Tight competition at the Pony Club Eventing Champs

One of the most prestigious events on the pony club calendar is the teams eventing championships, being held this year in North Canterbury

This is the sixth time Zephania Steele (Franklin-Thames Valley) has competed at the NZPCA Teams Eventing Championships, so it is no surprise that she has the lead in the AI section after dressage, on her lovely grey Javari JS. But there’s not much in it: last year’s AI winner Jessie Fitzjohn (Canterbury) is not far behind her on Whats The Buzz with Waikato’s Dayna Fox on LV Little Chief in third position.

The Prydes EasiFeed PGG Wrightson 2016 NZPCA Eventing Championships which also incorporates the Equissage CAPC Two-Day Event is being held at the Eyreton Pony Club grounds in North Canterbury. The region was showing itself off today, with perfect weather.

In the DC section, there is another Franklin Thames Valley (FTV) team member in the lead: Samantha Maguire on Starlight Demeter has a 0.9 penalty advantage over Rebecca Wardle on Sponge Bob from the Marlborough Nelson West Coast team. Beth Wilson, another FTV team member is third on Alto et Audax, just 0.3 behind Rebecca.

In the Mark Todd Championship, Lucy Cochrane from Canterbury on Inspector Gadget leads from Eden Doull on Noble Value, yet another from the FTV team! Emma Gibb on A Patchy Pony (Wairarapa Wellington) is in third place.

In the Equissage NZPC 105 class, Charlotte Grey on Coup Perfectly Done has the lead after both the dressage and show jumping phases. She had been fourth after dressage but clear jumping shot her to the lead. Second is Hollie Kooman on Mayko with Maddy Tait on Island Road third.

Sophie Ware kept her lead after dressage, with a clear show jumping round in the Equissage NZPC 95 on Hallmark Command. Abriele Morse on Wembleybrook O’Driscoll is second, with Brittany Fowler on Apsley Backchat Kid third.

There were no changes to the leaders after dressage once the show jumping had concluded in the Equissage NZPC 80 class. Mikayla Jarvis on Silver leads from Katherine Hadler on Hakuna Matata with Westpark Jasper, ridden by Brianna Bailey and Velazquez ridden by Danielle Wallace tied for third.

We do not have the teams’ placings at this stage, but are predicting that Franklin Thames Valley should be ahead of the home team.

We caught up with Angela Lloyd, FTV coach, who was delighted with her team’s performance in the dressage today. “They rode really well and there were some personal bests. They have been working really hard, so it is good to see them going so well.”

The cross-country course has caused a few nerves, perhaps more for mothers and coaches. It will be a challenging one.  Angela commented that a couple more options may have been welcomed but she is telling her team to “balance, set up for the fences and ride your lines. Keep riding the line.”

The Springston Trophy competition was the first to use this still-new course late last year; however, it is very different for tomorrow’s cross-country which starts at 9am with the 80cm class. The AI competitors will be the last to go over the biggest track.  Show jumping for the Championship classes is on Sunday.

The event is being live-streamed by Equestrian Live and there is live scoring on Equestrian Entries if you can’t make it to the Eyreton Pony Club to see the action first-hand.