Cross country day at NRM National Three Day Event Championships was full of thrills, spills and spectacular jumping over world-class courses. But despite the action, the overnight leaders in all the championship classes have retained their top positions.
Only six combinations completed the 3* cross-country, with five clears, three eliminations, and two retirements. Eleven dropped out of the 2*, 10 failed to make it home in the 1*, and 21 had were either eliminated or retired over the two CCN105 classes.
In the NRM CCI*** National Championship, Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation gave an superb display of cross-country to finish with a clear jumping round and 10.8 time faults for a final score of 61.
Donna Smith with Balmoral Tangolooma were the fastest round of the day in this class which pulled them up to second place on 67. Angela Lloyd and Song overcame a long hold on the course to finish in third place, with 17.6 time faults to take them to 82.4.
Two other riders also jumped clear but incurred time penalties. These were Kelsey Rothery with The Felon who are now in fourth place on 89, and Fraser King on Nadal KSNZ who are now fifth on 95.4 penalties. Shelley Ross and Samantha Felton both retired after striking trouble on the John Nicholson course. Matthew Grayling has certainly had better days, retiring with his first horse NRM Lowenberg and having a fall on Henton Executive.
Johnstone was full of praise for Balmoral Sensation. “He jumped extremely well, there was not a single mistake the whole way round. This horse just amazes me with his enormous stride. He galloped home so full of running.”
There was a considerable delay in this class when Bundy Philpott had a fall off Britannica MVNZ. She was taken to Waikato hospital for investigative X-rays for what appeared to be a leg injury. Another rider who went to Taupo Hospital for observation was Dannie Lodder, who had a fall off Waitangi Icon in the CCI** class.
In the Bates CCI** Championship, there were just three clear rounds under time. This included the leader Diane Gilder on Your Attorney who are still on their dressage score of 48.7. Amanda Pottinger with Achilles II also finished on their dressage score of 53.9 to move up a place to second. Helen Bruce with Toblerone NZPH moved from fifth after dressage to third place after the cross country, incurring just 4.4 time faults with a clear jumping round.
Diane Gilder couldn’t fault her horse. “He jumped amazingly the whole way, he was pumping!” she said.
She was also full of praise for John Nicholson’s course. “It was really well designed, it kept me on my toes. The course was set up well to get you up at the beginning and my horse just kept up to it all at the way to the end, he just kept jumping.”
The riders and officials in the morning’s classes did well to cope with foggy conditions. The thick fog cleared just in time for the CCI** and CCI*** classes to start. In the Fiber Fresh CCI* Championship, Tayla Mason with Royalty was one of 25 combinations to jump clear and within the time to stay on her dressage score of 41.3. Amanda Pottinger and Cherie Jaques both retained their positions after dressage as well. Pottinger finished on 41.7 on her horse Just Kidding, so is breathing right down the leader’s neck. Jaques with Tobinator are on 47.1 and Davina Waddy on Milburn Maringo is in fourth on 48.1.
In the AMS Saddlery CCI1* Open, Abby Lawrence on NRM Ru Star moved from second to first after a clear cross country under time to finish on a score of 46.2. Kate Munt is right behind her on 48.1, with Madison Crowe on Brogan third on 51.3. Sarah Young on Regal Romar is fourth on 52.2.
The Bombers Bits / Prestige Floats CCN105 Championships is being lead by Elise Edwards on Quantico on a score of 33.2. There is a tie for second between Shannon Galloway on Ralph and Cherie Jacques on Black Gem. Ashleigh Mckinstry on Pioneer How Ironic incurred 1.6 time faults to drop them to fourth place after cross country, on 34.4. There is very little between the top 15 riders in this class, so the show jumping will be absolutely vital.
It is also very tight at the top in the Wade Equine Coaches CCN105 Open. Emma Broughton-Watt is the leader with Lochinvar II on a score of 28.5. Zoe Ander on Waitangi Slingshot is second with 30, and Kari Wratten-Lowe is third on 31.8.
On Sunday all horses remaining in the competition have to pass a veterinary inspection first thing in the morning before they will compete in the final phase, the show jumping. The show jumping will get under way at 10am, with the Championship classes expected to be in the early afternoon.