Weekend wrap of Eventing

Blyth Tait on Darius earlier in their career
Blyth Tait on Darius earlier in their career

The New Zealanders competing in France at the Saumur Horse Trials won’t be celebrating with French champagne.

While Blyth will be very pleased with Darius’s performance on the cross-country course, tackling the course with ease and adding just time faults, he won’t be pleased with his show jumping efforts, with four down. Darius is just new to this level though, and we’re expecting improvements in the future from this lovely NZ horse. They finished 20th.

Tim Price had one down on the tricky show jumping course plus time faults, and ended up finishing 37th. Judging by the scoreboard, he hadn’t had a great cross-country either, but the explanation on Tim and Jonelle’s website gives a much better picture.

“As it turns out, we couldn’t have picked a tougher start for Tim and Marley!  The hot day with humid temperatures played its part along with a twisty and turning track that sapped stamina.  Marley was brilliant and game-on right up until the last water complex which was three from home and he was tiring but still jumped the bounce in well. He slightly drifted which put him offline for the arrowhead two strides later so Tim made the executive decision to do a wiggly line back to it to avoid a drive-by, but left Marley on a tricky approach…. which resulted in a technical 20 and then a 20 for a stop.  Marley then jumped in on a re-approach – which is actually a huge step forward in his education – and finished.”

The event was won by Australian Chris Burton, who used the one-rail advantage he had coming into the show jumping on Santano II. French riders Thomas Carlisle and Upsilon, Arnaud Boiteau and Sultan de la Motte, and Maxime Livio with Opium de Verrieres were second, third and fourth respectively. At this point of Olympic preparation, the French are certainly putting on a good display, and look likely to have a strong team.

In the CCI2*, Jonelle finished 18th on Obos Impressive after adding 5.6 time faults in the cross-country and one in the show jumping. Blyth withdrew Carin before the cross-country. Didier Dhennin of France won the class on Rien Qu’un Crack.

In the CCI1*, New Zealander Courtney Romcke rode Destino Bello and finished 44th, after three down in the show jumping and a clear cross-country.

Rockingham Castle where there were plenty of Kiwis competing over the weekend
Rockingham Castle where there were plenty of Kiwis competing over the weekend

Back in the UK, there were plenty of New Zealanders at the Rockingham Castle trials in Northamptonshire. Top 10 placings included:

  • Lucy Jackson: won the Intermediate on Mister O
  • James Avery: fourth in the CIC1* on Cadillac and ninth on Legaland Cooley in a novice class
  • Tim Rusbridge: third on Peaky Blinder in a Novice class and eighth on Oneforthenotebook in another
  • Caroline Powell: ninth in an Open Intermediate on Stellar Seaurchin
  • Sir Mark Todd: sixth on Dusk Till Dawn in a novice.

At Tweseldown, Lizzie Brown had a win in a BE100 on Superstorm Sandy, and Dan Jocelyn was sixth on Fjury in one BE100 class and third on Diamond Louie in another. The event was also held on Monday, with Tim and Jonelle making a speedy return to the UK to compete. Lucy Jackson had a win on Superstition in an Intermediate class, Jonelle was second in another Intermediate on Cooley Showtime, with Neil Spratt on Galwaybay Echo third in the same class.  Neil also had a third in a novice class on First Lancer. In the Open Intermediate, Tim was second on Xavier Faer, with Caroline Powell, back riding after breaking her leg, third and fifth on Onwards & Upwards and Flying Finish respectively.