Spectators were treated to plenty of action at the 2012 New Zealand Horse of the Year Show in Hastings today with the cross country phase of the eventing.
John Nicholson designed a course that clearly sorted the seasoned from the inexperienced in the Rush Munro’s CIC3* at the Hawke’s Bay Equestrian Park.
Amberley rider Annabel Wigley (in the video above) who was second overnight, rode NRM Frog Rock inside the optimum time to move into the lead on their dressage score of 53.3, with Simon Gordon and Fletch.com moving up from fifth to be second on 55.4, also without incurring any time penalties.
Abby Lawrence (Te Puke) and Pseudonym added 0.4 time penalties to their sixth place dressage to pull up to third on 56.4, while Wigley was also inside the time on her second ride, NRM Enzo, moving up from eighth to fourth on their dressage score of 56.9.
All but one of the 17 starters in the top division completed the course, with only one incurring jumping penalties, but Wigley on both her horses, and Gordon were the only ones inside the optimum time.
Overnight leader Donna Smith incurred 14.4 time penalties with Balmoral Sensation, which saw them slip to eighth place, while her third-placed ride Just Chocolate dropped out of contention with 21.2 time penalties.
Sunday morning’s showjumping phase, which is jumped in reverse order of merit, will be very tense as fewer than four penalties – the cost of dropping just one rail – separates the first four competitors, but all horses must pass the veterinary inspection before going forward to the final phase.
• In showjumping, a single clear round by double Olympian Daniel Meech aboard Winston Darco V took the honours in the premier stakes, with Rachael Bentall on Kiwi Brave second with a time fault, and Catherine Cameron third on Campione GNZ, also with a time fault.
• London Olympian Louisa Hill met crowd expectations in the dressage, convincingly taking the win in the FEI Grand Prix dressage title class with a score of 68.61%. Hill and Bates Antonello had the crowd in awe as they pulled off the test of the day, with their trademark passage and piaffe wowing all those watching – including the judges.
• Video of Annabel Wigley and Frog Rock through the water jump during the cross-country phase of the eventing, © Jane Thompson
Showjumping, Premier Stakes: Daniel Meech (Taupo) Winston Darco V 1, Rachael Bentall (Hastings) Kiwi Brave 2, Catherine Cameron (Cambridge) Campione GNZ 3, Catherine Cameron (Cambridge) I Reckon 4, Jake Lambert (Cambridge) Quality NZPH 5, Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Kiwi Iron Mark 6.
Show Hunter of the Year: Chloe Akers (Palmerston North) Kiwi Motto.
Dressage, Horse of the Year CDI*** FEI Grand Prix: 1: Louisa Hill (Clevedon) Bates Antonello, 68.61%; 2. Nicky Pope (Whitford) Fabarchie, 64.48%; 3. Bill Noble (Waikato) Airthrey Highlander, 61.83%; 4. Hannah Appleton (Nelson) Fiber Fresh Zactac, 61.78%; 5. Christine Weal (Te Awamutu) Spielzeit, 60.38%; 6. Debbie Barke (Rotorua) Mzungu, 58.80%.