Ritchie rules the cross-country at HOY

Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation (Image: Libby Law Photography)

Balmoral Sensation, aka Ritchie, looked like he loved every minute of his outing at the Horse of the Year Show today. The three-star cross-country presented absolutely no difficulties for him or his rider Clarke Johnstone, and they finished full of running and enthusiasm. They did pick up 8.8 time faults but that was the fastest round of the day.

“I went as fast as I could,” says Clarke. “He was super, and really great to ride. He felt like he had a good time, and finds it all pretty easy, so it was nice!”

No speed limit for Clarke and Ritchie! (Image: Jane Thompson)

Their score going into the show jumping tomorrow morning is 40.5, some 6.7 penalties in front of Amanda Pottinger on Just Kidding, who is in second place on 47.2 after going clear across country but adding 13.6 time faults.

“I am so happy with him,” says Amanda. “He was so good into the water, straight in, but I did have a life at the corner; he added a stride that I didn’t think was there, but he is so genuine.”

Amanda Pottinger and Just Kidding during the CIC3* (Image: Libby Law Photography)

Clarke also did a great round on his less experienced horse, Wolf Whistle II, and slotted into third with another fast round, incurring 12.8 time faults, for a score of 48.1.

Clarke Johnstone and Wolf Whistle II move into third place in the CIC3* (Image: Libby Law Photography)

Abby Lawrence and Charlton Yamani are fourth, adding 11.6 time faults. “He was a little bit keen, but awesome. As he pulled a bit, I did waste a bit of time setting him up for the fences, but he was great.”

Nick Brooks won the prize for the biggest smile when he pulled up after going through the finish flags, clearly delighted with his beautiful horse, For Fame. “He’s just an amazing horse, and it is just such an adrenaline rush riding him!”

Much happiness for Nick! (Image: Jane Thompson)

Ashleigh McKinstry is a speed queen at the best of times and finished with the second-fastest round of the day on Pioneer Brass Monkey. “I wheeled [measured] the course this morning and knew it would be tight. The crowd didn’t bother her; in fact, she was probably quieter here than at some other events!”

Jessica Woods has a super horse in her Australian mare Just de Manzana and she too was buzzing after the cross-country. “She was amazing, she was just so cool! She didn’t care about the crowd, but because it was a bit slippery and tight corners, I had to ride to the conditions.”

Maddy Crowe slipped down the leaderboard with 18.4 time faults but was excited about how well her mare went, especially as she does not have much experience at this level. “I could have gone a little faster in places, but she is so cool. I feel like I am just starting to tap in to what she can do.”

Maddy Crowe and Waitangi Pinterest looked impressive on the cross-country (Image: Jane Thompson)

The skies opened just as Samantha Felton started on Ricker Ridge Escada, but this didn’t hinder the pair, who incurred 17.2 time faults and jumped clear. “I was very, very happy,” says Sam. “He was amazing, we had the worst of the weather. He was just super.”

Brooke Campbell and Freddie Dash had a bit of a gear failure on course. “My martingale broke by fence three,” Brooke reports. “I was thinking it felt funny! He’s a trier though, and sometimes I add a few too many strides.”

Abigail Long incurred 50 penalties for jumping outside a flag on the course, and has elected to withdraw from the rest of the competition, saving her 15-year-old Enzo for another day.

CIC3* Leaderboard after cross-country

Dressage Score XC Time Faults Score after XC
1 Clarke Johnstone Balmoral Sensation 31.7 8.8 40.5
2 Amanda Pottinger Just Kidding 33.6 13.6 47.2
3 Clarke Johnstone Wolf Whistle II 35.3 12.8 48.1
4 Abby Lawrence Charlton Yamani 37.2 11.6 48.8
5 Nick Brooks For Fame 35.7 13.2 48.9
6 Ashleigh Mckinstry Pioneer Brass Monkey 37.9 11.2 49.1
7 Jessica Woods Just de Manzana 37.4 13.6 51
8 Donna Edwards-Smith DSE Cluny 39.9 12 51.9
9 Madison Crowe Waitangi Pinterest 34 18.4 52.4
10 Samantha Felton Ricker Ridge Escada 37.2 17.2 54.4
10 Renee Faulkner Rubinstar HH 39.2 15.2 54.4
12 Danielle Wheeler One Cool Dude 43.1 11.6 54.7
13 Brooke Campbell Freddy Dash 39.2 17.2 56.4
14 Donna Edwards-Smith DSE Tangolooma 39 18.4 57.4
15 Jackson Bovill Visionnaire 39.7 18.4 58.1
16 Sarah Young Leo Degas 33.7 25.6 59.3
17 Virginia Thompson Star Nouveau 39.6 20.8 60.4
18 Samantha Felton Ricker Ridge Rui 44.3 19.2 63.5
19 Bundy Philpott Tresca NZPH 39.4 28 67.4


CIC2* Competition

Abby Lawrence moved up into first place in the two-star after the cross-country, thanks to the fastest round of the day. She really rates her horse Anonymous, and was delighted with him after today’s performance.

Abby Lawrence and Anonymous on the cross country track (Image: Libby Law Photography)

Fleur Rohleder and The Alchemist shot up to second from tenth after the dressage, with the second-fastest round of the day.

Fleur Rohleder, The Alchemist have moved up to second place in the CIC2* class (Image: Jane Thompson)

Leader after dressage, Samantha Felton on Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ, incurred 19.6 time faults which slipped her down to third, but still thinks her horse was super.  “The ground was much more slippery than I anticipated, and he is also very new to two-star – this was only his second one. I wanted to give him confidence and take the time he needed, and he was really, really good,” says Sam.

Samantha Felton and Ricker Ridge Sooty (Image: Libby Law Photography)

Chanel Griffiths and Astek Guardsman were a casualty of the conditions after light rain this morning made the dry ground very slippery. They took a tumble on a turn between fences, which ruled them out of any further participation. And, Jake Barham will be kicking himself all night after missing the flags for a compulsory passage and being eliminated.

Dressage Score XC Time Pen Score after XC
1 Abby Lawrence Anonymous 27 7.2 34.2
2 Fleur Rohleder The Alchemist 34.8 9.2 44
3 Samantha Felton Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ 26.7 19.6 46.3
4 Sophie Alexander World Famous 30 18.8 48.8
5 Rebel Morrow (AUS) Balmoral Henton 40.1 10 50.1
6 Isaac Twigg The Juggler 37 13.6 50.6
7 Elise Power Arctic Cielo 37.6 13.2 50.8
8 Donna Edwards-Smith DSE Mendoza 35.8 15.6 51.4
9 Kimberley Rear Delta Legacy 33.7 20 53.7
10 Greer Caddigan Mr Mancini 34.3 25.2 59.5


Eventing officials doing official things. (Image: Jane Thompson)