Australia’s Oceania teams have the upper hand after a tumultuous cross country day at the New Zealand Three Day Event Championships in Taupo this afternoon however New Zealand’s Madison Crowe and Waitangi Pinterest lead the DVS Home Ventilation CCI4*-L field.

The Matangi combination remain on their dressage score of 30 penalty points after a brilliant round over a very challenging Chris Ross-designed course. Defending champ Amanda Pottinger (Havelock North) and Just Kidding sit in second on their 32.8 dressage score and Australian visitor Madeline Wilson aboard I’m Bruce in third on 37.8.

Madison, who is the head girl at Olympian Clarke Johnstone’s stable, was over the moon to be leading the field after the cross country. “It was a really tough day,” she said. “I am just thrilled for her (Waitangi Pinterest). She is such a special little mare.”

Twenty-five-year-old Madison has had the 10-year-old for almost three years and says much of the credit for their efforts this season are down to Clarke. “Clarke is so involved. He believes in my vision and is a massive part of this. Our results this season speak for themselves.”

The testing of the new Olympic format is the hot topic of conversation around the grounds and everyone is interested to see how the Oceania Teams’ Championship will pan out tomorrow when chefs declare their final starting lists for the showjumping.

Australia Gold has a commanding lead, sitting on 186.5 penalty points, NZ Black on 297.5, NZ Silver on 347.9 and Australia Green well off the pace on 510.6.

Australian chef d’equipe Stuart Tinney said to have the opportunity to test the new format is huge. “We’re all finding out lots of alternatives and things that can happen, so this has been a huge success in that aspect,” he said. The cross country had certainly been tough I places but he felt all his riders had stepped up and jumped well.

New Zealand chefs Penny Castle and Jock Paget were also very pleased with the efforts of their riders. “The cross country was a really good championship 4* track,” said Penny. “This is exactly what it should be like.”

Jock heaped praise on  Madison and Amanda. “Having lost our first rider for NZ Black, it was good for Maddy and Amanda to go out and both come home clear and inside time. They rode competitively and pulled it off. They were the only two (Oceania riders) who made the time and they did it under immense pressure. There will be massive learnings to come out of this around the new format.”

Seven CCI4*-L combinations parted company including overnight leader Amanda Ross aboard Dicavelli Diesel, but both horses and riders were all fine.

Australia’s young riders are also leading the trans-Tasman clash, 78.7 penalty points of the hosts. Defending NRM CCI3*-L champ Samantha Lissington and Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ have retained their lead in the class and remain on their dressage score of 28.7.

She was hugely disappointed to part company with Ricker Ridge Rui but felt Sooty had “saved the day”. “Escada did a great job of getting me in the right place to go back out and jump a fantastic round on Sooty.”

Competition was delayed this morning as a pea soup fog enveloped the National Equestrian Centre, with the day eventually clearing with near perfect conditions. Tomorrow is the final day of competition, with the all-important showjumping.

Results –

DVS Home Ventilation CCI4*-L National Championship (after cross country): Madison Crowe (NZ/Matangi) 30 penalty points 1, Amanda Pottinger (NZ/Havelock North) Just Kidding 32.8 2, Madeline Wilson (Aus) I’M Bruce 37.8 3, Emily Cammock (Christchurch) Shaw Lee 39.5 4, Sonja Johnson (Aus) Misty Isle Valentino 44.6 5, Jade Findlay (Aus) Oaks Cordelia 47.7 6.

Oceania Teams’ Competition, Senior: Australia Gold (Shane Rose/Ultimate Velocity 52.2, Sonja Johnson/Misty Isle Valentino 44.6, Emma Bishop/CP Issey Miyake 49.7, Jessica Rae/Rascal reserve) 186.5 penalty points 1, NZ Black (Samantha Lissington/Ricker Ridge Rui 234.7, Madison Crowe/Waitangi Pinterest 30, Amanda Pottinger/Just Kidding 32.8, Bundy Philpott/Tresca NZPH reserve) 297.5 2, NZ Silver (Abigail Long/Enzo 239.4, Renee Faulkner/Rubinstar HH 56.3, Monica Oakley/Acrobat 52.2, Jackson Bovill/Visionnaire reserve) 347.9 3, Australia Green (Emma Mason/Warrego Marco Polo 234.6, Jade Findlay/Oaks Cordelia 47.7, Amanda Ross/Dicavalli Diesel 228.3, Madeline Wilson/I’m Bruce reserve) 510.6 4.

Oceania Teams’ Competition, Young Rider: Australia (Jordyn Faint/Double S & Evergreen Jackpot 66.4, Taylah Andrew/Silver Force 77, Isabel McLachlan/Ventura 89.6, Hannah Klep/Reprieve reserve) 233 1, New Zealand (Beth Wilson/Alto et Audax 36.6, Lucy Turner/Astek Victor 229.6, Vicky Browne-Cole/Cutting Edge 45.4, Katrina Butler-Gallie/Tarndale Endeavour reserve) 311.7 2.

NRM CCI3*-L Championship (after cross country): Samantha Lissington (Matangi) Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ 28.7 penalty points 1, Monica Oakley (Karaka) Artist 30.8 2, Clarke Johnstone (Matangi) Deo Volente 31.4 3, Monica Oakley (Karaka) Man of Honour 31.6 5, Beth Wilson (NZ/Papakura) Alto et Audax and Heelan Tompkins (New Plymouth) Oranoa Greyson 36.6 =6.

Fiber Fresh CCI2*-L Championship (after cross country): Clarke Johnstone (Matangi) Watermill Glenneagle 26.3 penalty points 1, Jock Paget (Taupo) Bing Bong 26.6 2, Amanda Pottinger (Havelock North) Good Timing and Lizzie Green (Hamilton) Comanche II 29.2  +3, Jessica Woods (Ohaupo) LV Gee Whizz 31.5 5, Alena Dorotich (Auckland) Donner XS 31.6 6.

Stirling Collection CCN2*-L Open (after cross country): Clarke Johnstone (Matangi) Aces High 29.2 1, Angela Lloyd (Clevedon) Lyrical 30.2 2, Jeffrey Amon (Murupara) My Silver Lining 30.4 3, Matthew Grayling (Okato) Henton Ambassador 31.7 4, Chanel Griffiths (Taupo) Astek Guardsman 32.1 5, Samantha Mynott (Matangi) BV Illusionist 35.1 6.

Wairakei Resort CCN1*-L Championship (after cross country): Cherie Jaques (Otorohanga) Wizard 31.7 penalty points 1, Danielle Wheeler (Clevedon) Soldierboy and Iain Alexander (Thames) Mr Dee 33.1 =3, Alyssa Harrison (Karaka) Da Vinci Code 35.3 5, Danielle Wheeler (Clevedon) CP Aurelio 35.9 6.

Taupo Veterinary Centre CCN105-L Open (after cross country): Jessica Woods (Ohaupo) Kings Soleil 30.6 penalty points 1, Cassie Hodder (Te Awamutu) Schiavo 31.6 2, Codie White (Taupiri) Kabo Shadow 34.2 3, Molly O’Leary (Ararimu) Simply Mitch and Greer Bullock (Reporoa) JA Candy Girl 34.9 =4, Anna Robertson (Christchurch) Valkyrie II 35 6.

Silver Spurs Team Competition (after cross country): South Island (Emily Cammock/Shaw Lee 39.5, Christen Lane/Thunder Cat 38.6, Clarke Johnstone/Deo Volente 31.4, Eve Hawes/Spookee Possum 32.8) 102.8 1, North Island (Matthew Grayling/NRM Trudeau 51.8, Lauren Alexander/Classic Indigo 59.4, Louise Mulholland/Mr McTaggart 40.8, Jock Paget/Bing Bong 26.6) 119.2 2.