New Zealand is sending its biggest contingent in years to the Mitsubishi Motors Australian International 3 Day Event in Adelaide.
The only CCI4* event in the Southern Hemisphere has attracted 21 entries, including six Kiwi combinations – Donna Edwards-Smith (Te Kauwhata) has both DSE Mr Hokey Pokey and DSE Tangolooma, Samantha Felton (Matangi) is in on Ricker Ridge Pico Boo, Rio Olympian Clarke Johnstone (Matangi) has entered on Balmoral Sensation, Andy Daines (Kumeu) is back with Spring Panorama, and Ginny Thompson (Kaukapapa) is entered on Star Nouveau.
Johnstone, who placed sixth at the Rio Olympic Games and fifth at his first Badminton start, says Balmoral Sensation is feeling “fantastic – really fit and well”. The 13-year-old grey gelding has won most events in New Zealand, and previously placed third at the CCI4* in Adelaide. The New Zealand warmblood was bred by David Goodin.
Edwards-Smith says both her horses are ready to go. “DSE Tangolooma is in fantastic shape and has his game face on while DSE Mr Hokey Pokey has still got his ears forward and will be ready to give Adelaide 110%,” she said. “We are really excited about this adventure.”
Both horses have been very consistent for Edwards Smith, with Mr Hokey Pokey second in the CCI3* at Taupo this year and Tangolooma winning the Puhinui CIC3* in March.
Thompson’s Star Nouveau, who is rarely out of the top 10, has had great build-up to the 4*. “She is feeling fit and ready to go.”The 13-year-old bay mare placed fourth in the CCI3* at Melbourne earlier this year, was fourth in the CIC3* at Sydney and won Puhinui CCI3* in 2016.
This is the second Adelaide 4* start for Daines and Spring Panorama. “Pete (Spring Panorama) is feeling amazing and on track.”The combination won the CIC3* at Taupo last year and backed that up with a second placing this year. Daines brought the Irish Sport Horse home with him from the UK.
Felton is rarely off the podium with her 13-year-old bay gelding Ricker Ridge Pico Boo. The horse was second in the CCI3* in Melbourne in June.
All of the New Zealand Adelaide-bound combinations had training with ESNZ high performance dressage coach Isobel Wessels as part of their build-up. The Britain-based specialist was hugely complementary about the “super talent”.
Included on the card are some top Australians, including Olympic medal-winners Megan Jones, Sonja Johnson, Stuart Tinney and Wendy Schaeffer-MacDonald, along with 2016 winner Hazel Shannon.
Australia-based Kiwi Laura Wallace has Van Heck entered in the CIC3* class and Black Crest in the CCI2*.
The New Zealand riders are also vying for valuable points in the ESNZ Eventing Super League, which is currently being led by Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation.
The Australian event was just recently crowned best event of the year by international equestrian magazine L’Anne Hippique, as voted by readers from across the globe.
9.30am – 4.00pm
11.30am – 6.00pm
4* – 1.30pm
The horse details:
Balmoral Sensation owned by the Johnstone Family
DSE Tangolooma owned by Donna and Elise Edwards-Smith and Graham Smith
DSE Mr Hokey Pokey owned by Elise Edwards
Star Nouveau owned by Virginia Thompson
Spring Panorama owned by Leanne and David Jensen and Andrew Daines
Ricker Ridge Pico Boo owned by Dale and Nanette Felton
Van Heck owned by the Selby Syndicate
Black Crest owned by the Selby Syndicate
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison