The New Zealand Pony Club Eventing Championships are under way in Whangarei with the dressage phase completed in damp and misty conditions which deteriorated to solid rain as the day went on.
The riders impressed with their skills both in and out of the arena, with great team camaraderie being exhibited and competitors being ultra-polite to officials and volunteers.
Margs Carline, one of the judges of the AI dressage, was very happy with the standard, especially with the “poor drowned rats that came through at the end” and said, “There were some really good, competent competitors, who were equivalent to that level at any eventing competition.”
The Franklin Thames Valley team have the lead in the teams competition after this phase and two of their riders lead the A1 and DC sections. Their lead is narrow, however, having 120.1 points with second-placed (and last year’s winners) Marlborough Nelson West Coast right behind them on 122.4. Two other South Island teams are also right in contention, with Otago Southland on 124.7 in third and Canterbury on 126.6. Auckland are fifth on 127.6 points.
Robbie McLean’s cross-country course is going to prove very influential, with a number of challenges very early on and plenty of technical combinations to get through. It is beautifully decorated with an Anzac Day theme in many areas.
Leading the AI competition after dressage are Beth Wilson and Alto et Audax who did a lovely test to score 27.9. “A couple of times I lost him, but got him back a few strides later. He was more relaxed and I was very happy with him, although there are always things to work on.” Beth thinks the cross-country course has definitely got challenges. “It looks like it will ride nicely if you ride it right. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Two members of the Auckland team are second and third after dressage. Alena Dorotich rode Clifton Comanche for a score of 28.8. “It was good, I was trying to keep him relaxed and I am really happy with how he performed.”
Rosa Rieger and Toa are third on a score of 29.3. Rosa thought her dressage test was consistent but a bit “dull.” She, too, was looking forward to cross-country. “It’s bold and I love the course,” she said.
Jessie Fitzjohn and What’s the Buzz did a good test, and Jessie was very happy with her chestnut gelding; the pair now sit on 34.7 in 11th place. “He was a good boy,” she says. Jessie thinks the cross-country will be ‘pretty exhilirating’. She comes from Canterbury, and has been staying in the North Island for a while, having competed at Kihikihi where she was a little disappointed with her dressage after the horse was affected by insects. The newly acquired bonnet worked a treat today, if there were any insects still around in that rain!
Todd Magner and Kawhaka Concorde scored 31.6 to sit in sixth place. Todd thought his dressage was ‘all right’ but was confident the cross-country course would “sort them out.” The team have had a long trip to get here, travelling up in three vehicles with floats. “We stopped at Blenheim, Wellington, Dannevirke, Taupo and Cambridge, and set off from home on Tuesday last week.” The team have had some sponsorship from Wintec Saddles, which they all use, and have a raffle going for a Wintec saddle to raise much-needed funds.
Waikato’s Storm Harris was also happy with her test, and her score of 37 put her into 13th place. “I can’t believe how well it went,” she said. Her horse, Irish Foxtrot, is ‘a jumping machine’ and can get a bit tense in dressage, so this time Storm adopted different techniques. “We didn’t warm up. He loves music so we played him music before the test, I got on and went in. I’m so proud of how he went, and look, Mum is even crying!”
Kendall Thompson (32pen, seventh place), another MNWC rider, wasn’t confident her team would lead from the dressage phase so is very pleased to have them lying second at this point. “We have a few unpredictable dressage mounts, so we will be happy with how it all goes.” Kendall herself was pleased with Awatuna Alpine Rose’s test. “It was the first time she has maintained both canters, so I am very happy with her. She is still very green.”
Not one for many words today, Dayna Fox, riding LV Little Chief, is riding for the Waikato team. “He went very well, he was very calm. It was his usual test.” She scored 32.1 and is in eighth place. She thought the course looked good.
Katrina Butler-Gaillie thought Wexford Toy Boy’s test was very good “for him.” Her more experienced horse, Tarndale Endeavour, had been ruled out with a stone bruise just before the event. “Tom had to step up. He’s off the track and hasn’t done as much as my other horse.” They are lying ninth on 34pen.
Gemma Hampson and Pintado Prima Rosa from the Waitemata Rodney team thought she had perhaps warmed up a little too long but should be pleased with her score of 30 penalties which put her in fourth place. “I lost the trot, and he got a bit flat and grumpy,” she says. Gemma thinks the cross-country track looks ‘cool’ but says, “There are some tricky questions and it will be difficult to make up time. My horse has a small stride, so I will have to cut corners where I can.”
Rumbling Thunder was having his first time at the NZPCA Championships, and rider Tyla Clearwater was happy with her test which scored 39.2 putting her in 16th place. “The atmosphere is new to him but he was good.” A member of the Otago Southland team, Tyla said it took them five days to get up here. “We had a two-day stop in Auckland, but it has been a big trip.” She is looking forward to the cross-country. “I am so stoked by the course, there has been so much work go into it and I can’t wait to ride it. I’m excited!”
Jenny Bevege and Ngatamahine Joy Ride is riding for Taranaki. “She was really good but it has been quite a mission to get her here. She’s your typical chestnut mare!” The pair scored 34.6 and are 10th. Jenny thinks the cross-country could be interesting. “It looks really good, there are a lot of questions.”
Eden Doull and Noble Value are leading the DC Championship on a great score of 22.6, riding for Franklin Thames Valley. “I am really happy with him, even though he did get a bit behind the leg at times.”
Jess Viviers, from the Wellington Wairarapa team, scored 37 to be in 16th place on Trogg LS. “I was happy with him, it was not his best but I’m happy with how he behaved.” She too was looking forward to the cross-country. “It looks awesome, there are some technical challenges, and I can’t wait to ride it.”
Kirk Magner, from the South Island’s MNWC team is leading the MT Championships on Marsden Magic on a score of 27.2. When asked what he thought of his dressage, Kirk replied “It was all right, but tomorrow is the fun bit!”
Another of the few boys in the MT competition is Noah Coutts with Bizzie Canoodling; these two are in the Otago Southland team and have been up in the North Island campaigning, including at Horse of the Year and Kihikihi Horse Trials. Noah described his pony’s dressage as ‘having a few moments of brilliance!’ His score of 42.2 puts him in 28th position with a bit to do in the jumping phases.
We will have more photos coming soon, and be sure to have a look at our gallery of the cross-country fences.
Team Results after Dressage
|Franklin Thames Valley||120.1||1|
|Harriet Gelb||Byways I’m Sweet||38.4|
|Lara Butler Gallie||Poppet||35.6|
|Eden Doull||Noble Value||22.6|
|Beth Wilson||Alto et Audax||27.9|
|Katrina Butler Gallie||Wexford Toy Boy||34|
|Nelson Marlborough West Coast||122.4||2|
|Kirk Magner||Marsden Magic||27.2|
|Ella Rae-Wood||Tallyho Primrose||40|
|Maisie Hopkins||Awatuna Classic Rose||31.6|
|Gretchen Anderson||Tallyho Cleopatra||38.3|
|Todd Magner||Kawhaka Concorde||31.6|
|Kendal Thompson||Awatuna Alpine Rose||32|
|Noah Coutts||Bizzie Canoodling||42.2|
|Danielle Roberts||Saltaire Nemo||37|
|Anya Johnston||Sweet Addition||31.8|
|Lilly Anderson||Victory Hawk||25.1|
|Melissa Wallace||Dunurban Maotai||30.8|
|Tyla Clearwater||Rumbling Thunder||39.2|
|Sophie Jarvis||Time To Tango Too||34|
|Niamh Rayne||My Hallucination||28.4|
|Tayla Moriarty||Sir Jack Sparrow||36.8|
|Jessie Fitzjohn||Whats The Buzz||34.7|
|Francesca Masfen||Kinnordy Gallilee||29.8|
|Molly O’Leary||Willesden Green||36.1|
|Claire Webster||Artful Dodger||43.4|
|Alena Dorotich||Clifton Comanche||28.8|
|1||Alto et Audax (Franklin Thames Valley)||Beth Wilson||27.9|
|2||Clifton Comanche (Auckland Area)||Alena Dorotich||28.8|
|3||Toa (Auckland Area)||Rosa Rieger||29.3|
|4||Pintado Prima Rosa (Waitemata Rodney Area Pony Club)||Gemma Hampson||30|
|5||Dunurban Maotai (Otago Southland)||Melissa Wallace||30.8|
|1||Noble Value (Franklin Thames Valley)||Eden Doull||22.6|
|2||Victory Hawk (Otago Southland)||Lilly Anderson||25.1|
|4||My Hallucination (Canterbury)||Niamh Rayne||28.4|
|5||Pixie Caramel (Manawatu West Coast area)||Meg Dempster||29.1|
|1||Marsden Magic (MNWC)||Kirk Magner||27.2|
|2||Picollo (Canterbury)||Charlotte Thomas||29.5|
|3||Kinnordy Gallilee (Auckland Area)||Francesca Masfen||29.8|
|4||Swan Lake (Waikato Area Pony Club)||Clay Harris||31|
|5||Mr Parkes (WR/BOP/WAI)||Jacinda Baker-Singh||31.4|
|Non Championship Classes NZPCA 80|
|1||Pretty Maiden||Monique Balfour||26|
|2||Just Cruzin||Georgia Dagg||30|
|4||Little Man||Angell Anne Burnett||36.9|
|5||Xena WP||Tyler Lynch||37.2|
|1||Madison Avenue||Tyler Porteous||26.2|
|3||Tommi Farr||Astrid Simmonds||32|
|1||Cleo Parfaite||Ella Poole-Crowe||22.3|
|2||Double Flashback||Ashleigh Butler||30|
|3||Showtym Capitol||Sam Doak||32.2|