Katharine shoots to the top at Kihikihi

There's been plenty of re-arrangement of the leaderboards after today's influential cross-country at the Kihikihi International Horse Trials

Katharine Van Tuyl and Sunny: confident (Image: Libby Law)
Katharine Van Tuyl and Sunny: confident (Image: Libby Law)

A deceptively fast cross-country round from Katharine Van Tuyl and Double J Sunshine has leapt them in to pole position in the Waipa Home of Champions CIC3* at the Kihikihi International Horse Trials today.

Katharine and the very in-form ‘Sunny’, who won the Advanced class at Puhinui a few weeks ago and are leading the Super League series, were the fastest pair around John Nicholson’s three-star track, incurring 12.8pen, to take the lead with 64.4pen.

It looked a supremely confident round too – though the normally ice-cool Katharine admits she was nervous beforehand.

“He’s been very consistent since he stepped up to three-star. He’s an absolute dude – I was probably the most nervous I have ever been today and he was just fantastic.”

She last rode at Kihikihi 10 years ago and says today was as big as ever.

“It’s a course that just keeps coming at you.”

Katharine, of Palmerston North, recently gave up full time riding and shrank her team down to just two horses; Sunny and the five-year-old Centavino.

If she wants to take out her first Kihikihi crown tomorrow though, clear show jumping is a must, with Dannie Lodder and Tomahawk II breathing down her neck just 1.6pen behind after a brilliantly attacking ride.

“That course gives you no room for error,” she said. “I didn’t take any options but did a couple of bulges into fences to give him some space. I am still building his confidence.”

Overnight leader Donna Edwards-Smith and crowd favourite, Mr Hokey Pokey, slipped back to fifth spot but still produced an impressive round. The eight-year-old, 15.2 half quarter horse is very green at three-star, and Donna, who hurt her leg in a fall off another horse the class before, was rapt with his efforts.

“He gave me a beautiful ride,” she said. “I purposely didn’t pay any attention to the time. He’s got a big future ahead.”

Sam’s back on top

Samantha Felton and Ricker Ridge Pico Boo have taken the lead in the AON Insurance CIC2*, going clear and coming home a whopping 37 seconds under the time allowed.

Sam won this title two years ago on Ricker Ridge Escada (who is sitting handily in third in the CIC3*), and says that after sitting seventh after dressage she didn’t expect to move up that much.

‘Beckham’ has only had a handful of outings after a year off with injury, so Sam says she was a little unsure as to how he would go.

“I made a couple of conservative decisions out there and it paid off.”

Sam Felton and Ricker Ridge Pico Boo: back to their best (Image: Libby Law)
Sam Felton and Ricker Ridge Pico Boo: back to their best (Image: Libby Law)

Sarah Young and SS Galaxy were also clear and inside time to sit second, but sadly the horse didn’t feel 100% so she has made the tough decision to withdraw him from the show jumping tomorrow.

“He was second in his first attempt here, so I am just gutted to have to withdraw,” she said. “We have had an incredible 18 months and he has been so on form.”

Alex Anderson of Taupo is leading the Horselands CIC1* on Gina VT Bloemenhof and the Vesper Law Young Horse CNC105 on Tigerherz after two storming cross-country rounds, while Abby Lawrence will be pleased with Charlton Yamani’s efforts to lead the Prestige Equestrian CIC1* for 6, 7 and 8YO horses.

Karla Jamieson and her lovely Westamour are leading the Wade Equestrian Coaches CNC1*.

The leaders in the remaining three CNC105 divisions are Kylee McCambridge and Chicago, Su Jenkins and Anonymous, and Jordie Watson on Meersbrooke Viva La Vida.

Results (after dressage and cross-country phases)

Waipa Home of Champions CIC3*: Katharine Van Tuyl (Palmerston North) Double J Sunshine 64.4 penalty points 1, Dannie Lodder (Auckland) Tomahawk II 66 2, Samantha Felton (Matangi) Ricker Ridge Escada 70.2 3, Emily Cammock (Christchurch) Lewis 70.7 4, Donna Edwards-Smith (Te Kauwhata) Mr Hokey Pokey 76.3 5, Amanda Pottinger (Hawke’s Bay) Just Kidding 76.8 6, Andy Daines (Kumeu) Spring Panorama 85.2 7.

AON Insurance CIC2*: Samantha Felton (Matangi) Ricker Ridge Pico Boo 51.3 1, Sarah Young (Tokoroa) SS Galaxy 53 2, Abigail Long (Levin) Enzo 53.6 3, Danielle Wheeler (Clevedon) One Cool Dude 55.6 4, Nick Brooks (Cambridge) Versace C 55.8 6, Kimberley Rear (Hamilton) Delta Legacy and Megan Finlayson (Kerikeri) Greensleeves 56 =6.

Horselands CIC1*: Alex Anderson (Taupo) Gina VT Bloemenhof 48.7 1, Dannie Lodder (Auckland) Eon 49.3 2, Laruen Currie (Lower Hutt) Rockdon Wildfire 49.6 3, Calla Toyne (Bay of Plenty) Scottish Lad 52.5 4, Loran Mathis (Waikato) Charlton Xplorer 53.5 5, Amanda Wards (Auckland) South Dakota 53.9 6.

Prestige Equestrian CIC1* (6, 7 and 8-year-old horses): Abby Lawrence (Te Puke) Charlton Yamani 44.7 1, Jessica Woods (Ohaupo) LV Balou Jeanz 48.1 2, Donna Edwards-Smith (Te Kauwhata) Cluny 50.9 3, Samantha Felton (Matangi) Ricker Ridge Mystery 52.8 4, Jeffrey Amon (Murupara) JA Candy Girl 5, Campbell Draper (Putaruru) What A Choice 53.6 6.

Wade Equestrian Coaches CNC1*: Karla Jamieson (Taranaki) Westamour 28.7 1, Richard Otto (Te Awamutu) Windsor 32.4 2, Anne MacAulay (Te Awamutu) Cliebrig Alexandria 33.3 3, Cassie Hodder (Te Awamutu) Schiavo 35.4 4, Holly Morrell (Taupo) Pampero 35.7 5, Mathew Grayling (Taranaki) Trudeau 35.9 6.

BetaVet CNC105: Kylee McCambridge (Cambridge) Chicago 25.2 1, Kady Prujean (Drury) The Duke 28.3 2, Kyle Calder (Auckland) Apteryx 29.8 3, Ashleigh McKinstry (Taumarunui) Pioneer Techtonic Shuffle 31 4, Georgia Bennett (Taupo) Telestory 31.2 5, Leasa Williamson (Whangarei) Sir Nighthawk 33.2 6.

JLT CNC105 Amateur: Su Jenkins (Te Puke) Anonymous 18.2 1, Shannon Galloway (Hamilton) Day Walker 24.8 2, Mary Matthews (Ohura) He’s a Gem 26.2 3, Melanie Molitor (Kumeu) Intersect 28 4, Nicky Mamo (Remuera) War Paint Gypsy King 28.2 and Elsa Wrathall (Cambridge) Vincitore 28.2 =5.

Vosper Law CNC105 5 and 6-year-old horses: Alex Anderson (Taupo) Tigerherz 33 1, Abby Lawrence (Te Puke) Django 34.2 2, Georgia Watson (Rotorua) Astek Gratias 36.8 3, Alex Chambers-Steward (Auckland) Zenvo 37.5 4, Katharine Van Tuyl (Palmerston North) Centavino 38.5 5.

PEL CNC105 21 years and under: Jordie Watson (Dairy Flat) Meersbrook Viva La Vida and Antonia Baillie (Auckland) Hullabalou 30.8 =1, Samuel Amon (Murupara) Trojan Warrior 32.8 3, Abigail Long (Levin) My Tom Tom 33 4, Alex Chambers-Steward (Auckland) Manuka Meilekke and Ellise Power (Auckland) Chocolate Liqueur 33.2 =5.