New Zealand teams have edged out the Australians after the dressage phase in the Oceania Teams’ competition at the National Three-day Eventing Championships at Taupo – though the margins are very tight.
In the senior competition, held as part of the DVS Home Ventilation CCI4* class, the NZ Black team (Samantha Lissington, Madison Crowe and Muzi Pottinger) sits on 97.5 penalties, with Australia Green second on 100.2, Australia Gold third on 108.9, and NZ Silver fourth on 109.9.
But with Chris Ross’ very challenging tracks ahead of them, there is all to ride for in the cross-country tomorrow.
NZ Black team chef d’equipe Jock Paget says that the four-star course looks perhaps a little softer than last year’s legendarily gnarly track, but is still a significant challenge. “Chris is a very clever designer in the way he presents the fences. They look inviting, but they are deceptively tricky.”
Individually, Australian riders are one and two. Amanda Ross and her 12-year-old warmblood Dicavalli Diesel (Australia Green) are in front, with a score of 71.75% for 28.3 penalties. And just 0.2 behind her are Emma Bishop (Australia Gold) and CP Issey Miyake.
Madison Crowe is third with Waitangi Pinterest, 1.5 penalties behind Emma on a score of 30, Muzi and Just Kidding are fourth on 32.8, and Australia Gold’s Sonja Johnson is fifth on Misty Isle Valentino.
Emily Cammock and Shaw Lee round up the top six, on 33.5. The scores are extremely close, with fewer than 10 penalties between the top 15 combinations.
New Zealand’s Young Rider team is also in front of their Australian counterparts. Our team of Beth Wilson, Lucy Turner and Vicky Browne-Cole are on a combined score of 102.9, compared to Australia’s score of 107.2.
In the individual stakes, Sam Lissington and Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ have put themselves in the best possible position to defend the title they won last year, leading the class on a great score of 28.7 penalties.
Lucy Turner is second on Astek Victor, while Monica Oakley is both third and fifth, with Artist and Man of Honour. Clarke Johnstone is sitting fourth on Deo Volente.
The best of the Australian YR team members, Jordyn Faint, is sixth, on Double S Evergreen Jackpot, with a score of 32.2.
New Zealand’s international riders are unsurprisingly dominating the two-star classes. In the Fiber Fresh CCI2* (championship class), Clarke Johnstone is leading with Watermill Glenneagle, Jock Paget is second with Bing Bong, and Lizzie Green third on Comanche II – and there is just .05 penalty between the three of them.
Bundy Philpott is close behind in fourth on Jerry, Jessica Woods sits fifth on LV Gee Whizz, and Muzi rounds up with top six wiht Good Timing.
Clarke is also leading the Stirling Collection CCN2* class, with Aces High. Vicky Browne-Cole is second on Eli, and Angela Lloyd third on Lyrical.
The Wairakei Resort CCN1* (Pre-Novice championship) has 27 starters, and the top of the pile after dressage are Cherie Jaques and Wizard on 31.7, followed by Danielle Wheeler and Soldierboy, and Ian Alexander and Mr Dee.
The open 1.05 class, sponsored by Taupo Veterinary Centre, has a big line-up of 35, and Jessica Woods’ test on Kings Soleil scored 30.6 penalties for first place, ahead of Cassie Hodder and Schiavo, second, and Ashleigh Butler and Unda No Allusion, third.