Donna Edwards-Smith and DSE Tangolooma, CIC3* Kihikihi International Horse Trials, Credit Take the Moment


There are no surprises at the end of the Waipa Home of Champions CIC3* at Kihikihi today (Saturday), with Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation holding their lead after making John Nicholson’s course look easy, completing with 5.6 time penalties for an overnight score of 36.4 penalties. As Clarke said, “It was not easy, but he’s very experienced so makes it look easy. It rode as I thought, and he did it well.”


Donna Edwards-Smith produced a fractionally faster round on DSE Tangolooma, incurring 5.2 time penalties, moving up to second spot with 39.9 penalties, so ensuring an interesting showjumping phase on Sunday. In light hearted discussion at the press conference afterwards Donna said, “I’m hunting your warmblood down, I’m on a thoroughbred!”


Clarke responded, “I could have been faster holding the reins with three fingers instead of two,” referring to his broken little finger which has been taped to the finger next to it since HOY. Remembering Clarke bought Ritchie from Donna made this exchange very entertaining!


Abigail Long and the experienced Enzo improved from ninth after the dressage to be third overnight with 9.6 time penalties and an overnight score of 47.2, with fellow Oceania Young Rider team member Renee Faulkner and Rubinstar HH holding their fourth position after the dressage with 12.4 time penalties and an overnight score 47.5.


Eleven of the thirteen starters completed, with Danielle Wheeler, first on course, eliminated after a fall from One Cool Dude at the first water, and Abby Lawrence retiring Charlton Yamani after two glance offs. Clarke remarked, “The course was easier than usual, but that’s not a bad thing. It doesn’t need to be 3* plus.”


The scores are very close with the cost of one show jumping rail separating the combinations from third to eighth. This is the result of a new FEI scoring rule which no longer applies a co-efficient of 1.5 to the dressage phase, resulting in closer scores and hence more emphasis on the cross-country. As Donna said, “I think it’s awesome!” but added seriously “It is good for the sport.”



Last year’s surprise winner of the Waiteko Trophy is on track to defend her title, Brooke Campbell and Freddy Dash looking very assured this year producing the only round inside the time. Last year they finished third in the class but the two combinations ahead of them were not eligible for the title, so this year they are in a position to take all the spoils.


Diane Gilder and her handsome Australian thoroughbred Your Attorney improved one place from third to second after incurring 2.8 time penalties for an overnight score of 36.5, while Brooke and Freddy jumped from fifth to take the lead on their dressage score of 34.4 penalties. Both combinations are planning on contesting the CCI3* at Taupo next month.


Elise Power and Arctic Cielo looked supremely confident across country, adding 2.4 time penalties to her sixth placed dressage score to move up to third place on 37 penalties. Stephanie Vervoort and X Factor added 7.2 time penalties to their second placed dressage score for fourth overnight on 39.3penalties. Again the scores are very close so things could look different after the showjumping.



Dannie Lodder has retained her lead on Lexington in the Wade Equine Coaches CIC1* championship with one of eleven rounds inside the time for an overnight score of 28.4 penalties. Lexington is a warmblood by Limonit, bred and owned by the Nadin family of Willowbrook Stud, and a former winner of the Young Event Horse at Taupo.


Kelsey Leahy on her well bred thoroughbred Show Cause, by Giants Causeway out of Showella, and Monica Oakley on her home bred Festival, by LAX who she previously evented, have improved from ninth equal to second equal going into the showjumping on their dressage scores of 31.6 penalties, but again there is no room for error, with less than a rail between first and second, and equally close down the order.



The top two placings in the JLT Bloodstock CNC105 Championship retained their positions after cross-country despite incurring time penalties, but the scores are now so close it is anyone’s title to take. Less than 4 penalties, the cost of lowering one showjumping rail, covers the first ten competitors, so things are sure to change.


Angela Lloyd had 4.4 penalties on Raucous, a big home bred warmblood by Ruanuku R, for an overnight score of 29.4 penalties, while Jessica Woods on the thoroughbred Kings Soleil, by Kings Chapel out of Reine du Soleil, had 1.6 penalties to narrow the margin to 0.1 penalty, going into Sunday’s showjumping on 29.5 penalties.


Donna Edwards-Smith on DSE Sagacious, a thoroughbred by St Reims, and Sophie Wilkinson on Astek Gravitate, a warmblood by Gymbello, retained third and fourth place after producing two of the twelve clear rounds inside the time. Twenty-two of the thirty-one starters jumped clear, while the two eliminations were for missing a fence and a compulsory passage, and there was one withdrawal.




Clarke Johnstone, Balmoral Sensation, 36.4; Donna Edwards-Smith, DSE Tangolooma, 39.9; Abigail Long, Enzo, 47.2; Renee Faulkner, Rubinstar HH, 47.5; Heelan Tompkins, Snow Leopard; 48.4; Jessica Woods, Just de Manzana, 48.7.


Brooke Campbell, Freddy Dash, 34.4; Diane Gilder, Your Attorney, 36.5; Elise Power, Arctic Cielo, 37; Stephanie Vervoort, X Factor, 39.3; Kimberley Rear, Delta Legacy, 40; Louise Mulholland, Mr McTaggart, 41.4.


Dannie Lodder, Lexington, 28.4; Kelsey Leahy, Showcause, 31.6; Monica Oakley, Festival, 31.6; Christen Lane, Henton Armada, 32.4; Madeline Banks, Aruko Razzamatazz, 33.1; Chanel Hargrave, Moving On, 33.4; Tayla Mason, Centennial, 33.4.

JLT BLOODSTOCK CNC105: Angela Lloyd, Raucous, 29.4; Jessica Woods, Kings Soleil, 29.5; Donna Edwards-Smith, DSE Sagacious, 29.8; Sophie Wilkinson, Astek Gravitate, 29.9; Sophie Boswell, Anastasia, 31.2; Kaitlyn Freeman, Landisohn, 31.4.


Virginia Caro