Take The Moment Photography

Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation, courtesy Take the Moment

There’s a rather special combination riding at the NRM 3DE but their efforts won’t be chasing honour and glory.

Instead, 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games hopefuls Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation will be doing the test ride for the NRM CCI3* Championship class on Friday. The test ride allows the CCI3* judges to confer and compare notes before the NRM 3DE competition begins in earnest.

“It’s a good opportunity to get in an arena and in front of judges so we can tidy a few things up a bit,” says Johnstone.

Ritchie – as most know Balmoral Sensation as – flies out on June 4, bound for the UK where his Northern Hemisphere WEG campaign gets underway. At the moment Johnstone plans to start him at Arville in Belgium and Aachen in Germany.

“So Taupo will be his last outing,” says Johnstone. “The Taupo three dayevent was never on the agenda for him. It’s going to be exciting to get offshore again and amongst some European competition.”

At sixth, Ritchie Johnstone was New Zealand’s best-performed eventer at the 2016 Rio Olympics and a member of the bronze medal-winning team at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.