It is all systems go at the NRM National Three-Day Event Championships, with course designers, officials and volunteers all working on final preparations for the big event which gets under way on Thursday.
The weather has added another dimension for organisers, but the forecast for the championships, being held at the Fiber Fresh National Equestrian Centre, looks like it will play ball this week.
Event director Sarah Bromley says that with entries officially closed and the first horses and riders due at the venue in just three days, the organising committee is well and truly in countdown mode.
“We’ve got one of the biggest 3* fields the NRM 3DE has hosted for some time,” she says. “We’re also excited about providing the final hit-out for the Oceania senior squad and young rider team before they head across the ditch to contest the Championships.”
The NRM CCI3* Open National Championship has attracted a strong field of 13, including defending champion Amanda Pottinger (Havelock North) aboard Just Kidding, South Islander Emily Cammock with both Lewis and Shaw Lee, Samantha Felton (Matangi) aboard Ricker Ridge Divine Right, Donna Edwards-Smith (Te Kauwhata) aboard both DSE Tangolooma and DSE Mr Hokey Pokey and a number of other very smart combinations.
The NRM CIC3* Open National Championship is a small but quality-stacked field. Sam Felton has two on the card in Ricker Ridge Escada and Ricker Ridge Pico Boo, former Olympians Jock Paget (Taupo) and Clarke Johnstone (Matangi) have an entry apiece in Angus Blue and Balmoral Sensation, who was New Zealand’s highest placed individual at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Also in there are Jessica Woods (Ohaupo) aboard Just de Manzana, Andy Daines (Kumeu) aboard Spring Panorama and Renee Faulkner (Papakura) aboard Rubinstar HH.
Andy, Sam Felton, Clarke and Jock are all on the senior Oceania squad, and will be looking to impress selectors at Taupo. Renee has been named on the young rider Oceania team to head to Australia next month. The 2017 Oceania Team Championships are being run at the Melbourne International Three-Day Event in Werribee.
The Bates CCI2* Championship is wide open with 23 high-calibre entries including the likes of father and daughter Matthew and Victoria Grayling (Taranaki) aboard NRM Trudeau and NRM Valiance respectively, Dannie Lodder (Auckland) aboard Balmoral Henton, Nick Brooks (Cambridge) on For Fame, Diane Gilder (Drury) and Your Attorney and Sarah Young (Tokoroa) on Leo Degas, among others. Kimberley Rea and Delta Legacy have been named as first reserves for the young rider Oceania team.
The Fiber Fresh CCI1* Championship has 40 on the card, and includes the very well-performed Clarke Johnstone and In Disguise. Also entered are Vicky Browne-Cole (Waiuku) and Eli, and Abigail Long (Levin) aboard Enzo, who are both in the young rider Oceania team, along with the second reserve Greer Caddigan (Hamilton) on Gymnastik Showdown.
The AMS Saddlery CCI1* Open has attracted 26 entries, including young rider Oceania team member Jackson Bovill (Hamilton) and Visionnaire, while the Wairakei Resort CCN105 Championship has 40 chasing the title. The Equissage CCN105 Open is another big class with 38 on the card.
The first horse inspections are on Thursday, with dressage getting under way on Friday followed by cross-country on Saturday and show jumping on Sunday.
The much anticipated New Zealand Horse & Pony Young Event Horse National Championship gets under way on Thursday morning with the dressage, followed by the jumping, gallop and conformation, with 27 combinations chasing glory. The competition looks fierce, with many of New Zealand’s top riders bringing their young horses, including Samantha Felton, Dannie Lodder and Clarke Johnstone.
We will be bringing you full coverage of the event on social media and our website.
WHAT: NRM National Three Day Event Championships
WHERE: Fiber Fresh National Equestrian Centre, Taupo
WHEN: May 11-14, 2017