Nearly time for Taupo

       Jock Paget helped the Kiwis to victory in 2017 - this time he's sitting it out as Chef d'Equipe

 

The New Zealand Three Day Event Championships at Taupo to be held from 10th – 12th May will this year include the biennial FEI Oceania Teams Championship.

New Zealand took home the Senior team title in 2017 from the Melbourne International 3 Day Event and Australia is out to repay the favour this year, sending their largest contingent to New Zealand for the Oceania Championships with two Senior teams in the mix.

The Australian Senior teams include Olympic team silver Sonja Johnson on Misty Isle Valentino, along with her silver medal-winning teammate Shane Rose on Ultimate Velocity and New Zealand is also fielding two Senior teams. The final breakdown of the teams will be announced after the first horse inspection on Thursday morning

The CCI4*-L class has attracted 23 entries, including the four Oceania senior teams. The young rider clash is being run as part of the NRM CCI3*-L class which has 40 on the card, including the two teams.

Competition gets underway on Wednesday with the Southern Lakes Tartan National Young Horse Championship with the first horse inspection for the three day championship classes on Thursday morning. Dressage will follow through Thursday and Friday with the cross country on Saturday and culminating with the showjumping on Sunday.

Parts of the champs will be livestreamed on www.equestrianlive.co.nz. The CCI4*-L dressage will stream on Friday, cross country from the CCI2*-L, CCI3*-L, and CCI4*-L on Saturday and the CCI3*-L and CCI4*-L showjumping on Sunday.

The event is also the grand finale of the six season-long ESNZ Eventing Series. The elite series, the ESNZ Eventing Super League, is far from over, with a couple of riders in a position to catch the leader, Samantha Lissington on Ricker Ridge Rui. They extended their lead after winning the Forest Gate Trophy for the CCI4*-S (short format) national championship at Kihikihi last month, and must be favoured to win, having been consistent throughout the season.

However Madison Crowe and Waitangi Pinterest, lying second, are starting to deliver on the potential they have shown all through the grades, and must be due for a big win soon. They were runners up at both Kihikihi and the Land Rover Horse of the Year at Hastings.

Amanda Pottinger and Just Kidding, who won at Hastings, and are the defending CCI4*-L (long format) champions, hold third place in the Super League, but they have started sparingly, saving for a top performance at Taupo. Having placed second at Adelaide CCI5* L in November, Amanda is keen to win for a record third time at Taupo, beating the visiting Australian Oceania team members in the process.

The Mitavite Young Rider series is in a similar situation, with Cantabrian Lucy Turner holding a decisive lead on Astek Victor, and while she can be caught it is unlikely as she is making the long haul north yet again. There will be a Young Rider Oceania team competition as well as the senior teams, so much to focus on this year.

The Pro-Am Rider series is the closest contest, with less than 8 points separating the top three combinations, and a relatively small margin back to the next three. Louise Mulholland leads on Mr McTaggart, with South Islander Courtney Davis lying second on By Hoki, and Samantha Mynott third on Ipso Facto, but Monica Oakley is the one to watch. She is on a roll with three horses poised to challenge the top three.

The Amateur Rider series has been won by Shannon Galloway on Day Walker, who also had an outstanding win in this series last year. They will move up to the Pro-Am series next season.

Kaitlyn Freeman has won the Junior Rider series on Landisohn, having been very competitive last year as well, so they will move up to Young Rider level next season full of confidence. Alena Dorotich is safe in second place on Donner XS and currently holds third with Knoxville.

The Grassroots series has been won convincingly by Leisa Keightley on Black Attire.

 

Article by Virginia Caro