Virginia Thompson and Star Nouveau took two rails in the final jumping phase but kept a slender lead to be crowned New Zealand’s new CCI3* Puhinui International Horse Trials Champion.
The judges for the Honda NZ CCI3* put Thompson through a few nervous moments as they calculated the final scores, as a time fault was also added to the two rails, but she had built up enough of a lead to win.
“I am over the moon,” Thompson said. “I’ve still got lots to improve on but this is such a cool result. My goal is to go to Adelaide next year. It is the only 4* event in the Southern Hemisphere, and after today we have our qualifications to go.”
Katharine Van Tuyl and Double J Sunshine had jumped a lovely clear round but had two time faults, giving Thompson that little bit of extra breathing room she needed to take out the win. Van Tuyl was still delighted with her horse. “He gave me an amazing ride cross country. For such a young horse it was a massive ask to bring him here and he really did deliver.”
Andie Daines on Spring Panorama had one rail but remained in third. “The dressage didn’t really go to plan but he definitely made up for it in the cross country, he was phenomenal. In the showjumping he just had an unlucky rail. I’m very happy.”
The Puhinui venue is spectacular with the Manukau Harbour as a backdrop and right next to the Auckland International Airport. The event takes a lot of organising as facilities need to be bought in to the venue, which is an Auckland City Council reserve. Course builders Tich Massey and Michael Guilfoyle spent months on the site getting the big and bold cross-country course to the highest of standards.
In the iSpyHorses CCI2* it was a popular win to Putaruru’s Campbell Draper on Mr Mancini. Campbell says his last win of this size was about 20 years ago. is horse Mr Mancini has just come back from a year off after injury. “He has been going really well this spring. The plan is to step him up to 3* in the autumn.”
Donna Smith on the pretty palomino Mr Hokey Pokey was second. “He is a very cool horse. He’s half thoroughbred, out of a Grosvenor mare and the other half is quarter horse. So he runs, but he runs low.”
Kate Wood on Wolf Whistle II was third. “It was a big call to bring him here, he is only a young horse and very inexperienced. It all went pretty well. It has been a lot of fun this weekend.”
The Honda NZ CCI2* Young Rider title has gone to Sarah Young for the second year in a row. She jumped clear on SS Galaxy in the showjumping, whereas overnight leader Jackson Bovill had three rails down with Visionnaire, relegating him to second. Tayla Mason was third on Royalty.
Donna Smith on Varadero took out the Veterinary Associates CCI1* after the showjumping phase proved troublesome for the six competitors who had finished in front of her after the cross-country. Canterbury’s Emily Cammock was second and third on Ngahiwi Frosty and Cavorts respectively.
Canterbury riders also dominated the Devi Heating Systems CCI* Junior rider class. Lucy Turner got the quinella on her two horses, Carbon and Tallyho Mystic, and Elizabeth Wylaars was third on Wairoa Ruby.
In the NZ Horse & Pony Magazine’s CCN105 the showjumping was influential. Emerging the winner at the end of the three phases was Dannie Lodder and My Tom Tom. They jumped a clear round to take the title, as did Donna Smith on Samalam, to finish in second place. Lesley Going and the experienced Moochi also jumped clear to move up to third place. Overnight leader after dressage and cross country, Cherie Jaques on Black Gem, unfortunately had rails in the showjumping which dropped her to fourth place.
It was a very clear win to Alex Anderson on Gina VT Bloemenhof in the Bucas Rugs CNC* from Sharon Cann on King Edward II. Devon Prangley was third on Blazer.
Angela Lloyd won the first division of the Fiber Fresh / Prestige Equestrian sponsored CNC105 on her horse Lyrical. Chicago ridden by Kylee McCambridge was second and Kelsey Rothery on Show Cause third. In the second division Sophie Wilkinson on Lord Fredrick won by a good margin from Georgia Bryan on Piper Bay. Michelle Baillie was third on Hi Vyta.