The CCI3* at the weekend’s Puhinui International Three-Day-Event has brought about quite a change to New Zealand’s Eventing Super League rankings, with a new leader now streets ahead.
Being a CCI, Puhinui offered double points in the series. This year has been remarkable in that no rider had scored more than once in the five events leading up to Puhinui, and three combinations were tied for top spot.
But the Auckland combination of Dannie Lodder riding Petra Eatson’s Moochi were the first to finally accumulate points, having placed second behind Matthew Grayling and Henton Executive over the weekend, to jump from fourth place on the scoreboard to a resounding lead with 143 points.
Previous riders had found Henton Executive difficult to handle, and Grayling has been riding him for only four months. They are building a formidable partnership, this being their first competition at top level. The prestigious win sees them leap onto the Super League table in second place with 92 points, ahead of the three previous co-leaders, none of whom added to their tally.
The National One-day Event champions, Angela Lloyd and Song led the CCI3* class after the dressage, but Lloyd was dislodged when Song jumped awkwardly at the entrance to the water complex, resulting in elimination. Tessa Jacks retired Cracker Jack Candy after two refusals on the cross-country course, while Bryce Newman and Bates Trademark were not competing at the event.
Puhinui marks the halfway stage of the year-long series, which resumes again in the autumn. The three big events which will shape the final outcome are the NRM HoY CIC3* in Hastings in March, the Kihikihi CIC3* at Te Awamutu in April, and the NRM CCI3*, the final event in the series, at Taupo in May.
ESNZ Eventing Super League – Standings after six events
Dannie Lodder, Auckland, Moochi, 143; Matthew Grayling, New Plymouth, Henton Executive, 92; Angela Lloyd, Auckland, Song, 69s; Bryce Newman, Bulls, Bates Trademark, 69; Tessa Jacks, Hamilton, Cracker Jack Candy, 69.