It seems that this year’s championship event came around rather quickly with one less competition than usual in the lead up to it. That did not seem to phase many combinations with the standard across the board strong and competitive in all classes.
The event welcomed a couple of new course designers to Christchurch as well, with Campbell Draper and Clive Long joining locals Lucy Shaw, Cam Roberston, and Jamie Atkinson in setting challenging but inviting courses, beautifully decorated by Janet Roberston’s team and Zealandia plants.
The Ultimate Design and Renovation CCI-S 4* field was reduced due to rough sea ferry issues prior to the competition start, but was a fitting final outing for stalwart combination Emily Cammock and Shaw Lee, who led the competition from start to finish. Emily summed up her weekend as follows:
“It was quite a different approach to a competition for me, but after reasonably serious falls the previous two years at the South Island 3DE and not being able to complete the competition, I decided something needed to change. I would normally ride 5 or 6 horses at an event like this, but instead, I wanted to focus on just my two most experienced horses and try to get it right. I guess looking back on the weekend, I would have to say that my new approach paid dividends.
Going into the weekend, my focus was very much on gaining MERs (qualification results) on both horses…but it was a constant balance and battle with my competitive nature that always wants to win at our championship competitions!!
I couldn’t have been happier with both horses over the whole three days of competition. They did everything I asked of them, stepped up to the challenges and performed beautifully.
To take the win in the big class in what will be my last start on Shaw Lee (17 years old) was a rather emotional moment. I was given him as an unbroken 2yr old so our partnership has been long and full of incredible achievements. But Antara’s performance for 2nd place in the 3* gives me confidence that he will step into Shaw Lee’s shoes for the future.
It was a wonderful weekend of competition, and on behalf of the riders I would like to thank the organising committee, sponsors, officials and volunteers for putting this amazing show together”.
The DEVI heating solutions CCI-L 3* saw an impressive dressage test from Emily and Antara to take the early lead on 27.1. A steady cross country ride with a few time faults dropped them down a couple of places to allow North Island frequent visitor Charlotte Edwards to move into the top spot on Just de Manzana, followed by Bonnie Farrant on Jay Gatsby. Emily’s clear show jumping performance was not quite enough to catch Charlotte again and she was rewarded with the Hagen Trophy, donated by the Srhoy family. Charlotte in her own words: “It was an amazing weekend at the Christchurch 3DE, the tracks, competition and people were all amazing! I could not be prouder of Lexi (Just De Manzana) . She tried her heart out for me and showed what an amazing horse she is! Both the jumping tracks had some really cool questions which made it lots of fun! Thank you so much to all the sponsors, organisers and people who made the weekend possible! I can’t wait to be back!”
The Bates Saddles CCI-L 2* riders were contesting the Amigo Trophy, donated by Vicki Hammond. This was an incredibly close competition with few marks separating the scores for the top 8. Tarryn Jones on Dimani held a narrow lead from Anna Bryant on Sioda after the first phase and strong, clear cross country performances saw no movement in placings across the board. A heartbreaking rail at the first fence in the show jumping however, dropped Tarryn out of the top 6 and allowed Anna Bryant to take the win on the striking black mare Sioda. Anna had an incredibly busy weekend with 5 rides from 80cm through to 2* meaning she had little time to relax! This was a particularly tough event for her as it was here she lost a favourite young horse last year. A pretty tired Anna was pleased with how Sioda has handled each event this season and hopes to consolidate her performances further at this level.
The Hobson Horsecoaches and Motorhomes LTD CCN-L 1* was another class where the standard of dressage and cross country was high, with it all coming down to the show jumping to decide the final placings. Jamie Atkinson, who has recently returned from working for Shane Rose in Australia (and who also designed our 80 and 65cm tracks – busy lad) was the early leader through the first two phases, but a rail and a time fault dropped him down to third, allowing Tinesha Benson to take the win on their dressage score.
Another hugely competitive and closely placed class was the Rangiora Equestrian Supplies and BetaVet CCN-S 95 class. 1.5 penalties was all that separated 1st to 6th placings! Giles Gormack on Remi Lion King took first place. Remi Lion King has had considerable show jumping and dressage experience, having show jumped to Grand Prix Level, but this was his first eventing start and he looks to have taken to it with ease.
The Protranz and Statesman Horsefloats CCN-S 95 U21 proved to be another class where finishing on your dressage score (and having a good dressage score to start with) was essential.
Katie Wilson led from the start and was rewarded with the South Island Title.
The Prebbleton Vets CCN-S 80cm was another success for Anna Bryant, this time on Gembrook Donny. Anna originally held 1st and 2nd position but a rail in the show jumping bumped her other ride down to 7th place. Anna was also awarded The Rider Shop ESNZ Eventing Style prize for her efforts.
The Melwood Equestrian CCN-S 80cm U21 was a strong class with 26 competitors. The top 3 placings can certainly be commended for their fantastic performances with all three scoring over 70% on the flat and finishing in their dressage scores.
Last but not least of our championship classes was The Cover Queen CCN-S 65cm. This class is always well supported and it is great to see new combinations having their first eventing adventures in the 65cm classes.
With qualifications in FEI classes changing this year and more MERs being required, the Eventing Canterbury Committee was very aware of the need to provide additional short format FEI MER qualification opportunities, and ran 3 non championship classes to fill this purpose.
The Eventing Canterbury CCI-S 3* saw Molly Moffat make the most of that opportunity, gaining her 3* MER and winning the class. Molly was also awarded the Bosun Trophy, donated by Olivia Waddy, for the top placed young rider at the South Island Three Day Event.
The Continuous Spouting Group kindly sponsored both the marquee and the CCI-S 2*, and riders again appreciated the opportunity to gain MERs.
Dunstan Horsefeeds was another sponsor who went above and beyond this weekend – not only sponsoring the CCN-S 1.05 class, but also feeding all of the riders after their meeting on Friday night.
The Moores Riding Wear best presented awards were given out to those who were immaculate in their turn out and whose efforts in this direction really caught the eye in all three phases (including the trot up for those in the FEI classes). Lucy Turner and her amazing Spraypoint Station Pirate were outstanding in the FEI sections; as was Brodie Roberts and Skyhi Sensi in the Non FEI.
With Springston Trophy back in action this year, the event also ran the Mitavite Springston Trophy and South Island Three Day Event Accumulator.
This was won by Molly Moffat (whose Kaiapoi Pony Club team also won Springston Trophy)
1st Molly Moffat Ngaihiwi Makem
2nd Tinesha Benson Ataahua Bess
3rd Fabrian McQuarrie Oceanic
4th Jamie Atkinson Chatham
5th Alyssa Hartnett Bow Diddley
6th Grace Gormack Rosewood Zakee
And the last result of the weekend was the Ray White Realestate Teams competition. This involved much plotting of who to find for your team, then planning of names was also vitally important (Citrus Sensations for the all Orange team; Rearing to Go and Hoof Hearted were a few deserving a mention). It was also not good enough to simply be amazing in all three ridden phases…. There were points available from the Saturday night Quiz night and the Pedal Mania bike time trials so competition was fierce!
The final win went to the Shaken Not Spurred team, followed by The Millers and third place went to Win or Booze.
A huge thank you to all of the people that made this event happen in these uncertain times. Everyone had an amazing time and we look forward to doing it all again soon.
By Eventing Canterbury