Even with their B-team in the saddle, Germany’s event riders were dominant at the Nations Cup held at the Houghton International Horse Trials, cruising to a comfortable victory.
The German quartet led after dressage; then between them Josephine Schnaufer, Josepha Sommer, Peter Thomsen and Bettina Hoy accumulated just a handful of penalties in the jumping phases to finish on a team score of 137.1.
New Zealand’s effort was a very disappointing fifth, with a team score of 160.8. Tim Price was the best of the Kiwis, and he will be pleased to have a completion under his belt on Bango after a run of bad luck cross-country of late. The pair finished 15th, dropping from seventh after dressage with a rail and a time fault show jumping, and coming home just over the cross-country time for a further 2pen.
Caroline Powell, back in the game after being sidelined with a broken leg, was 21st on Onwards And Upwards, Sir Mark Todd was 29th on Obos Colombus, and Jesse Campbell had the discard score, 35th on Cleveland.
The Australians were all smiles on the second step of the podium after a strong showing, though they couldn’t hold on to their dressage lead. Andrew Hoy, making a bid to get back in the Olympic squad, was their top finisher, fourth on Rutherglen, on his dressage score of 42.7. Sam Griffiths was 12th on Beaurepaire Nemo, and Tim Boland 23rd on GV Billy Elliot; together the team scored 143.5.
French riders are on a roll at the moment, with impressive performances at Badminton, and the trio of Matthieu van Landeghem, Didier Dhennin and Geoffroy Soullez came through for the bronze.
Great Britain’s Nicola Wilson put her hand up for Rio in a major way; she led throughout to take individual honours on One Two Many, and backed that up with third place on Annie Clover. Oliver Townend had two in the top-10 as well; fifth on Dromgurrihy Blue and eighth on MHS King Joules.
The other New Zealand riders finished well down the scoreboard. Annabel Wigley was 70th on Cotswold, having come to grief somewhat show jumping and then incurring 23.6 time faults cross-country; Caroline’s Flying Finish had a run-off plus time faults to be 74th, and Megan Heath was eliminated show jumping with Camelot.
In the CCI2*, there were three New Zealand flags among the sea of Union Jacks in the top-10 scoreboard. Tim Price was second on Danturano K, Lizzie Brown eighth on Havanna Van’t Castanaehof and Jonelle Price ninth on Kindred Spirit IV.
Tim was also fourth on the CCI1* on Pats Jester.