Mahoney earns spot in trans-Tasman eventing team

November 2, 2009

Jenna Mahoney and her thoroughbred gelding Santos ensured selection in New Zealand's Trans-Tasman eventing team with a decisive win in the Red Snap'r advanced class at the Arran Station horse trials at Takapau over the weekend.

Mahoney, of Clevedon, was eighth in an 18-strong field after Saturday's dressage with 36.8 penalties, jumped a clear showjumping round on Sunday morning, and produced the fastest cross-country round with 9.6 time penalties for a final score 46.4.

She joins Heelan Tompkins, New Plymouth, with Sugoi, Clarke Johnstone, Matangi, with Oakley Vision and Orient Express in reserve, and NSW-based Blair Richardson with Spend Up, to defend the Trans-Tasman Trophy at Adelaide on 13-15 November. The other team members were named after the Taupo trials a fortnight ago.

Both Tompkins and Johnstone gave their horses an easy run across country, incurring 28.8 and 28 time penalties respectively, to save them for the big challenge ahead, but the young guns were all firing, and provided an interesting competition.

Lizzie Brown, Hamilton, was second on Henton Attorney General, the combination which won the Trans-Tasman Young Rider competition in Australia earlier in the year. They were fourth after the dressage with 35.2 penalties, showjumped clear, and added 15.2 cross-country time penalties for a final score of 50.4.

John Twomey, Cambridge, and Highly Recommended led after the dressage, scoring 33.4 penalties, and showjumped clear, but Twomey gave his horse, who is returning after injury and was having his first advanced start, an easy run across country, collecting 22 time penalties,

New Plymouth's Matthew Grayling and the newly upgraded NRM Cruzintime were third on 52.6, adding 16 cross-country time penalties to their sixth placed dressage score of 36.6, ahead of Anne-Marie Styles, Auckland, on Opera Groove, who added 10.8 cross-country time penalties to a dressage score of 42.9, pulling up from 15th after that phase to finish fourth on 53.7.

The Ruahine Motors Intermediate class was won by Jonathan Paget, Muriwai, on Clifton Damascus, by the narrow margin of 0.1 penalties, from Libby Whyte, the equestrian mistress at Nga Tawa Girls School in Marton, on Post Graduate. The big names followed, Bryce Newman, Bulls, with Bates Trademark, Matthew Grayling with NRM Lowenburg, and Clarke Johnstone with Incognito.

Fine weather after persistent rain during the lead-up to the event resulted in excellent ground conditions with the cross-country track avoiding the wet areas. The 195 competitors who participated in all levels from training through to advanced enjoyed ideal conditions, but will have to wait another year before competing at Arran Station again, as the small band of organisers have decided to run just once a year in future.