New Zealand are sitting fourth in the Nations’ Cup and there are three Kiwis in the top seven of the CCIO4*-S after the dressage at Camphire International Horse Trials in Ireland. But there is nothing in it – Sweden are leading the way on 89.6 penalty points with Great Britain in second on 91.5, Italy third on 92.4 and the Kiwis on 93.3. There are just 15 points across the whole Nations’ Cup field.

Individually, Sir Mark Todd and Leonidas II sit in fifth place on 28.5 in the 65-strong field, but it wasn’t completely without drama as he lost his bridle immediately after his halt at the end of their test.

“When it came to the end we halted, saluted, he put his head down and shook it and the bridle fell off so I was left stranded in the arena not knowing whether I could get off or whether I would be eliminated.”

He called out to Andrew Bennie, the judge at B who just also happens to be a Kiwi, to seek some advice. “Then my girls Jess and Brea came into the arena and put the bridle on and I was able to leave but apart from that he did a very nice test. We are looking forward to tomorrow.”

Tim Price aboard Spartaco are in sixth on 29.1 and seventh with his team horse Bango on 29.4. Jonelle Price is the third team-member, and she sits in 41st on 35.4 aboard Grappa Nera. Tim also has Senza Fine in the class, with the combination in 31st on 33.5.

Therese Viklund (SWE) and Viscera lead the pack with their 27.4 penalty point effort with Fiona Harris (GBR) and Amazing in second on the same score – but a slightly lower percentage, and Sofia Sjoborg (SWE) and DHI Mighty Dwight third on 27.5. It is a very tightly compacted field with all the pressure on riders to remain on those dressage scores over the coming cross country and showjumping.

ESNZ high performance eventing manager Graeme Thom says he is pleased with the efforts of the team. “It is a very tight field score-wise and hopefully we can move higher in the standings with solid performances in the cross country phase,” he said. “We have only three combinations instead of a team size of four and thus cannot afford any mistakes. The course is inviting and the ground is in great shape.”

Jonelle and Grovine de Reve are mid field in the 24-strong CCI4*-L class, sitting on 32.6 penalty points with Tom McEwen (GBR) and No Excuse leading on 23.3.

In the CCI3*-S, James Avery is in eighth aboard Aloha on 29.1, and 16th on One of a Kind with their 30.8 penalty point effort. Tim and Happy Boy scored 36.7 to sit in 48th in the 73-strong field which is being led by Kazuma Tomoto (JAP) aboard Brookpark Vikenti on 25.7.

Tayla Mason and Centennial sit on 35.4 penalty points in 11th spot in the CCI3*-L class which has attracted 25 entries and is being led by Francis Whittington (GBR) aboard DHI Fiktor Nita on 30.5.

Sir Mark Todd and Cool Tide are the best of the Kiwis in the CCI2*-L class, in fourth spot on 26.1 penalty points with Amanda Goldsbury and Bridie in 22nd on 32.1 and Mark aboard Cool Reign in 24th on 33.3. Kevin McNab (AUS) and Ballycapple Whisper lead the 42 combinations on 24.1.


The horse details:
Grovine de Reve – owned by Therese Miller, Philip Hunt and Jo Preston-Hunt
Leonidas II – owned by Diane Brunsden, Peter Cattell and Sir Mark, Todd
Bango – owned by the Numero Uno Syndicate
Spartaco – owned by Tim Price
Senza Fine – owned by Therese Miller and Jo Preston-Hunt
Grappa Nera – owned by The Grape Syndicate
Centennial – owned by Sonya Mason, Sue Rutter and Tayla Mason
Happy Boy – owned by Susan Lamb and Therese Miller
One of a Kind – owned by Hazel Livesey
Aloha – owned by Hazel Livesey
Bridie – owned by Pat Wall
Cool Tide – owned by Di Brunsden and Peter Cattell
Cool Reign – owned by Di Brunsden, Peter Cattell and Sir Mark Todd

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