Australia dominated the dressage phase of the Kihikihi International Horse Trials today, leading both the Senior Trans Tasman Competition and the CIC*** class.
Olympian Shane Rose aboard the stylish bay Taurus leads the field with 47.6 penalty points after a polished 68.27% dressage test.
The four-strong Australian team all finished in the top seven.
Rose, who is striving to earn a spot on the Australian team for the London Olympics, says he had hoped for a higher mark, but given the horse had been unsettled in his warm-up by a nearby rugby league match, he was happy with the result.
“This is a three-phase competition but it is nice to start tomorrow in the lead,” he says. “The course has certainly got plenty of tough fences, but it’s fair. I just need to do a good job!”
Australia based Kiwi Joseph Waldron and his stunning Springvale All Black is the best placed of the team in sixth equal, while the best performed of the New Zealand riders was Shelley Ross (Woodhill Sands) aboard Alberta Tomba who sits in fourth place on 57.8 penalty points but is riding as an individual and not in the Kiwi team.
New Zealand coach and advisor Tinks Pottinger is looking forward to Saturday’s cross country phase.
“Kihikihi is never considered to be a dressage competition. John Nicholson has produced one of the biggest and best cross country courses in the country and requires good positive riding, and we picked the team on the strength of their cross country riding,” she said.
She says that while her crew is rather inexperienced, she’s confident they would make teams for the likes of the 2014 World Equestrian Games and 2016 Olympics.
In the Bayleys CIC** Campbell Draper (Putaruru) on Kahurangi Manu leads the field.
The Kihikihi International Horse Trial is one of the nation’s premier events, and has attracted nearly 300 entries across six grades.
Waipa Home of Champions CIC*** – incorporating the Senior Trans Tasman Competition (after the dressage phase): Shane Rose (Australia) Taurus 68.27%, 47.6 penalty points, 1; Christine Bates (Australia) Delago 67.33%, 49, 2; Natalie Blundell (Australia) Algebra 64%, 54, 3; Shelley Ross (Woodhill Sands) Alberta Tomba 61.47%, 57.8, 4; Annabel Wigley (Amberley) NRM Frog Rock 59.87%, 60.2. 5; Katja Weinmann (Australia) BP Gallantry ) Kahurangi 58.8%, 61.8 and Joseph Waldron (New Zealand) Springvale All Black 58.8%, 61.8 =6.
Senior Trans Tasman Competition: Australia – Shane Rose, Taurus 68.27%, 47.6; Christine Bates, Delago 67.33%, 49; Katja Weimann, BP Gallantry 58.8%, 61.8; Natalia Blundell, Algebra 64%, 54. Best three 150.6, 1. New Zealand – Annabel Wigley (Amberley) BRM Enzo 57.73%, 63.4; Joseph Waldron, Springvale All Black 58.8%, 61.8; Simon Gordon, Simply Mitch 56.49%, 65.4; Christen Hayde, Tandarra Sweet As 53.87%, 69.2. Best three 190.6, 2.
Bayleys CIC**: Campbell Draper (Putaruru) Kahurangi Manu 65.93%, 51.1, 1; Andrea Kersten (Te Kauwhata) An Act 65%, 52.5, 2; Jessica Woods (Ohaupo) Too Predictable 64.81%, 52.8, 3; Samantha Felton (Matangi) Ricker Ridge Pico Boo 64.26%, 53.6, 4; Virginia Thompson (Henderson) Ashbury Pee Cee 63.52%, 54.7, 5; Angela Lloyd (Hunua) Song 63.33%, 55, 6.