While there’s a lot of attention being paid to Tattersalls, New Zealand riders are doing their business in the UK at Little Downham horse trials.
Business for Andrew Nicholson is winning and he notched up another victory in an Advanced section on Swallow Springs. The pair scored 26.3 in the dressage, and added 11.6 time faults. That dressage score was only bettered by one other combination, Andrew on Qwanza, but a rail in the show jumping and 18 time faults dropped them to seventh. Andrew was also fifth on Perfect Stranger, with another a sub-30 dressage score (27.5) and 14.8 time. He has both Qwanza and Perfect Stranger entered in Luhmühlen, and this was their last run before heading to the German four-star event. The aim was for steady double clears and a relaxed dressage – so, that goal was achieved! Three horses in the competition, three under 30 in the dressage, three clear jumping cross-country rounds and one rail, not a bad day’s business for Andrew!
Caroline Powell is getting right back in form after an enforced break thanks to her broken leg. She finished second on Stellor Seaurchin in the Intermediate section, and was also 11th on Sinatra Frank Baby. Blyth Tait had Leo Distinction in that same very competitive class, finishing 16th after a 33.6 dressage, clear jumping but 8.8 time faults keeping him off the pace. Caroline, riding Spice Sensation was 16th in the Nicholson-dominated Advanced class after a 33.6 dressage and 27.6 time faults on cross-country.
— Ely Eventing (@Lt_Downham_Int) June 3, 2016
Cam Robertson was also competing on his Black Ink, stepping up to Advanced. Cam, who works for Jock Paget, has been working hard on his dressage and was rewarded with a 37.9 score, but 12 show jumping and 31.2 cross-country time faults dropped them out of contention – though Cam should be well pleased with his mare at that level.
So, back to Ireland. Jock Paget remains in second place after cross-country on Zazu in the Land Rover CCI1*, jumping clear with no time faults. He also retained his fifth place on Optimus Prime, and Tim Price moved up a place on Koh I Noor, both recording clear rounds within the time, as did James Avery with Cadillac and Visual Impact, who are now 12th and 18th respectively.
In the Cooley Farm CCIYH1*, Tim has moved up to second on Kincooley Cruising, after Jonelle withdrew the leader, Obos Impressive, before cross-country. Dan Jocelyn had a clear cross-country on Southfork to move up slightly to 34th, but not such a good day for Alice Montgomery who retired Ececheira.
After completion of the dressage phase in the Eventing Ireland CCI2*, Jonelle is looking good in both third and fourth place on Cooley Showtime and Ascona. Dan Jocelyn and Beaucatcher are 14th with Dan on High Light and Blackthorn Cruise back in 34th and 36th. William Fox-Pitt is first and second on Secret Night and Top Biats.
In the George Mernagh Memorial CIC3*, Tim is in fourth place on Ringwood Skyboy on a score of 42.3 with Jock Paget back in 23rd on Angus Blue (58.8) and Tim Rusbridge on Oneforthenotebook (63.8) 26th. The Irish currently hold the top three placings, with Austin O’Connor leading on Kilpatrick Knight on 42.3, followed by Joney Evans on Cooley Rorkes Drift (43.3) and Padraig McCarthy on Bernadette Utopia on 44.3.
The Irish Field’s CCI3* has no Kiwis in it, but the Australians are doing well with Sammi Birch leading and Paul Tapner third.