Record entries for eventing’s Young Rider champs

Madison Crowe took out the 2* NZ Young Rider Championship on Brogan at the weekend.
Madison Crowe took out the 2* NZ Young Rider Championship on Brogan at the weekend. © Alison Price,

Eventing BOP staged the 2014 Dunstan NZ Junior and Young Rider Championships at their Pub Charity Riverdale Horse Trials over the weekend, where a record number of entries were received for a horse trials event in New Zealand. After scratchings, 313 horse and rider combinations went before the dressage judges on Saturday. 

The Dunstan NZ Young Rider (under 21 years) Championship, staged at 2* (Intermediate) level, was contested by ten combinations, including two riders with two horses. Jessica Woods led after the dressage on the first of her two rides, LV Award, scoring 30.9 penalties, ahead of Aleisha Collett on Mi Focus with 36.7 penalties, Madison Crowe on Brogan with 37.8 penalties, and Woods on her second ride, Defies Logic, with 38.3 penalties.

The showjumping phase saw Woods take the lead with Defies Logic after one of only two clear rounds, while LV Award dropped to second after having two rails down. Crowe held third position despite having a rail down, while defending champion Tayla Mason moved into fourth place after posting the other clear round on Lucy with Diamonds.

But Bing Allen’s cross-country course proved a serious challenge for these Young Riders, with Woods not finishing on either of her horses, and Mason suffering a nasty fall. Cantabrian Crowe posted a clear round inside the time with Brogan to take the title from Lauren Alexander on BMW Ripley, current leaders of the Massey University Young Rider series, who posted the only other clear inside the time.

Fellow Cantabrian Bonnie Farrant was third on Kaipara Dior, adding 4 cross-country time penalties and 4 penalties for dropping a showjumping rail to their sixth placed dressage score. Collett and Mi Focus finished fourth after incurring 13.6 cross-country time penalties.

The Dunstan NZ Junior Rider (under 18 years) Championship, run at 1* (Novice) level, attracted only seven starters, with Abigail Long on BMW Advokaat leading after the dressage and producing a clear showjumping round to hold a comfortable lead going into Sunday’s cross-country.

Kimberley Rear held second place after dressage on Delta Legacy, and Rosa Rieger third on Kaitai, but three rails relegated Kaitai to the tail of the field, while clear rounds saw Vicky Browne-Cole on Nicholas Nickleby and Madeline Banks on Rakaunui Gazelle move into second and third spots ahead of Rear who had a rail down with Delta Legacy.

Again it was the cross-country which had the final say in who took the title, with Long retiring after two run-outs at an offset treble combination, while 14 year old Browne-Cole was the only rider clear and inside the time to take the title with Nicholas Nickleby. Next was Rieger and Kaitai, who jumped clear with 5.2 time penalties to pull back up to second place ahead of Rear who had 18 time penalties with Delta Legacy. The win has taken Browne-Cole and Nicholas Nickleby to the top of the Alltech Junior Rider series.

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