Veteran Matthew Grayling holds the lead on NRM Lowenberg after today’s dressage phase of the CIC3* eventing at the NRM New Zealand Horse of the Year Show in Hastings. Grayling ended the phase with 46.8 dressage penalties, with Donna Smith lying second on Balmoral Tangolooma on 50.1.
Clarke Johnstone, who has returned from the UK and is now based in the Waikato, holds third and fourth position with the newly acquired former Smith horse Balmoral Sensation and Canterbury veterinarian Sam Taylor’s Leo Degas on 50.7 and 51 penalties respectively.
Dannie Lodder and Petra Eatson’s Moochi, the current leaders of the ESNZ Eventing Super League, are fifth with 53.4 penalties, ahead of Talent Development Squad member Samantha Felton on Ricker Ridge Pico Boo, having their first start at this level. NZHP Accelerator Squad member Joseph Waldron, until recently based in Australia, is close behind on Springvale All Black with 54.9 penalties.
The 16 starters handled the atmospheric conditions of the Land-Rover premier arena with confidence, producing an improved standard of performance, so with scores so close, Saturday’s cross-country will be influential. Grayling is concerned about the ground conditions, although some areas have been aerated, and is hoping for rain overnight.
“The course is good, but the going is variable,” he said, referring to the track which winds through several competition arenas and warm up areas as well as the lake in Waikoko Gardens. He will not make a decision whether to run his horse until Saturday morning when he will re-assess the conditions.
The NZ Horse & Pony Magazine CIC2* class, with 35 starters, is led by Samantha Felton on Henton After Dark with 42.8 penalties, ahead of the NZ Young Rider One-day Event winners, Madison Crowe on Brogan and Chelsey Hawthorn on Pioneer Zeuss, who are second equal on 45.6 penalties.
Felton is also fourth equal on Ricker Ridge Escada with Dannie Lodder on Waitangi Icon with 48.3 penalties, and Mark Todd is sixth equal on Kate Wood’s Drakkar with Donna Smith on Balmoral Henton with 48.6 penalties. Wood was here to watch the dressage but flew back to Whangarei for her brother’s wedding on Saturday so will not see the cross-country.
The 2* cross-country will seriously challenge these up and coming horses, with the intricacies of the track winding between tents and across arenas, while the 3* horses jump most of the same fences but with extra elements in the combinations, so is essentially a 2* plus track. Very few horses in either class will have witnessed the crowds of spectators expected at each vantage point, with the entire Show stopping for the duration of the cross-country.
Live scoring is operating via www.equestrianentries.co.nz.
Pictures below courtesy Jane Thompson.
|2nd / 50.1 – Donna Smith and Balmoral Tangolooma|
8. 55.2 Abby Lawrence / Pseudonym
8. 55.2 Bundy Philpott / Romeo NZPH
8. 55.3 Simon Gordon / Fletch.com
11. 56.7 Shelly Ross / Coleraine Coaltown
12. 60.3 Angela Lloyd / Song
13. 60.6 Fraser King / Nadal KSNZ
14. 62.7 Sarah Dalziell / Benrose Super Star
15. 63.0 Campbell Draper / Kahurangi Manu
16. 63.6 Tessa Jacks / Cracker Jack Candy
2=. 45.6 Madison Crowe / Brogan
4. 48.3 Samantha Felton / Ricker Ridge Escada
4. 48.3 Dannie Lodder / Waitangi Icon
6. 48.6 Donna Smith / Balmoral Henton
6. 48.6 Mark Todd / Drakkar
8. 49.2 Bundy Philpott / Britannica MVNZ
9. 50.3 Amanda Pottinger / Stoked
10. 51.4 Donna Smith / Cluny