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A quality performance from Matangi’s Clarke Johnstone on his horse Balmoral Sensation saw him finish with no additions to his personal best dressage score of 39 and be crowned Honda NZ CCI*** champion. 

Finishing second was Cambridge’s Fraser King on Nadal KSNZ.  They were a long way - 26.6 points  - behind Johnstone.   Englishman Nick Gauntlett ended up in third place on his Australian Horse El Grado. 

Johnstone has been a previous Puhinui champion in 2008.  He has now won every significant eventing title in New Zealand since taking on this horse 11 months ago.   Future plans are to take Balmoral Sensation overseas. “We are looking at doing the Luhmuhlen 4* event in Germany next year, after we have competed at a couple more events in New Zealand.”   

Unfortunately for Donna Smith, who was in second position after cross country, Tangalooma was injured.  "It should come right with a bit of rest," said Smith, who was naturally very disappointed not to be able to complete.


In the Cato Packaging CCI** it was a great win for the young horse Double J Sunshine ridden by Katharine Van Tuyl from Palmerston North.   While Van Tuyl is a very experienced rider, this was her first ever three day event win.  “He was perfect, he gave me an amazing ride.  I didn’t know which event to do with him, either here or the Young Horse Show.  I’m glad I came here.”

Tokoroa’s Sarah Young was the victor in the Honda New Zealand CCI** Young Rider Title on SS Galaxy.   “I love Puhinui, I always seem to go well here, it has an amazing atmosphere and a real international feel to it.”   Young completed the event with a number of stitches below her eye after an incident with another horse only two hours before she was due to compete on SS Galaxy.  

The event attracted excellent crowds, including World No 2 & 11 ranked Eventing riders, Jonelle and Tim Price who enjoyed catching up with old friends and making new ones as well as leading educational cross country course walks.  Tim commented that it was great to see the talent here in New Zealand.  “I see myself in a lot of the young riders here, I made the same mistakes they are making but you can see where their skill set lies.  There is a lot of natural ability which just has to be harnessed and refined.”

Results: 

Honda New Zealand CCI*** 
Clarke Johnstone, Balmoral Sensation - 39
Fraser King, Nadal KSNZ - 65.6
Nick Gauntlett, El Grado -  73.4
Emily Cammock, Dambala - 74.2

Cato Packaging CCI** 
Katharine Van Tuyl, Double J Sunshine - 55.4
Virginia Thompson, Star Nouveau - 60.7
Diane Gilder, Your Attorney - 63.4
Dannie Lodder, Waitangi Icon - 65.3

Honda New Zealand CCI** Young Rider
Sarah Young, SS Galaxy - 64.3
Cam Robertson, Blank Ink - 66.9
Tayla Mason, Lucy with Diamonds - 69.2
Madison Crowe, Brogan - 79.4

Veterinary Associates CCI* 
Aleisha Collett, Mi Focus - 53.4
Donna Smith, SE Godswalk - 54.4 
Nick Brooks, Versace C - 57.2
Ashleigh Mckinstry, Pioneer Brass Monkey - 58.7 

DEVI Heating Systems CCI* Junior Rider 
Abigail Long, BMW Advokaat - 61.5
Lucy Turner, Tallyho Mystic - 67.8
Zoe Ander, Waitangi Slingshot - 69.6
Renee Faulkner, Rubinstar HH - 71.1

Horse & Pony CCN105 
Karla Hiestand, Westamour - 29.4
Jessica Woods, LV Elf - 30.7
Emily Cammock, Cavorts -  31.7
Stephanie Vervoort, X Factor - 32.9

The good crowds enjoying the cross country day were given a treat when Clarke Johnstone on Balmoral Sensation flew around the testing course in the Honda New Zealand CCI*** for a clear round within the time. 

 

Johnstone himself said it wasn’t as smooth as he would have liked but it looked all class to those on the grounds.  “It was clear and under time, so I can’t ask for any more.”   He now has a 10.4 lead over Donna Smith on Tangalooma who jumped clear but ended up with 2.8 time faults.  Nadal KSNZ with Fraser King has moved up to 3rd place on 61.6.   Englishman Nick Gauntlett is right behind him on his Australian horse, El Grado.   

 

A number of the competitors found the challenging cross country too much, and unfortunately both Emily Cammock and Annabel Wigley had to withdraw one of their horses before this phase.   Emily Cammock, on her second ride Dambala is currently in 5th place.  Seven horses will go forward to the veterinary check tomorrow morning and if cleared there, will show jump tomorrow.

 

Johnstone is as confident as any top rider allows themselves to be.  “I’ve been jumping 1.50m grand prix showjumping on him lately, so he should be fine.  He is a very good jumper.” 

 

In the Cato Packaging CCI**, there was a big change in the leaderboard.   There are now two on equal penalties in the lead; Katharine Van Tuyl on Double J Sunshine and Diane Gilder on Your Attorney.   However as Katharine Van Tuyl had 0.4 of a timefault, Gilder is the official leader.  Virginia Thompson and Star Nouveau is lying in 3rd place, just 1.3 penalties behind them.    Overnight leader, Amanda Pottinger’s two run outs drops her to 14th place, and Blyth Tait, who was in second, incurred 20 penalties at a combination on Leo Distinction.   

 

Moving up from 9th after dressage to the shared lead was a surprise to Katharine Van Tuyl.  “I had hoped I would move up a wee way, but never expected to be in this position.   He was amazing, he is probably one of the youngest horses in the field.  I hope that one second over time doesn’t annoy me forever more.”

 

There were also changes in the Honda New Zealand CCI** Young Rider championship.   Tayla Mason is now the leader with a cracking clear round on Lucy with Diamonds.   Sarah Young on SS Galaxy incurred some time faults, but are just in front of Canterbury lad Cam Robertson on Black Ink who impressed with their jumping today. 

 

The Veterinary Associations CCI* leaderboard did not change after the cross country.  Aleisha Collett and Mi Focus have a narrow lead from Ashleigh Mckinstry on Ngahiwi Makem and Donna Smith on SE Godswalk.  There is only 1 fault separating all three so no room for error in tomorrow’s showjumping.  

 

The DEVI Heating Systems CCI* Junior Rider leader after dressage also kept her lead over the field.  Abigail Long on BMW Advokaat flew around the course, as did most of the field.  It will be all up to the showjumping phase and any rails will be costly. 

 

Results after Dressage & Cross Country:

 

Honda New Zealand CCI*** 

Clarke Johnstone, Balmoral Sensation - 39

Donna Smith, Tangalooma - 49.4 

Fraser King, Nadal KSNZ - 61.6

Nick Gauntlett, El Grado - 62.4 

Emily Cammock, Dambala - 69.2

 

Cato Packaging CCI** 

Diane Gilder, Your Attorney - 55.4

Katharine Van Tuyl, Double J Sunshine - 55.4

Virginia Thompson, Star Nouveau - 56.7

Megan Finlayson, Greensleeves - 59.7

Kate Disley, Arctic Cielo - 64.2

 

Honda New Zealand CCI** Young Rider

Tayla Mason, Lucy with Diamonds - 61.2

Sarah Young, SS Galaxy - 64.3

Cam Robertson, Black Ink - 66.9

Madison Crowe, Brogan - 75.4

 

Veterinary Associates CCI* 

Aleisha Collett, Mi Focus - 53.4

Ashleigh Mckinstry, Ngahiwi Makem - 53.7 

Donna Smith, SE Godswalk - 54.4 

Abby Lawrence, Song - 54.7

 

DEVI Heating Systems CCI* Junior Rider 

Abigail Long, BMW Advokaat - 57.5

Jackson Bovill, Visionnaire - 61.2 

Zoe Ander, Waitangi Slingshot - 61.6

Renee Faulkner, Rubinstar HH - 63.1

 

Horse & Pony CCN105 

Jessica Woods, LV Elf - 26.7

Janine Hayde, Brentwood Toi Toi - 28

Stephanie Vervoort, X Factor - 28.9

Karla Hiestand, Westamour 29.4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Johnstone in Sizzling Form at Puhinui International 3 Day Event 

 

The hot favourite has delivered on expectations.  Clarke Johnstone has not just hit the lead in the Honda New Zealand CCI***, but has done a personal best score of 39 with his white horse, Balmoral Sensation. 

 

Clarke has a 4.4 lead from Taranaki’s Matthew Grayling on NRM Lowenberg.  Donna Smith with her experienced Tangalooma is in third place, another 3.2 penalties behind Grayling.    Other riders, including Canterbury women Annabel Wigley and Emily Cammock, Englishman Nick Gauntlett are only a few points behind.  

 

Johnstone was thrilled with his horse.  “He was really focused and calm, he’s a beautiful horse.  It was the best test I have had from him yet.  It is always challenging with him to get the energy and the calmness, sometimes we are calm without enough energy, sometimes we have energy and not the calmness.  Today he was active and energetic and I was so happy with him.”

 

Emily Cammock was first to go in the Honda NZ CCI*** on the exuberant Shaw Lee, scoring 62.2.   Emily said after her test, referring to some tricky moments, that “it was hard to be disappointed when you think you are going to be eliminated and you are not!” 

 

Annabel Wigley on her first ride, NRM Enzo, scored 548, putting her in 8th place.   “He seemed pretty happy out there.  It is such a nice day here, and that helped with him being calm and relaxed.  We made a few mistakes but I’m really happy with him, his preparation wasn’t ideal.”

 

Looking very dashing in his military uniform, Fraser King and Nadal KSNZ scored 61.2 to put him in 11th spot.  “It was spoiled by some really hot moments.  He warmed up beautifully but the occasion got to him.  I am a touch disappointed.   We will go for time on the cross country now!”  Talking about the course, Fraser said that the course was bold but fair.  “There are questions all the way, especially towards the end where there are a few that could catch you out.” 

 

Donna Smith is in third place with Tangalooma, on a score of 46.6.  “I don’t know how this test will score  His trot is so short so it is more like what italics like rather than how it feels but to me, it felt good.   Im happy.  The course looks cool.  Tough enough and Im looking forward to it.”

 

It’s good to see Heelan Tompkins back competing at this level.  With Watkins, the ex-racehorse that is amongst the leaders in the Thoroughbreds in Equestrian Sports (TiES) series, Heelan scored 59.8.  “He only learned flying changes two weeks ago.  This is his first 3* start.  We will find out what his weaknesses are, he has been jumping awesome around intermediate classes.   By the end of the weekend, we will know what to work on.   The course is really good.  Lots of questions, especially towards the end when he will be tired.”

 

Jessica Woods was disappointed with her test on Defies Logic.  The atmosphere of the main arena, where the dressage arenas are right next to the water jump, proved too much for her horse. “He said ‘oh look, there’s the cross country jumps, yahoo!”    She was wary of the cross country course.  “The last combination from home is a good question, the horses will be tired, but there are questions everywhere.”

 

Second after dressage, Matthew Grayling described his test on NRM Lowenberg as “pretty solid.” “We can always do better, but I was pleased with that.  I thought he did a slightly better test at a dressage tournament two weeks ago.  But he was good under the atmosphere, and it was quite correct throughout.”  As to the course, Matthew was worried.  “There’s a lot of skinnies, and he is a big horse!”

 

Englishman Nick Gauntlett was full of praise about the venue.  “This is the most stunning place for horse trials.  Its a beautiful place.”  As to his test with El Grado, Nick was pleased with how hard the horse tried.   “He’s an exciting horse, at times he could have had a bit more energy, but its early days.”  As to the cross country, Nick rates the course as a highly. “There are some tough, very tough combinations.  They are as tough as any back home, or maybe even tougher.   There are one or two let up fences that are smaller than we would get at home, but not by much.  Overall it is a proper 3* test.” 

 

Christen Hayde and Tandarra Sweet As are the only combination competing who have won this class before.   She is currently sitting in 7th position on a score of 51.4.  “She tries really hard, sometimes to the point she gets too tense.  I was really pleased with her today though.”  As to the cross country, Christen was impressed with the changes bought in this year.  “There’s a lot going on, especially in the first half.  There’s no let up at all.”

 

Coleraine Coaltrain won at Puhinui at 2* level two years ago with Shelley Ross.   “He was a little bit cheeky today, he only did what I asked him, he was a little tense and as soon as I took my leg off, he changed, or went back to trot in the counter canter.”   Shelley thought the warm weather may have an influence on the cross country.  “If it’s humid like this, you’ll need a fit horse.  You will also need an honest horse, there are a lot of skinnies.”  Shelley is sitting in 9th place on 55.6. 

 

On her second horse, Dambala, Emily Cammock did a lovely test to be in fifth place on 48.8.  “He was good.  I thought he was good at the Nationals at McLeans Island, but he got slammed there, so hope the judges like him today.”  She was confident in her horse for the cross country.  “He’ll look after me.  He’s super honest, and with all those skinnies, you will have to be on your game all the way around.”

 

Last to go was Annabel Wigley with Sam Taylor’s Leo Degas.   “We made a few mistakes, but he was really good.   He has had a bit of a change in rider, Sam is so tall, and then Clarke rode him, and now he has got little me.   He tries to boss me around a bit!”

 

Tomorrow will be exciting.  Clarke Johnstone describes it as the Honda NZ CCI*** course as a “fair test.  I’m really looking forward to getting out there and doing it.  It should suit my horse well.”

 

In the Cato Packaging CCI**, Olympian Blyth Tait with his horse Leo Distinction has been pipped by the young Amanda Pottinger with Achilles, but only by 2.1.   Local Christen Hayde is in third with her horse Kinnordy Galilee.

 

The cross country gets underway at 9 am tomorrow with the Honda New Zealand CCI*** class expected to start at 12:15.  

 

 

 Results can be found on Equestrian Entries.   Here’s some of the main results:  

 

Honda New Zealand CCI*** 

Clarke Johnstone, Balmoral Sensation - 39

Matthew Grayling, NRM Lowenberg - 43.4

Donna Smith, Tangalooma - 46.6 

Annabel Wigley, Leo Degas - 48.4

Emily Cammock, Dambala - 48.8

Nick Gauntlett, El Grado - 50 

 

Cato Packaging CCI** 

Amanda Pottinger, Achilles II - 45.8

Leo Distinction, Blyth Tait 

Christen Hayde, Kinnordy Gallilee - 50

 

Honda New Zealand CCI** Young Rider

Madison Crowe, Brogan - 51.0

Sarah Young, SS Galaxy - 58.3

Sophie Abbott, Time to Tango Too - 58.8

 

Veterinary Associates CCI* 

Aleisha Collett, Mi Focus - 53.4

Ashleigh Mckinstry, Ngahiwi Makem - 53.7 

Donna Smith, SE Godswalk - 54.4 

 

DEVI Heating Systems CCI* Junior Rider 

Abigail Long, BMW Advokaat - 57.5

Jackson Bovill, Visionnaire - 61.2 

Zoe Ander, Waitangi Slingshot - 61.6

 

Horse & Pony CCN105 

Jessica Woods, LV Elf - 26.7

Janine Hayde, Brentwood Toi Toi - 28

Stephanie Vervoort, X Factor - 28.9

 

 

 

 

 

For fun, after the Honda NZ CCI*** cross country has finished, the Equilibrium Puhinui Challenge will be held in the main arena.  This a single fence high jump competition between teams of four event riders and four showjumpers.

 

Fondly known as the the "Strip Tip & Out" competition, riders can trade a piece of clothing for another chance.  

The showjumping riders are Rebekah van Tiel, Laura Inkster, Travis Morgan and Jamie Campbell. 

The event riders are Tim and Jonelle Price, Donna Smith and Dannie Lodder.

Come along and cheer them on!

Here's the draw for the Honda New Zealand CCI*** which starts on Friday at 1447 with the dressage. 

301

Emily Cammock

Shaw Lee

302

Annabel Wigley

NRM Enzo

303

Fraser King

Nadal KSNZ

304

Donna Smith

Tangolooma

305

Heelan Tompkins

Watkins

306

Jessica Woods

Defies Logic

307

Matthew Grayling

NRM Lowenberg

308

Nick Gauntlett

El Grado

309

Clarke Johnstone

Balmoral Sensation

310

Christen Hayde

Tandarra Sweet As

311

Shelley Ross

Coleraine Coaltown

312

Emily Cammock

Dambala