The Central Districts Horse Trials at Pukemarama Farm, near Foxton, staged the penultimate Bell Tea Super League class over the weekend, attracting 10 starters, although South Islander Sam Taylor had the misfortune to find his horse lame on arrival, resulting in nine combinations going before the dressage judges.
Angela Lloyd and Song, from Auckland, was first to go and set the standard, leading throughout all three phases. They scored 37.5 penalties in the dressage, and had a showjumping rail down, but held the overnight lead on a score of 41.5 penalties. Sarah Broughton lay second on Rockhill Radish, adding 3 showjumping time penalties to a dressage score of 40.2 for a score of 43.2 penalties overnight.
Donna Smith, recently returned from the Trans-Tasman Challenge in Sydney, held third spot with Britannica MVNZ after a rail down and 1 time penalty in the showjumping for an overnight score of 44.3 penalties.
Sunday’s cross-country course included a new loop on hilly terrain, with the new fences there proving a challenge. Two horses retired or were eliminated at the cabbage tree corner combo, while a further three had withdrawn before the start, opting to save their horses for the final event of the season, the NRM CCI3* at Taupo on May 17-19.
Lloyd went clear with 11.2 time penalties to finish with a final score of 52.7 penalties, while Broughton retired Radish after two run-outs at the corner combo. Smith was clear on Britannica with 11.2 time penalties to finish second on a score of 55.9. These two both earned Bell Tea Super League points to move into the top ten in the League, but are unlikely to trouble the leaders now.
The final event in the year long series earns double points, and will see several of the Trans-Tasman team horses line up after travelling home well, so while three of the top six will not be competing, the others will be trying to fill the top three spots and earn the top rewards.
Bell Tea Super League, standings after penultimate event: Simon Gordon (Karaka), Fletch.com, 226 pts; Ashleigh McKinstry (Taumarunui), Pioneer Makokomiko, 205.5 pts; Donna Smith (Te Kauwhata), Just Chocolate, 188 pts; Bryce Newman (Bulls), Bates Trademark, 113.5 pts; Dannie Lodder (Papakura), Moochi, 101 pts; Smith, Balmoral Tangolooma, 97.5 pts; Monica Oakley (Waipukurau), Fontain, 93 pts; Angela Lloyd (Pukekohe), Song, 76 pts.