping test. 


Pottinger and her 13 year old thoroughbred have a plethora of top level eventing wins and placings to their name, including winning the CCN3*-S at Arran Station Spring Horse Trials last year and second in the 2018 Adelaide CCI5*-L.


With an unfortunate rail in the show jumping, Pottinger remained positive following an outstanding cross country round.


“He wanted to do everything I asked of him, so I couldn’t be happier with him today.”


“I couldn’t have picked a better winner. Bundy has done a lot for the sport in the last couple of years.”


With the announcement of the Event Rider Masters and FEI World Cup Finals being cancelled due to growing concerns amid the CONVID-19 outbreak, the possibility of the Tokyo Olympic Games being delayed are of a concern to our own eventing hopefuls.


“I’ve put everything on hold,” says Pottinger.


Delaying her flights to the UK until April 15th, Pottinger is simply seeing how things develop on a day by day basis. 


“I wanted to make the most of it today, go hard and take every opportunity, but in terms of flying, I’m playing it day by day.”


Karaka eventor Monica Oakley jumped into third place after finishing clear with a final score of 37.3 aboard 9 year old gelding Acrobat. Surpassing Olympic hopeful Madison Crowe who incurred 3.2 time penalties in the cross country, adding to the four faults from her show jumping round.


Winner Bundy Philpott has owned her NZPH gelding since he was four, claiming the Puhinui International Three Day Event and competing to 5* star level in Adelaide in 2018.


Te Kauwhata’s Donna Edwards-Smith also maintained her overnight lead in the CCI3*-S as her chestnut thoroughbred DSE Cluny maintained a strong lead. Even with the time penalty score of 9.2 her final score of 41.9 couldn’t be caught.


Dressage winner Monica Oakley aboard her 8 year old thoroughbred gelding Artist jumped back into the placings she lost after a 12 fault show jumping round.  Cross country time penaltiess saw the pair finish on a final score of 46.4, just enough to edge out VickyBrowne-Cole on her thoroughbred mare Cutting Edge who earnt 14 time penalties to finish on a final score of 47.