Competition is under way at the NRM National Three-day Event, with the first half of the CCI two-star class completing the dressage phase today after the first horse inspection at the National Equestrian Centre in Taupo.
Sunny but cold conditions greeted those at the veterinary inspection, and afterwards the two teams to contest the Inter-Island Teams Competition were named.
It was decided to use the same formula that will operate at the Olympic Games, with teams of five riders, and the top three scores counting, as both islands had five riders in the top class. It is an indication of the strength of the sport in the South Island that there are five riders in the NRM CCI3*.
They are Brent Jury (Rangiora) on SE Big, Larissa Srhoy (Ashburton) on Starburst, Emily Cammock (Christchurch) on Dambala, Christen Hayde (now based in Pukekohe but from Otago) on Tandarra Sweet As, and Annabel Wigley (Amberley) on NRM Enzo. Wigley also has a second ride, NRM Frog Rock.
The North Islanders are Chloe Davidson (Auckland) on Eskimo Joe, Katharine Gillaly (Woodville) on Ricmeister, Dannie Lodder (Auckland) on Moochi, Donna Smith (Te Kauwhata) on Just Chocolate, and Heelan Tompkins (New Plymouth) on Major Difference. Tompkins also rides Cortaflex Up N Go.
Leading the CCI2* at the halfway stage (16 of the 31 starters) is Donna Smith on Balmoral Sensation with 46.8 penalties, followed by Campbell Draper on Kahurangi Manu on 49.1, with Smith also third on Balmoral Tangolooma on 50 penalties.
The CCI2* class will complete before lunch tomorrow, so the same Ground Jury can judge the CCI3* class in the afternoon. They are Margaret Dickie (Southland), Beverley Shandley (Victoria), and Carol Harrison, of Waikato.