Amanda Pottinger on top at Taupo

       Amanda Pottinger maintained her lead in the CCI3*


Amanda Pottinger’s best laid plans went out the window today and she looks on track to successfully defend her NRM CCI3* Open National Championship title at the National Three Day Event Champs in Taupo.

The 25-year-old from Havelock North had intended to take the careful route around the cross country today at the Fiber Fresh National Equestrian Centre, but that all changed after she rode two other horses in earlier pre-novice rounds.

She was “so over the moon with the ground” that she came out firing and at the end of a big day sits on 53.9 penalty points, less than a rail ahead of Donna Edwards-Smith (Te Kauwhata) aboard DSE Mr Hokey Pokey. Edwards-Smith is also in third spot aboard DSE Tangolooma on 60.6.

Pottinger said she backed off in the trees where the going was slippery, but stepped it up as soon as she was through the splash. “The track suited my horse well,” she said. “It did keep coming at you though, with combination after combination but we were lucky the going was so great. He just couldn’t have gone any better today.”

However, it didn’t all go her way. “I gave everyone a bit of a scare at one of the easiest fences out there.”

Pottinger admits to being more than a little nervous heading into the showjumping tomorrow – especially with Edwards-Smith breathing down her neck, but she’s hopeful the solid six months rebuilding phase she and her horse have done will stand them in good stead. Two of the 12-strong field were eliminated today, with one retiring.


       Jock Paget and Angus Blue have a good lead in the CIC3*
Jock Paget (Taupo) and Angus Blue have more than 13 penalty points in hand heading into tomorrow’s showjumping after going clear but picking up two time faults in the NRM CIC3* cross country today. The former Olympian was very pleased with the efforts of the horse he brought with him from the United Kingdom when he moved home.
“He was a bit rusty but I am very pleased with him,” said Paget, “especially when you consider he hasn’t been out much in nine months.”
In the Bates CCI2* Championship Madison Crowe (Hamilton) and Waitangi Pinterest held on to their overnight lead but hold the most slender of leads over Edwards-Smith aboard DSE Cluny.
Crowe picked up 3.2 time penalties to finish on 43.9 penalty points. Edwards-Smith was clear and inside the time to stay on her 44.5 dressage score.
Crowe was very pleased.
“She (Waitangi Pinterest) was super out there,” she said. “It was very challenging and everything just kept coming at you. The combinations were particularly tough but it was rideable out there.”
They had a ‘moment’ at the water when Waitangi Pinterest jumped in strangely and Crowe ended up on her neck.
“It was a tough day but a good one.”
The 21-strong two-star field saw three eliminations and three retirements.


      Clarke Johnstone and In Disguise

Rio Olympian Clarke Johnstone (Matangi) leads the Fiber Fresh CCI1* Championship aboard the rather promising In Disguise. They were sitting in third place coming into the cross country but came home clear and inside time to stay on their dressage score of 43.4.

Overnight leader Dannie Lodder and Eye Spy retired on course. Johnstone admits the course was more difficult than he had expected.

“When I walked it I thought it was straight forward but to ride it was more of a challenge,” he said. “The ground was a lot more slippery than I thought it would be. It was no walk in the park out there and caused a lot more trouble than predicted.”

The horse has pulled up nicely and while he is a solid showjumper, Johnstone has Samantha Felton (Matangi) aboard Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ right on his heels, just .6 of a penalty point behind. Chanel Campbell (Auckland) and Astek Guardsman are a further .8 back.

Overnight Success saved Dannie Lodder’s challenging day that saw her eliminated and retired on two of her three mounts. Lodder and the six-year-old horse held on to their overnight lead in the Wairakei Resort CCN105 Championship with a lovely clear round inside time.

“The ground out there was way better than I thought it would be (after yesterday’s torrential rain),” said the mother of two from Auckland. “He’s still pretty green but he just skipped around.”

Lodder started the horse last year but felt he needed to develop more, so handed the ride to her nine-year-old daughter Scout who took the horse to Pony Club rallies. “He is a real angel horse,” said Lodder.

She bought him off a woman who had rescued the horse from the abattoirs. “He’s a horse that just keeps getting better and better. His technique is improving all the time and he just loves what he does. He is such a fun ride.”
Tomorrow is the final day of the National Three Day Event Championships with the showjumping the final test for combinations vying for titles.
Results (after dressage and cross country tests)
NRM CCI3* Open National Championship: Amanda Pottinger (Havelock North) Just Kidding 53.9 penalty points 1, Donna Edwards-Smith (Te Kauwhata) DSE Mr Hokey Pokey 57. 2 2, Emily Cammock (Christchurch) Shaw Lee 58.3 3, Donna Edwards-Smith (Te Kauwhata) DSE Tangolooma 60.6 4, Ashleigh McKinstry (Owhango) Pioneer Brass Monkey 72.3 5, Campbell Draper (Putururu) Mr Mancini 73.3 6.
NRM CIC3*: Jock Paget (Taupo) Angus Blue 42.5 1, Andy Daines (Kumeu) Spring Panorama 60.4 2, Samantha Felton (Matangi) Ricker Ridge Pico Boo 65.4 3, Jessica Woods (Ohaupo) Just de Manzana 65.5 4, Renee Faulkner (Papakura) Rubinstar HH 65.8 5, Samantha Felton (Matangi) Ricker Ridge Escada 71.8 6.
Bates CCI2* Championship: Madison Crowe (Hamilton) Waitangi Pinterest 43.9 1, Donna Edwards-Smith (Te Kauwhata) DSE Cluny 44.5 2, Stephanie Vervoort (Hamilton) X Factor 50.2 3, Matthew Grayling (Taranaki) NRM Trudeau 51.4 4, Brooke Campbell (Auckland) Freddy Dash 53.7 5, Louise Mullholland (Taumarunui) Mr McTaggart 55.1 6.
Fiber Fresh CCI1* Championship: Clarke Johnstone (Matangi) In Disguise 43.4 1, Samantha Felton (Matangi) Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ 44 2, Chanel Campbell (Auckland) Astek Guardsman 44.8 3, Angela Lloyd (Hunua) Lyrical 45.6 4, Alex Anderson