When Brooke Campbell came out of the show jumping arena, it took quite some time before she would accept that she had won the national two-star one day championship.
Brooke had obviously not done the maths beforehand, as she thought that Freddy Dash had not done enough to be the champion, having had one rail down. She won the title by 0.6 from Heelan Tompkins on board Snow Leopard, who had jumped clear.
It was a bit confusing with the various three- and four-star horses competing in the class, but none of them were eligible to win due to their achievements at higher levels.
As expected, Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation were the actual winners, being the only pair to finish on their dressage score. When congratulating Brooke, Clarke told her that the title-winner’s cover was hers, he was happy with the winner’s cheque… but organisers were quick off the mark, producing a second of the sought-after rugs.
Brooke said that she had been “pretty nervous” going into the show jumping as it isn’t normally the pair’s strongest phase. “I’ve never won anything before,” she kept saying -which wasn’t quite true – but she was certainly delighted to have secured the national title on a horse she’d never expected to produce the goods.
“He is Mum’s horse; we bought him as a safe horse for her,” she explains. The previous owner had suggested that he didn’t have enough talent to get above training level, and for a while the Campbell family agreed. Brooke’s sister Chanel did a lot of the early training with Freddy, and Brooke took on the ride, after some persuasion, when she lost her horse to colic.
“Now we may even take him to three-star next season!” While three-star may be new to Freddy, Brooke has competed on Sonic at that level.
Clarke Johnstone was all smiles after having a lovely event on his beloved Balmoral Sensation. “It was so nice, he felt like he loved all three phases. He hasn’t had to be drilled to get the best possible performances.” While two-star should be easy for a horse with his record, Clarke said that it did suit his current level of fitness. “He hasn’t been to the gallops many times.”
Clarke is now in discussions with the selectors about the next big events. The Melbourne Three-Day Event in June is one option, but Clarke is also keen to return to Adelaide’s four-star class in November, to improve on his third placing there in 2015.
Amanda Pottinger finished second in the class on her three-star horse, Just Kidding. She had needed to run the current three-day event champion at the lower level, as he’d taken a real dislike to water jumps, and was eliminated for refusing to go into the water at Puhinui in November. Though they won the Taupo title last May, Amanda and Just Kidding came very close to finishing that event in the water jump, and it turned the horse off water for a while. With some careful schooling, the pair now look to be back on track – he certainly jumped into the Kihikihi water very well. You can check out the amazing Taupo water near-miss in this link – photos by our much-missed Barbara Thomson.
Donna Edwards-Smith finished sixth in the Kihikihi class on DSE Cluny; probably one of the few highlights of the event for her. She injured her foot badly earlier in the week at home, and was unable to ride with her normal skill. Donna of course gave it her best attempt, but ended up retiring some of her horses on the cross-country (including Mr Hokey Pokey in the three-star) and withdrawing DSE Tangalooma before the phase. It was therefore good to see her able to complete and be placed on the consistent Cluny.
Trust Waikato CIC2* Waiteko Trophy Championship: Brooke Campbell (Coatesville) Freddy Dash.
Trust Waikato CIC2*: Clarke Johnstone (Matangi) Balmoral Sensation 42.2, 1; Amanda Pottinger (Havelock North) Just Kidding 48, 2; Brooke Campbell (Coatesville) Freddy Dash 57.7, 3; Abigail Long (Levin) Enzo 58, 4; Heelan Tompkins (New Plymouth) Snow Leopard 58.3, 5; Donna Edwards-Smith (Te Kauwhata) DSE Cluny 58.9, 6.