Two Kiwis have finished in the top 10 of the hotly-contested CCI4*-L at the SsangYong Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials overnight.

Andrew Nicholson and As Is placed fifth with Tim Price and Falco IV ninth. Andrew and As Is were 33rd after their 31.3 penalty point dressage effort, rose to 11th after coming home clear and inside time in the cross country, and added just 0.8 time penalties in the showjumping to end the class on 32.1. The multi-Olympian was full of praise for the Spanish-bred gelding.

“He is amazing for an eight-year-old,” he said. “I’ve never had one like him before. He’s so settled in his temperament as well as talented. I’m lucky to have him.”

Tim and Falco had also moved steadily up the leaderboard. They were in 24th after their 29.2 penalty point dressage, added four time penalties in the cross country to rise to 17th and were all clear today to secure ninth place on 33.2.

Other Kiwis in the class were Jesse Campbell aboard Amsterdam II who finished on 78.8 and Andrew aboard Andrea BT4. The class was won by the searing hot Piggy French (GBR) aboard Brookfield Inocent on her dressage score of 25.4. Piggy was also third aboard Castletown Clover. Piggy has this season won Badminton, was second at Burghley and a member of Britain’s silver medal-winning team at the European Championships.

Fifty-seven of the 87 on the initial start list completed the event. Clear rounds inside time were hard to come by in the showjumping, with just eight combinations adding nothing to their tallies. Fourteen were clear but added time penalties.

In the CCI4*-S for eight and nine-year-olds, Tim Price and Senza Fine were the best of the Kiwis in 16th place. They were in 15th after their 33 penalty point dressage, added 0.8 time penalties to move to 10th in the showjumping and a further 12 time in the cross country to finish on 45.8.

Samantha Lissington and Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ placed 29th with 56.6 – their 33.8 dressage score saw them in 25th, they added four in the showjumping to move to 29th and then 18.8 time in the cross country for their final mark. Dan Jocelyn and Florencina R placed 49th on 83.1.

Today’s cross country proved influential, with just two combinations coming home clear and inside time including winner Chris Burton (AUS) aboard Clever Louis who finished on his dressage score of 29.7.


The horse detail:
Falco IV – owned by Sue Benson
Amsterdam II – owned by Craig Campbell
As Is – owned by Deborah Sellar and Anna Weir
Andrea BT4 – owned by Andrew Nicholson
Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ – owned by Pip McCarroll and Samantha Lissington
Florencina R – owned by Philip Hunt, Jo Preston-Hunt and Dan Jocelyn

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