The Werner Deeg (GER) designed showjumping course for the CCI4*-S class at the Land Rover Horse of the Year Show produced some good jumping in the premier arena at mid-day on Saturday, with six of the twenty-one starters jumping clear rounds.


Dressage leader Amanda Pottinger had the last of the treble down on Just Kidding, to surrender the lead to Madison Crowe, who produced a super round on Waitangi Pinterest. Maddy said afterwards, “She was lovely today, I was thrilled with her. We had a life at the triple bar, got a bit close, but she went in there and tried her best.”


Tim Price also had an unfortunate rail at the second fence with Samantha Lissington’s Ricker Ridge Escada, which has dropped them to fourth place behind Jackson Bovill, who had a good clear round on his big mare Visionnaire.


Donna Edwards-Smith jumped clear with Gay McClunie’s DSE Cluny to move into fifth place, while Blyth Tait improved from twelfth to sixth with a clear round on a nervous Chloe Phillips-Harris’s Cor Jet.


Monica Oakley and Acrobat had a clean sheet to shadow Blyth into seventh place, while Bundy Philpott had 0.4 of a time penalty with Tresca NZPH to move from fifteenth to eighth. Ten penalties cover these top eight competitors, with Donna and DSE Mr Hokey Pokey close behind on 38.2 penalties.


Both Aleisha Collett on Mi Focus and Sam Lissington on Ricker Ridge Rui had two rails down to drop from fourth and seventh to tenth and eleventh respectively, but nineteen of the twenty-one horses to showjump are covered by 20 penalties, the cost of one refusal/run-out on cross-country, so there is all to play for tomorrow.


Time will be all important on the unique track which starts on the polo grounds across the road from the show grounds, then winds its way through arenas, trade stands, and even hospitality tents, with Chris Ross’s track for the Land Rover Horse of the Year Eventing reproducing some of the iconic Burghley fences.


Blyth Tait and Havanna produced one of thirteen clear rounds in the CCI3*-S class to retain top spot, with Samantha Lissington also clear on Riker Ridge Sooty GNZ to keep the pressure on. Fiona Fraser and Xanthus III (Blyth’s former horse and groom) had a rail down, as did Jock Paget on Sam’s Ricker Ridge Riley, but again the scores are close and time will be of the essence.


The riders get to their first chance to look seriously at the course this afternoon (Friday) despite most of the arenas being in full swing still. Tim, Jonelle, Blyth, and Jock are in demand for course walking, so it is a wonderful opportunity to learn from the experience of these top internationals


Full results available on


Virginia Caro

Photos: Take the Moment