Riders in the first leg of the ESNZ Eventing Super League had perfect conditions at the Fiber Fresh National Equestrian Centre, Taupo, over the weekend, with Donna Smith and Tangolooma taking the early honours.
Smith was second after Saturday’s dressage phase, scoring 53.7 penalties, and showjumped clear, but the overnight lead was held by the dressage leader, Abby Lawrence and Pseudonym, who scored 52.3 penalties and also showjumped clear.
Smith was first to go across country on Sunday, and set a cracking pace on last year’s NRM National Three-day Event winner. The game little horse completed a foot perfect round with 8.4 time penalties for a final score of 62.1 penalties.
Lawrence incurred 12.4 time penalties with Pseudonym for a final score of 67.5 penalties and had to settle for the runner-up position, but their very good dressage score has earned them extra series points, so these two seasoned competitors are currently joint leaders of the Super League.
Third place went to the current National One-day title holders, Angela Lloyd and her thoroughbred mare Song. They were third after the dressage on a score of 56.7 penalties, but had two fences down in the showjumping to drop to fifth overnight. However they produced the fastest time of the day across country for 2.8 time penalties to regain third spot with a final score of 67.5 penalties.
Nine competitors started the competition, including members of the Talent Development Squad who were stepping up to 3* level for the first time. All but one completed the event, Karen Niederer (Taupo) and Cape Palliser, third overnight after the dressage and showjumping, retiring on the cross-country.
The next event in the year long Super League series is at Arran Station, Takapau, in Central Hawkes Bay, at Labour weekend, followed by the National One-day Event Championship at McLeans Island, Christchurch, on 8/9 November.
ESNZ Eventing Super League
Standings after first event: Donna Smith (Te Kauwhata), Tangolooma, 42 pts; Abby Lawrence (Te Puke), Pseudonym, 42 pts; Angela Lloyd (Auckland), Song, 30 pts.