New Zealand has named a strong eventing team ahead of the World Equestrian Festival at the CHIO Aachen in Germany.

Clarke Johnstone aboard Balmoral Sensation, Sir Mark Todd on Kiltubrid Rhapsody, Blyth Tait on Havanna and Tim Price on Cekatinka will line up in the Nations Cup teams’ event, with Dan Jocelyn aboard Grovine de Reve riding as an individual.

Teams from Australia, France, New Zealand, Great Britain, Germany, Sweden and the United States have been invited to contest the Nations Cup competition.

Todd and his 11-year-old Irish-bred gelding Kiltubrid Rhapsody were sixth at Badminton this year, while Price and the 11-year-old Dutch-bred mare Cekatinka won the CICO3* at Boekelo last year.

Johnstone has not long been in the Northern Hemisphere with his 14-year-old grey gelding but the combination were sixth individual at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and fifth on début at Badminton. This is their first time to Aachen.

Tait and his 11-year-old Belgium-bred mare Havanna had their first four star start this year at Luhmuhlen, while individual Jocelyn and Grovine de Reve were second in the CIC3* at Chatsworth.

Eventing high performance manager Graeme Thom is looking forward to a good showing from his riders.“The team is a very strong one and represented by seasoned competitors and impressive horses,” he said. “Aachen is one of only a few CCIO competitions where we are able to practice as a team.”

And it was a real honour for New Zealand to be invited by the organising committee of such a prestigious festival.  “Aachen fits nicely into our schedule as we build up to the World Equestrian Games in September.”

There is 40,000 Euros in the prize purse for the teams’ event, with 124,000 Euros on offer in the individual section. New Zealander Andrew Bennie is on the ground jury for the eventing.

Aachen is considered to be the closest event to a true championship outside of the Olympics and World Equestrian Games. The CHIO Aachen runs Nations Cup across five disciplines. It is a hugely popular show, attracting 350,000 spectators and in excess of 800 media to Aachen Soers across the 10 days.

The first horse inspection for the eventing is on Thursday (July 19), followed by dressage on Friday morning, Frank Rothenberger-designed showjumping that evening and the very exciting Rudiger Schwarz-designed cross country on Saturday.


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


WHERE: Aachen, Germany
WHEN: July 13-22, 2018 – eventing July 19-21, 2018

By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ