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Aucklander Dannie Lodder was surprised to find out she was leading the field at the conclusion of the dressage phase at the Puhinui International Horse Trials as she had initially been a bit disappointed in Tomahawk II’s test.

 “That was hard work” she exclaimed coming out of the arena.  “He didn’t really pick up for the occasion.  He is a great horse, and I really love him.  He is probably the nicest horse I have ever had.  He just got in there and was flat.”

 The test was good enough however to be the leader going into the all-important cross country phase tomorrow, albeit by just 2.8 points from Matangi’s Samantha Felton and Ricker Ridge Escada.    Virginia Thompson from Kaukapakapa is in third place, also very close to the leaders.

 There was some controversy in the class when South Island rider Emily Cammock was pulled up by the judges and eliminated due to her horse showing signs of lameness.   Bitterly disappointed by this blow to what looks like an exciting future for this young horse, Emily may be able to take some consolation in the fact she is first, second and fourth in one of the other classes, the Veterinary Associates CCI1*.  Nick Brooks is in third place on Lexington.

 The riders in the CCI3* were all unaminous in their description of the Tich Massey designed cross country course.  “Big, bold and challenging” was the general description.   Virginia Thompson declared tht she would have to “take her nana pants off” tomorrow, to get around the impressive jumps within the time required.   

 Dannie Lodder has competed at this event a number of times and has yet to take home the winner’s trophy.   “I have been lucky enough to gallop around here a few times.  I think there are a couple of questions near the end which could catch a tired horse.  It needs to be ridden in an attacking way, which I like.”

 The iSpyHorses CCI** dressage was dominated by Te Kauwhata’s Donna Smith.  She is in first place on Quantico, on a score of 51.1. Donna is also second equal on Mr Hokey Pokey, tied with Campbell Draper on Mr Mancini on a score of 52.1. Then on Cluny, Donna was equal with Kate Wood on Wolf Whistle II, both on the score of 52.6.  

Young (under 21) and Junior Riders (under 18) are competing for three day titles at this event.   Jackson Bovill leads the Honda NZ CCI** Young Rider class on Visionnaire.    For the past 9 months Jackson has been a working pupil with Clarke Johnstone at Matangi, the only New Zealand based High Performance squad member.  Clarke is not competing at this event as he is attending a wedding in Australia, but according to Jackson, he has been on the phone “constantly!”     Jackson had expected his mare to be competitive but was delighted when she “pulled out a nice test.”   Sarah Young is in second place on Leo Degas with Tayla Mason in third on her horse Sonidor.

Greer Caddigan, from Hamilton, on Gymnastik Showdown leads the Devi Heating CCI1* from Cantabrian Lucy Turner on Carbon. Sophie Alexander from Kumeu is third on Saltador.

 Cherie Jacques from Otorohanga has a narrow lead in the NZ Horse & Pony CCN105 class on her consistent Black Gem.  Te Awamutu’s Zoe Gray on FIS Florentino is just 0.2 penalties behind her with Sarah Young and The Little Prince third.

 Cross country starts tomorrow at 9am and will go most of the day, with the Honda NZ CCI3* expected to be start at 12:30.  The event is livestreamed on www.equestrianlive.co.nz

 Full results can be found on www.equestrianentries.co.nz

 

 

  

 

 

 

Over 200 horses and riders from all over New Zealand are converging on Auckland this weekend to compete in the prestigious Puhinui International 3 Day Event.

 

The event, commencing Friday 11th of December and concluding on Sunday 13th, is held at the Puhinui Reserve, next to Auckland Airport.  It is one of only two events held in New Zealand at the highest possible level of equestrian eventing.  While Olympians Sir Mark Todd, Vaughn Jefferis and Australian Stuart Tinney have all had their names engraved on the trophy in previous years, none of the field in this year’s top class have ever won the trophy before.

 

The premiere class is the Honda NZ CCI3*, with nine competitors aiming to secure the trophy and winners purse of $2,000.  The event also marks the halfway stage in the year-long Equestrian Sports NZ eventing series.  The cream of NZ eventing riders will be vying for points on offer in the Eventing Super League.

 

Manawatu’s Katharine van Tuyl and her talented young horse, Double J Sunshine are currently in second position in the Super League. A top three placing would see her overtake the current leaders, Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation who are not competing, having recently returned from being placed third at the Adelaide 4* as part of their Olympic bid.

 

According to Katharine, “Sunny” loves the big open galloping course at Puhinui so she is hoping the step up to 3* will suit him.  “He’s looking really great at the moment after being on a mega-diet.  He loves eating, and as a warmblood can get quite fat.  We’ve also had him out training on the beach with Laura Knight’s team of racehorses, and that has helped him learn how to gallop faster.” 

 

Katharine has ridden at 3* level before, but not for a few years.  She thinks very highly of her horse, believing he has the ability to go all the way to the top.  She is not the only one, and as a result has had plenty of offers for the young star. “I would dearly love to keep him, unfortunately we are not millionaires, but I would love to maybe get the chance to represent my country.” 

 

North Cantabrian Giles Cormack and his horse Lucero have never travelled this far north for a competition, and it is also their first attempt at a CCI3*. Another Cantabrian, Emily Cammock is a seasoned competitor with overseas experience, including 4* events, but her 11 year old horse Lewis is new to this level.  “He is getting better and better and is schooling well.  He’s a cross-country machine, and his dressage is improving.  He’s only just learned his flying changes and is very exuberant, but we are calling in to have a final lesson with dressage coach Christine Weal on the way to the event.”

 

Local punters may well be backing Dannie Lodder from Ararimu, riding Tomahawk II.  While Dannie has had a very successful career to date, she has never won this event, having been placed 2nd in 2013 and 4th in 2012.

 

In the I-Spy Horses CCI2* there is a very even field of 20 competitors.  South Islanders Brent Jury (riding SE Hedging) and Kirsty Sharapoff (Shoot the Breeze) have made the big trip north, both having had good form at home.    Te Kauwhata’s Donna Smith has three in the class and is always competitive.

 

The Young Riders (under 21) and the Junior Riders (under 18) will compete for the 3-Day Event titles as well as chasing points in the ESNZ Eventing series. 

 

There are also many other events including the Veterinary Associates CCI1* which has a field of 31.  There are even more entries in the lower classes such as the Horse & Pony CCN105 and the short format competitions which start on Saturday.

 

The dressage is on Friday, with the exciting cross-country phase on Saturday.  Sunday morning will see the horses having to pass a veterinary inspection and then showjump to determine the final placings.

 

There is extra entertainment with the Equilibrium Puhinui High Jump Challenge, nick named “tip, strip or out” at lunchtime on Saturday. On Sunday, the Eventers Challenge is a fun combination of both showjumping and cross-country for those not competing in the main classes.

 

You can get your Christmas shopping done at some of the many trade stalls open over the weekend with something for everyone. There will also be an array of food beverage stalls available.

 

The event will be live streamed on www.equestrianlive.co.nz for those not able to attend in person.

 

More information can be found on the event’s website www.3dayevent.co.nz or the facebook page, Puhinui International Three Day Event New Zealand

 

 

As well as sponsoring the CCN105 class at Puhinui, Horse & Pony have also come up with some great prizes for the best dressed male and female competitors at the trot ups.  This is going to be judged over both Thursday’s and Sunday’s inspections.

The overall winner will receive a magnum of Veuve Cliquot Champagne (provided they are over 18 of course). 

 First prize for the best dressed male and best dressed female is a year’s subscription to the wonderful NZ Horse & Pony magazine (valued at $78) and also a book voucher worth $100 which can be redeemed at their bookshop. 

 You can check out how to subscribe and their bookshop catalogue on this link  

http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/nz-horse-pony/69462852/about-nz-horse-pony

There will be judges at the event, and they will pick the top five or so competitors who stand out as exceptionally stylish.   They will be looking for sensible but smart footwear, at least a pop or splash of colour and a good hat may also get you extra points.   Flair not flares are encouraged.   A photo gallery of these equestrian fashionistas will go up on the NZ Horse & Pony facebook page at some stage after the final trot up and then voting will open through until Wednesday morning, closing at 10am.  The person with the most likes on their photo wins the prizes!  

 

The cross-country course is ready to rumble and take on its’ competitors! The Puhinui media team have been keeping the new course developments under tight wraps as to not give anything away!

 

Entries have now closed for the CCI3* with ten competitors from around NZ. Emily Cammock and Giles Gormack will be representing the South Island with Emily riding both Shaw Lee and Lewis in the class. The North Island competitors include Andrew Daines, Samantha Felton, Dannie Lodder, Shelly Ross, Francesca Silver, Virginia Thompson and Katharine Van Tuyl.

 

Catering for the lower levels, the derby track has had a total revamp with a new location and new jumps! Entries are open until Wednesday and we hope that you will come and support the event!

 

The Equilibrium Puhinui Challenge “Tip, Strip and Out” that had the crowd in stitches last year and its competitors in a few less stitches will again be taking place on Saturday.

 

Don’t forget to register your country and town of birth to be in to win the API Autoparts National Team Challenge worth $1,000!

 

Work is under way at the magnificent Puhinui Reserve with Tich Massey and his dedicated team of workers beginning on the cross country. Their progress is being documented on the Puhinui Facebook page by Eye Witness Images and will give you a sneak peek of what to expect this year! 

 

Entries are now open at Equestrian Entries for all classes as well as a tentitive time table below.

 

Tentative Timetable

 

Wednesday 9th - Arrival inspection

Thursday 10th - Arrival inspection continued

Friday 11th - Riders Briefing and Horse Inspection classes 1—6

                 - Dressage classes 1—6

Saturday 12th - Dressage classes 7 & 8

                     - Cross Country – classes 1 - 8

Sunday 13th   - Show Jumping all classes

                      - All Eventers challenge classes