Samantha Lissington, & Sooty GNZ. Photo: Jane Thompson

Samantha Lissington started and finished her New Zealand Three Day Event Championships with wins, notching back-to-back wins today in the NRM CCI3*-L aboard Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ.

“It’s been a tough weekend,” said the 27-year-old who had a fall from Ricker Ridge Rui in the DVS Home Ventilation CCI4*-L. “It’s funny in a way, it has been terrible but we won two out of the three classes we entered, so that’s not too bad.”

She was rapt to once again win the Picadilly Trophy with her eight-year-old gelding who next month she will head to the UK with. “He’s the reason we are going,” she said. “He’s our champion. I think to win back to back titles shows consistency. It is a different kind of pressure, having won it before you have that expectation you should win it again.”

She had nothing but praise for the gelding who is part owned by Pip McCarroll and finished the championships on his dressage score of 28.7 penalty points. Rio Olympian Clarke Johnstone (Matangi) and Deo Volente was second on 31.4 with Monica Oakley (Karaka) filling third and fourth with Man of Honour and Artist respectively.

Forty combinations started the class with 27 completing the three days. New Zealand Oceania representative Beth Wilson was the best of the team riders, finishing in sixth place.

“Sooty was just wonderful for me all weekend,” said Samantha. The horse will now have a little break before they head offshore. Once in the Northern Hemisphere she plans work him back up to CCI4 level.

It will be a busy few weeks for the equestrienne. “The goal is just to make it happen but there is a lot to do.” One of the more important things is to find a lease owner for half a share of the horse for his UK campaign.

“The trip could be in jeopardy without it. The real challenge for us all is the ongoing running costs and that’s where owners are so vital in our sport. Wins like this make the owners’ involvement so worth-while and the journey really exciting.”


 Results –

NRM CCI3*-L Championship: Samantha Lissington (Matangi) Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ 28.7 penalty points 1, Clarke Johnstone (Matangi) Deo Volente 31.4 2, Monica Oakley (Karaka) Man of Honour 31.6 3, Monica Oakley (Karaka) Artist 34.8 4, Heelan Tompkins (New Plymouth) Oranoa Greyson 36.6 5, Beth Wilson (Papakura) Alto et Audax 36.6 6.