Simon Gordon and Fletch.com were rewarded for their consistency after placing second in the CIC3* at the weekend’s Kihikihi Horse Trials, moving from third place to the lead the Bell Tea Super League series.
The placing followed their win in the title class at the Horse of the Year, and as league leaders the combination is now ahead of Ashleigh McKinstry and Pioneer Makokomiko, who did not add to their points total after parting company on the cross-country.
Donna Smith on Just Chocolate and Bryce Newman on Bates Trademark, neither of whom started at Kihikihi, hold third and fourth place, while Dannie Lodder, who had the biggest win of her career to date at Kihikihi on Moochi, have moved into fifth place a mere 0.5 of a point behind Newman. Monica Oakley and Fontain, fifth at Kihikihi, drop one place to sixth in the series, while Smith moves into seventh with Balmoral Tangolooma.
The next event in the Super League is the CIC3* (short format) at the South Island Three-day Event in Christchurch on 18-21 April, followed by the Advanced class at Woodhill Sands (Helensville) on 27-28 April.
NZ trans-Tasman team named
The NZ Trans-Tasman team will be entitled to earn Bell Tea Super League points at the Sydney CCI3* (long format), worth double points, that same weekend, which will create much interest.
The team named today is Gordon with Fletch.com, Newman with Bates Trademark, Smith with either Just Chocolate or Balmoral Tangolooma, and Melbourne based Joe Waldron with Springvale All Black. Smith plans to take both horses, one at her own expense. Dannie Lodder has been named non-travelling reserve with Moochi, but plans to go anyway at her own expense. She and Smith on her second horse will compete as individuals, and will also be eligible to earn Super League points.
Dannie Lodder and Moochi claim Kihikihi 3*
Dannie Lodder rode Moochi to a cool and calm victory in the CIC*** at Kihikihi yesterday.
Her clear round in the showjumping put the pressure on overnight leader Simon Gordon and Fletch.com, who had just a single fault in hand going into the final phase.
Their efforts in the tighter arena backed up a superb clear round, with just 5 time faults over the John Nicholson-designed cross country course.
“That track (the cross country) just kept on coming,” said an elated Lodder. “You have to ride every single fence and when you reach the finish you are exhilarated and know you are sitting on a super horse because you got round.”
The combination were fifth at the Kihikihi World Cup event last year in just their second advanced start, but Lodder says she came into the 2013 event far more confident after an intensive week of training.
“Training and harassing … a lot of harassing!”
Over this season she says she learnt she needed to be more reckless and attack showjumping courses with more vigour.
She did that yesterday, and despite rattling a few jumps, says she believed the clear round was hers.
“I’ve had some good horses over the years – five advanced, but Moochi is my best because he trusts me 100% and just keeps on giving. He has such a huge heart and is so genuine.”
Moochi, a thoroughbred gelding by Vain Promise and from the Sculptured Arch mare Bust, is owned by Peta Easton, who rode the horse until November 2011. Bred by MG Hodge, Moochi raced as The Exhibitionist but was unplaced in two starts.
The Kihikihi victory is Lodder’s biggest to date, and she’s got big plans for the future – much of that thanks to “a great husband”, an “amazing” owner and a mum who has been at every single show since Lodder was 12.
Lodder is hoping to be named in the Trans Tasman senior team to compete in Sydney at the end of the month, and has her sights on competing in the Adelaide four star later in the year.
The three star overnight leader Simon Gordon had to settle for second after he and Fletch.com took the first rail.
In the Bayley’s CIC**, 21-year-old university student Virginia Thompson managed to go one better than her second place in the same class last year after a careful showjumping phase.
Fifteen of the original 24 started the final phase over the Gerrit Beker-designed course, with just four going clear and inside time.
Thompson had a comfortable two rails in hand going in, and her clear round left her on her 57.4 penalty point overnight score.
“She’s a keeper all right,” she said of the 12-year-old mare.
“I was absolutely thrilled with her cross country – it was a tough track out there and while it was similar to last year, it didn’t ride any easier. She was so straight, bold and on fire.”
Thompson paid tribute to her mother Hazel for all her help.
“I just couldn’t do it without her,” she said. “She’s a lifesaver.”
Thompson was also fifth in the Bayleys CIC** class aboard her rather green Star Nouveau.
Runner-up Alex Chambers-Stewart had a few anxious moments during the trot-up this morning when her horse Peti Peti Wai was held and had to be re-presented.
They got the nod on the second run, and went on to notch their best ever result together thanks to a lovely clear cross country round, and clear and inside time in the showjumping.
Reporting: Virginia Caro, Diana Dobson
BELL TEA SUPER LEAGUE – Standings after Kihikihi Horse Trials:
Simon Gordon (Karaka), Fletch.com, 214 pts
Ashleigh McKinstry (Taumaranui), Pioneer Makokomiko, 205.5 pts
Donna Smith (Te Kauwhata), Just Chocolate, 188 pts
Bryce Newman (Bulls), Bates Trademark, 101.5 pts
Dannie Lodder (Auckland), Moochi, 101 pts
Monica Oakley (Waipukurau), Fontain, 93 pts
Donna Smith, Balmoral Tangolooms, 85.5 pts
Kihikihi results –
Waipa Home of Champions CIC***: Dannie Lodder (South Auckland) Moochi 60.4 1, Simon Gordon (Karaka) Fletch.com 63.4 2, Donna Smith (Te Kauwhata) Balmoral Tangolooma (owned by Sim Kann, Gaye McClunie and Graham Smith) 71 3, Donna Smith (Te Kauwhata) Britannica MVNZ (owned by Caroline Jolley and Wendy Keddell) 78.3 4, Monica Oakley (Waipukurau) Fontain 84 5, Sarah Broughton (Mystery Creek) Rockhill Rocket 95.7 6.
Bayleys CIC**: Virginia Thompson (Auckland) Ashbury Pee Cee 56.6 1, Alex Chambers-Stewart (Auckland) Peti Peti Wai 66.7 2, Sarah Broughton (Hamilton) Rockhill Radish 74 3, Amanda Pottinger (Wairarapa) Achilles II 74.4 4, Virginia Thompson (Auckland) Star Nouveau 78.5 5, Kyleigh Snow (Auckland) Folk Law 81.2 6.
Wade Equine Coaches CIC* A: Larissa Srhoy (Ashburton) Smirnoff 52.8 1, Nick Brooks (Cambridge) Striking 53.5 2, Monica Oakley (Waipukurau) Saltador 55.5 3, Megan Finlayson (Kerikeri) Greensleeves 56.1 4, Grace Mannerswood (Queenstown) Hi Ho Said Rolly 57.8 5, Donna Smith (Te Kauwhata) Bates Lavello 59.5 6.
Bayleys CIC* B: Kate Wood (Whangarei) Tobruk 47.9 1, Helen Bruce (Palmerston North) Toblerone NZPH 49.1 2, Lauren Alexander (North Shore City) BMW Ripley 59.1 3, Sarah Young (Tokoroa) Oakley Vision 59.4 4, Donna Smith (Te Kauwhata) Balmoral Fiddlesticks 60.9 5, Amanda Pottinger (Wairarapa) Just Kidding 61.9 6.
Matamata Saddlery Best Presented: Sarah Broughton (Mystery Creek) Rockhill Rocket.
Newstalk ZB Open Novice: Tessa Jacks (Hamilton) Cracker Jack Candy 32.6 1, Fraser King (Inglewood) Nadal KSNZ 33 2, Rosa Rieger (Papakura) Kaitai 40.5 3, Fraser King (Inglewood) 43.5 4, Cerys Tarr (Rotorua) Heart’s Desire 49.5 5, Rachel Cave (Ohaupo) Hosiery 87.3 6.
Te Awamutu Saddlery Novice: Louise Mulholland (Taumarunui) Mr McTaggart 32 1, Todd Gloyn (Palmerston North) Air Hill Bambi 38.5 2, Chloe Kennedy (Papakura) Appletize 39.4 3, Heather Gunson (Onga Onga) HH Red Rock 42 4, Deborah Mansell (Kumeu) Delta Leeway 43.2 5, James Jackson (Ngaruawahia) Valinco 6.
Hygain Pre-Novice A: Abby Lawrence (Te Puke) Indy RE 26.2 1, Nick Brooks (Cambridge) Versace C 26.6 2, Donna Smith (Te Kauwhata) Balmoral Henton 26.6 3, Katharine Gillaly (Woodville) Double J Sunshine 27.8 4, Tayla Mason (Waikanae) Sonidor 31..7 5, Karla Hiestand (Taranaki) Westamour 34.5 6.
Bateson Horse Floats Pre-Novice B: Sarah Young (Tokoroa) SS Galaxy 23.9 1, Kylee McCambridge (Cambridge) Amazing Spy 24.3 2, Anne Marie Styles (Papakura) Bohdan 29.5 3, Fiona Boddy (Clevedon) Waimanu Sparkle 31.4 4, Janine Hayde (Tuakau) Brentwood tradition 31.6 5, Ashley McMurtrie (Havelock North) Intersect 32.2 6.
Farmlands Pre-Novice C: Darryll Cole (Waimauku) Walligator 30.9 1, Donna Smith (Te Kauwhata) KS Triple 8 32.6 2, James Jackson (Ngaruawahia) Carlo 36.4 3, Kirsty Smyth (Rotorua) Covent Garden 36.9 4, Susan Le Mesurier (Drury) Lightman 39.7 5, Zephania Steele (Drury) Javari JS 40.1 6.
Goldpine Pre-Novice D: Caitlin McPherson (Putaruru) Irish Regihn 33 1, Steph Fankhauser (Auckland) Midnight Cappuccino 33.9 2, Fraser King (Inglewood) Campion KSNZ 34.4 3, Ashley Calder (Henderson) Sensation 35.7 4, Jo Lynch (Albany) Shelleys Bay 35.7 5, Tayla Mason (Waikanae) Mosaic II 36.5 6.