The first Super League class of the autumn eventing season takes place at the Puhinui Horse Trials in Auckland this weekend.
A small but high quality field of seven competitors will contest the Honda CNC3* class, with the current leader, Danni Lodder on Petra Eatson’s Moochi, a notable absentee, saving her horse for the CIC3* class at the NRM Horse of the Year Show a fortnight later.
Eventer of the Year Simon Gordon on Fletch.com, the winner of the CIC3* at last year’s Horse of the Year Show, along with fellow Aucklander and National One-day Event title holder Angela Lloyd on Song, will both be hoping for better results than they had at the Puhinui Three-day Event in December. They will meet tough competition from Donna Smith on Balmoral Tangolooma, the National Three-day champions.
Also entered is Joseph Waldron, who has been based in Australia with his family for almost a decade, but had a campaign in New Zealand in 2012 when he won the NZ Young Rider Three-day Event on Springvale All Black, and helped the New Zealand Young Rider team defeat their Australian counterparts.
Waldron, who is a member of the NZHP Accelerator Squad, is based in the Waikato with a team of horses, and will compete in the CIC3* at Puhinui on Springvale All Black, who placed second in the CIC3* at Kihikihi during his 2012 campaign. Once he has earned Super League points in NewZealand, Waldron is able to include results from equivalent events in Australia.
The field is rounded out by Kelsey Rothery on The Felon, who placed third in the Puhinui Three-day Event in December, Shelley Ross on the handsome Coleraine Coaltown returning after time out, and a new combination at this level, Bundy Philpott on Romeo NZPH.
Dressage and showjumping take place on Saturday and cross-country on Sunday. Live scoring will be operating on www.equestrianentries.co.nz