Samantha Felton (Matangi) and Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ were comfortable winners of the Bates CCI2* Championship, finishing on their 28.1 dressage score.

“There’s quite a lot of pressure when you are sitting on a good jumper,” said Felton. “This is a great way to finish the weekend . . . actually a good way to finish a challenging year.”

Coming in for second was Angela Lloyd (Hunua) aboard Lyrical – winners of the CCI1* Championship in 2017 – who finished today on 34.2, Bryce Newman (Bulls) on Bates Games Keeper was third on 36.7 and Lucy Turner (Christchurch) aboard Carbon fourth on 38.8. Fifteen of the 21 starters completed the class today, with just three clear in the showjumping.

Felton says she’s confident the seven-year-old – the youngest in the field – was destined for greater things.

“We want to do this at his pace and produce him properly,” she said of the horse she co-owns with Pip McCarroll. “I really rate him.”

Felton was one of the busiest riders at the event, with multiple horses across the levels.

“I have been doing a lot of work in the gym and it paid off. When you are physically fitter, your brain can think faster.”

However, she’ll be taking it easy for the next few months as she heads to hospital this week for a hip operation which will see her off horses for three months.

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