2013 Kihikihi International Horse Trial | An Eventful Life

2013 Kihikihi International Horse Trial

John Nicholson

      John Nicholson in front of one of his stunning fences                                       Photo: Libby Law

It is with good reason this Waikato event is one of New Zealand’s favourites. Once again the Kihikihi Domain will become a hive of activity with more than 300 horses and riders competing across the grades over three days.

Perhaps the biggest attraction for riders and spectators is a chance to see first-hand John Nicholson's cross country course – it's a work of art as well as a true test for horse and rider. Nicholson – brother of Olympian and world number one eventer Andrew Nicholson – always manages to produce an internationally ranked course that is appreciated by all.

Simon Gordon and Fletch.com

       Simon Gordon and Fletch.com

Auckland’s Simon Gordon, fresh from his victory at the NZ Horse of the Year, is entered aboard Fletch.com, and national selectors will also be on hand to name their senior team for the Trans Tasman clash at the Sydney International Horse Trials in April.

A good result at Kihikihi will be crucial not only for the naming of the New Zealand team to contest the Trans Tasman but also in the race for Bell Tea Super League points. 

Following the Bell Tea CIC3* at the Horse of the Year in Hastings on 15th & 16th March, Young Rider Ashleigh McKinstry took the lead in the Super League after placing second on her part bred Kaimanawa, Pioneer Makokomiko, while further extending her unbeatable lead in the Massy University Young Rider series.

Ashleigh McKinstry

      Ashleigh McKinstry and Pioneer Makokomiko

This undoubtedly increased her chances of being named in the Senior Trans-Tasman team, having already ridden in successful Young Rider teams both here and in Australia. Simon Gordon, from Karaka, who won the title of Eventer of the Year at Hastings on Fletch.com, who is third in the Super League, will also be hoping to seal a place in the team, having previously captained the successful NZ Young Rider team.

The eleven entries in the CIC3* class at Kihikihi include squad members Monica Oakley on Fontain, who hold fifth place in the Super League, and will be hoping for a better showjumping round than at Hastings, where the horse was overcome by “stage fright”, and subsequently withdrawn from the cross-country.

Dannie Lodder

Other squad members entered who feature in the Super League are Dannie Lodder  on Petra Eatson’s Moochi (above) and Donna Smith on Balmoral Tangolooma. Smith also rides Britannica MVNZ, so is sure to be the trailblazer over John Nicholson’s challenging cross-country course on one of her mounts.

The dressage takes place on Friday afternoon, cross-country on Saturday, and showjumping on Sunday. Libby Law’s photo galleries will take us through the action as if we were there, so stay tuned for kick off in Kihikihi starting with the trot up on Thursday 4th April