Clarke Johnstone wins NZ’s National Eventing Champs

Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation after winning the National Eventing Championships at Arran Station on Sunday.
Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation after winning the National Eventing Championships at Arran Station on Sunday. © Pip Hume Photography

A late entry by Clarke Johnstone into New Zealand’s National Eventing Championships has paid off, with the Matangi-based rider winning the CIC3* on Balmoral Sensation.

Johnstone had intended to do only the dressage phase of the event at Takapau in Central Hawkes Bay, but after seeing the good ground conditions on the Silver Fern Farms property at Arran Station, he decided Balmoral Sensation would benefit from a full competition run in preparation for his trip to the 4* Australian Three-day Event at Adelaide next month. Johnstone has yet to contest a 4* event with Sensation, which he needs to do to be considered for the Olympic team to Rio. Adelaide is the only 4* event in the southern hemisphere.

Having had his late entry accepted by the FEI, the pair demonstrated why they are the only New Zealand-based combination in the High Performance Eventing Squad, by winning the Red Snap’r CIC3* class for the Forest Gate Trophy by a huge margin.

They had a healthy lead after the dressage phase, scoring 39.7 penalties, then produced one of only two clear showjumping rounds to extend their overnight lead, and cruised around the cross-country course without appearing to hurry, but still had the fastest time of the day with 12.4 time penalties, for a final score of 52.1 penalties.

Katharine Van Tuyl of Woodville pulled up to second place on Double J Sunshine after being fifth in the dressage and having a fence down in the showjumping to be third overnight. The relatively inexperienced eight-yearold horse, bred by the Jacobs twins at Norsewood, looked impressive across country, finishing with 14 time penalties for a final score of 70.8.

Virginia Thompson and Star Nouveau finished third on 74.5, also with a showjumping rail down, incurring 16 cross-country time penalties, to improve from seventh after the dressage. Local rider Amanda Pottinger was fourth on Just Kidding, having been second after the dressage, but three rails down in the showjumping proved costly, and they added 23.2 cross-country time penalties to finish with a total of 81.5 penalties.

The Wai teko Trophy for the Bayleys CIC2* title went to Kate Wood and Wolf Whistle II while the BEL Group CIC1* title for the Ferndale Salver was won by Bryce Newman on Bates Midnight Blue.

The NRM sponsored CNC 105 title for the Blyth Tait Tophy was won by Simone Kann on Luminous.

RED SNAP’R CIC3* (Forest Gate Trophy): Clarke Johnstone, Balmoral Sensation, 52.1, 1; Katharine Van Tuyl, Double J Sunshine, 70.8, 2; Virginia Thompson, Star Nouveau, 74.5, 3; Amanda Pottinger, Just Kidding, 81.5, 4; Diane Gilder, Your Attorney, 98.9, 5.

BAYLEYS CIC2* (Waiteko Trophy): Kate Wood, Wolf Whistle II, 54.2, 1; Jackson Bovill, Visionnaire, 55, 2; Simone Kann, Balmoral Henton, 56.6, 3: Lauren Alexander, BMW Ripley, 56.7, 4; Donna Smith, Mr Hokey Pokey, 58.4, 5; Samantha Felton, Ricker Ridge Rui, 58.7, 6.

BEL GROUP CIC1* (Ferndale Salver): Bryce Newman, Bates Midnight Blue, 47.6, 1; Nick Brooks, Versace C, 47.9, 2: Sophie Alexander, Saltador, 51.2, 3; Aleisha Collett, Mi Focus, 52.6, 4; Juliet Wood, Waitangi Pinterest, 53.5, 5; Donna Smith, Varadero, 57.4, 6.

NRM CNC 105 (Tait Trophy): Simone Kann, Luminous, 33.2, 1; Vicky Brown-Cole, Eli, 36.3, 2; Sophie Wilkinson, Lord Fredrick, 41.8, 3; Sophie Alexander, World Famous, 42.3, 4.

FARMLANDS CNC1*: Abby Lawrence, Charlton Xplorer, 33.7, 1; Clarke Johnstone, In Disguise, 37.5, 2.

RUAHINE MOTORS CNC1* YR: Beth Owen, Tango Fever, 38.8, 1; Fleur Rohleder, The Alchemist, 40.1, 2; Samuel Amon, My Rainbow Rythm, 45.3, 3.

TAUPO VET CENTRE CNC 105: Dannie Lodder, My Tom Tom, 37.9, 1; Georgia Montgomery, Johnny Castle, 40.2, 2; Lesley Going, Moochi, 41.3, 3.

HATUMA DICALCIC CNC 105 YR: Greer Caddigan, Gynmastik Showdown, 35.3, 1; Charlotte Edwards, Façade, 44.4, 2; Georgia Strachan, Fhynethyme, 44.5, 3

TAYLOR MADE GATES CNC 95: Stephen Field, Luminous, 28, 1; Kylee McCambridge, Chicago, 32.3, 2; Jane Callaghan, Weiti West End, 35.5, 3; Jane Cullen, Taikomochi, 38.2, 4; Janine Ball, Ruru Magic, 39, 5; Jo Wilson, One Wonders, 39.5, 6; Emma Cameron, Burnadeem, 42.2, 7.

LONGRIDGE ENGINEERING CNC 95 JR: Rebecca Anthony, Otairi Sarge, 26, 1; Samantha Megchelse, Utu, 33, 2; Tess Gordon, Hometown, 33.2, 3; Aidan Furkert, Pin M Down, 37.1, 4; Charlotte Edwards, Ziva, 38.8, 5.

PGG WRIGHTSON CNC80 A: Lindsay Colwell, Che Bello, 31.9, 1; Julia Thompson, A Flying Change, 53.7, 2; Ingrid Bardsley, Apatchi Lad, 54, 3.

PGG WRIGHTSON CNC 80 B: Zoe Gordon, Nanas Flash, 31.3, 1; Janine Ball, Ruru Milo, 36.4, 2; Georgia Bennett, Wynyard Albert, 39.4, 3.

PEDERSEN SPREADERS CNC 80 JR: Ella Baigent-Brown, Meersbrooke Waterford, 25.8, 1; Maddy Meier, Giovanni, 26, 2; Kayleigh McLachlan, 31.6, 3.


This article has been written by a contributor to

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