Gap narrows in NZ’s premier eventing series

Bell Tea Super League series leaders Donna Smith and Just Chocolate, on cross-country at the Puhinui Three-da
Bell Tea Super League series leaders Donna Smith and Just Chocolate, on cross-country at the Puhinui Three-day Event. © Barbara Thomson

The cream of the country’s elite eventing combinations are rising to the top of the table in the Bell Tea Super League, with the results from the Puhinui CCI3*, which marks the halfway stage of the year long series, confirming the form shown by riders who have performed consistently throughout the season.

The sensational win by 20 year old Ashleigh McKinstry, the kid from the King Country, on her amazing little part Kaimanawa, Pioneer Makokomiko, has seen her narrow the gap to series leader Donna Smith on Just Chocolate, the National One-day Event winners at Taupo a fortnight ago.

It has also further extended McKinstry’s lead with Mako in the Massey University Young Rider series, where they now have an unassailable total, their tally of points more than twice that of the next combination on the list.

Simon Gordon’s third place at Puhinui with has seen them move into third position in the Super League ahead of Bruce Newman on Bates Trademark, who did not add to their tally after Newman’s first ever fall from Trademark on the Puhinui cross-country track.

Shelley Ross retains fifth place with Alberta Tomba, while Monica Oakley is now a clear sixth with Fontain, after Annabel Wigley failed to finish with either NRM Enzo or NRM Frog Rock, so will find the trip back to Amberley even longer than usual.

The next big event in the Bell Tea Super League will be at the Horse of the Year Show in Hastings next March, followed by Kihikihi in April, and finally the NRM Three-day Event at Taupo in May.


BELLTEA SUPER LEAGUE – Standings at halfway after six events:

Donna Smith, Te Kauwhata, Just Chocolate, 179 pts, 1; Ashleigh McKinstry, Taumarunui, Pioneer Makokomiko, 159 pts, 2; Simon Gordon, Auckland,, 113.5 pts, 3; Bryce Newman, Bulls, Bates Trademark, 62.5 pts, 4; Shelley Ross, Helensville, Alberta Tomba, 58.5 pts, 5; Monica Oakley, Waipukurau, Fontain, 48 pts, 6.



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