Some of New Zealand’s onshore based 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games hopefuls have been in fine form at the recent Land Rover Horse of the Year Show.
Eventing high performance rider Clarke Johnstone picked up his third Eventer of the Year crown aboard the beautiful Balmoral Sensation. The Matangi combination led from the start, making it look easy as they cruised to victory 8.4 penalty points ahead of his closest opposition.
Future Potential Recognition squad members were also on form with Amanda Pottinger (Havelock North) and Just Kidding fourth in the CIC3*, Donna Edwards-Smith (Te Kauwhata) and DSE Cluny were fifth and Samantha Felton (Matangi) aboard Ricker Ridge Escada seventh.
In the CIC2*, Felton and Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ placed second with Edwards-Smith and DSE Mendoza fifth.
The dressage produced some fantastic competition, and particularly at the top between the New Zealand WEG hopefuls. John Thompson (Hamilton) and Julie Brougham (Palmerston North) battled it out, but in the end Thompson and JHT Antonello rode off with the Dressage Horse of the Year crown.
The Rio reserves set a New Zealand record with their 71.34% in the IRT Grand Prix Special, and also scored 74.525% in the GJ Gardner Homes CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle. Thompson also took out the Five-Year-Old Dressage Horse of the Year aboard JHT Anatomy.
Brougham and Vom Feinsten were runners-up in the Dressage Horse of the Year crown. Their fellow High Performance squad-member Wendi Willliamson (Kumeu) placed third in the Dressage Horse of the Year aboard her younger horse Don Amour MH.
From the High Performance Futures Squad, Vanessa Way (Taranaki) and Andreas won all their tests to take the Level 8 title while Lucarne Dolley (Waikato) and Devil’s Chocolate took out the Level 6/7 Championship. Dolley also won the Young Rider of the Year title.
For full results, head to www.equestrianentries.co.nz
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ