The first leg of the Bell Tea Super League was run in testing conditions at Taupo over the weekend, with relentless rain and cold wind for Saturday’s dressage and showjumping, resulting in the removal of one of the newly constructed fences on Sunday’s cross-country course.
However the footing at the National Equestrian Centre was remarkably good, resulting in some exciting cross-country performances, as well as a number of cautious runs. Thirteen of the 16 starters in the Advanced class completed all three phases, one being withdrawn after the dressage, while Heelan Tompkins retired both her mounts at the water complex.
Eleven combinations jumped clear across country, the fastest round coming from the overnight leader, Ashleigh McKinstry on Pioneer Makokomiko, who picked up 2 time penalties to add to her leading dressage score of 33.8 penalties. Her comfortable 10 point win puts her at the top of the Bell Tea Super League table as well as the Massey University Young Rider series.
Donna Smith was second overnight on Balmoral Sensation, but cruised around the cross-country incurring 45.2 time penalties to drop out of contention. This allowed Chloe Davidson to take second place on Eskimo Joe, third after dressage on 37.5 penalties and with a showjumping rail down, but a fast cross-country for 4.4 time penalties gave her a final score of 45.9.
Dannie Lodder was marginally behind in third place, having improved from seventh after the dressage with a faultless showjumping and 6.4 cross-country time penalties to finish on Moochi with 46 penalties.
Monica Oakley pulled up from 14th after the dressage with Fontain to take fourth place, despite a showjumping rail down, incurring 4 cross-country time penalties for a final score of 51.8.
Fiber Fresh Advanced: Ashleigh McKinstry (Owhango), Pioneer Makokomiko, 35.8, 1; Chloe Davidson (Papakura), Eskimo Joe, 45.9, 2; Dannie Lodder (Papakura), Moochi, 46, 3; Monica Oaklay (Waipkurau), Fontain, 51.8, 4; Simon Gordon (Papakura), Fletch.com, 59.8, 5; Christen Hayde (Pukekohe), Tandarra Sweet As, 60.5, 6.
BELLTEA SUPER LEAGUE
Standings after first event: McKinstry, Pioneer Makokomiko, 42 pts, 1; Davidson, Eskimo Joe, 31 pts, 2; Lodder, Moochi, 26 pts, 3; Oakley, Fontain, 21 pts, 4; Gordon, Fletch.com, 16 pts, 5; Hayde, Tandarra Sweet As, 13 pts, 6.