New Zealand eventers will tonight (Friday NZ time) line up against some of the best in the world at the prestigious CHIO Aachen Show in Germany, having all passed the First Horse Inspection overnight.
It’s a strong Kiwi team of Clarke Johnstone aboard Balmoral Sensation, Tim Price on Cekatinka, Blyth Tait with Havanna and Sir Mark Todd aboard Kiltubrid Rhapsody who will take on the stars from Australia, France, Great Britain, Sweden, the United States and hosts Germany. Dan Jocelyn will compete aboard Grovine de Reve as an individual where there are also riders from the team countries along with Belgium, Denmark, Japan and The Netherlands.
The start list features a number of the current top 10 riders.
ESNZ high performance eventing manager and chef d’equipe for the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games Graeme Thom says the event provides a great lead in to the final stretch towards WEG.
“The show organisers and style of venue makes it feel similar to a major games,” says Graeme. “This combined with it being a team competition makes it all a very positive experience for Eventing Team NZ. While we have not yet chosen our WEG team it is a great environment for our riders, coaches and horse health team to all work together.”
The dressage starts Friday (GER time), followed by showjumping that evening in the main stadium and the Rudiger Schwarz-designed cross country the following morning. There is 40,000 Euros in the prize purse for the teams’ event, with 124,000 Euros on offer in the individual section.
Aachen is celebrated as one of the greats in the world of equestrian. Organisers liken it to Wimbledon for tennis and Wembley for soccer. All five disciplines – showjumping, dressage, eventing, driving and vaulting – are contested at Aachen where they expect around 350,000 visitors.
The horse details:
Balmoral Sensation – owned by the Johnstone Family
Cekatinka – owned by Joanne Pullan
Havanna – owned by Jane Lovell-Smith, Katherine Corich and John Ormiston
Kiltubrid Rhapsody – owned by Niki Ryan and Dr Elizabeth Donald
Grovine de Reve – owned by Therese Miller, Jo Preston-Hunt, Philip Hunt and Dan Jocelyn
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ