It wasn’t New Zealand’s day in Norway at the FEI Nations Cup despite the best efforts from the team. Daniel Meech and Fine were first out and jumped a stunning clear, but both Uma O’Neill aboard Clockwise of Greenhill Z and Bruce Goodin on Backatorps Danny V both picked up faults at the Drammen event.
Daniel was over the moon with the efforts of his 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games mount. “This is kind of our first big outdoor show of the season and she just walked in there like it was another day and jumped her heart out,” he said. “I am really really happy. The time was tight, and the course had been jumping quite hard.”
He had to make a few little adjustments as he tackled the course, but they nailed it. “You have to have those in the back of your mind just in case. I am just really rapt with Fine. It is so nice now with her – she is so experienced at this level so I can just walk into a class like this and have no worries.”
Uma was on debut for New Zealand and said she was super excited to be representing the country at such an event. “Of course, I wanted to come out and put in a little bit better performance,” she said of the 12-fault round. “I was disappointed about the last two jumps as I felt like those were very preventable.”
Bruce had a battle on his hands with a rather strong Backatorps Danny V who ended up with 16 faults. “He was pretty fresh today and then the bridle just got a bit too sharp in the corners and he got really aggressive and not so rideable through the corners.”
He ended up having to try to “manage” the round rather than really ride it. “It is really disappointing.”
The CSIO3* Nations Cup class was won by Ireland on 10 penalties with Poland second on 13 and hosts Norway third on 14. Eight of the 14 teams came back for the second round. New Zealand finished 13th.
However, Daniel and Bruce were both in the money in the Gold Medium Two Phase 1.45m. Bruce and Copain VDB Z placed second by a smidgen, after going double clear in 32.21 seconds with Daniel and Cinca 3 fourth, also double clear in 34.29. The 51-strong class was won by Jan Bobik (POL) on Hest who stopped the clock at 32.11.
Daniel has now qualified both of his horse for the Grand Prix on Sunday, though can only ride one, while Bruce has qualified Copain VDB Z. All three riders will line up in the 1.45m CSI 3* Championship tomorrow where Uma has an opportunity to also qualify for the Grand Prix.
The horse details:
Backatorps Danny – owned by Backatorp Ryder AB
Copain VDB Z – owned by Horses4sale & ES Jumping & Services AB
Clockwise of Greenhill Z – owned by Uma O’Neill
Fine – owned by Ann Liwing and Daniel Meech
Cinca 3 – owned by Johnson Horses GmbH
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison