The cross country course at the Melbourne International Horse Trials unfortunately did not present the Kiwis with the opportunity to move in front of the Australian Young Rider team today.
But overall, the CCI2* cross-country course rode well and the time was achieved by many of the competitors.
The top three held their spots; West Australian rider Gabrielle Pither is in the lead aboard Max Almighty with a score of 46.11, Will Enzinger is in second place on Wenlock Aquifer (46.89), and Teegan Ashbey on Rockingham No Reason stays in third (47.04).
The first three New Zealand young riders, Bonnie Farrant, Jessica Young and Maddy Crowe all flew around the track without any jumping or time penalties. Bonnie, the trailblazer, described the course as “awesome” and came back buzzing from her ride. She had been disappointed with her horse, Kaipara Dior, in the dressage phase, and declared that the mare had “redeemed herself, and she won’t be going on Trade Me now.”
Jessica Woods also put in a polished performance, although while jumping into the water gave her supporters a bit of a fright. “He jumps into the water so darned big!” She admitted to not being able to enjoy the moments of the course as she was “focused on what I had to do.”
Maddy Crowe was so excited when she got back she wanted to go and ride the course again! “It was very cool, I loved it, I had so much fun!”
The last Kiwi combination out, Sarah Young, unfortunately parted company with her horse, Regal Romar at Fence 10. Neither rider nor horse were injured, and Sarah was understandably very disappointed with her unusual mistake. “He jumped in quite forward over the first, and I made a bad call, I was too forward into the second element and he tipped me out the front.”
Sarah’s fall means that she is now eliminated from the competition, so the team is reliant on the three scores still live. The Australian Young Rider team performed very well, and are now 28.1 points ahead of the New Zealanders. They also still have their four riders in the competition so it will be a big challenge for the Kiwis in Monday’s show jumping phase to overtake the Australians.
1. Gabrielle Pither & Max Almighty, 46.11
2. William Enzinger, Wenlock Aquifer, 46.89
3. Teegan Ashby, Rockingham No Reason, 47.04
8. Jessica Woods, Defies Logic, 53.33
19. Maddy Crowe, Brogan, 62.04
27. Bonnie Farrant, Kaipara Dior, 66.86