New Zealand eventers are second and third in the CCI5*-L after an influential day of cross country at the Mitsubishi Motors Australian 3 Day Event in Adelaide.
The 2018 bridesmaid Amanda Pottinger and Just Kidding were one of just two combinations in the 19-strong field to come home clear and inside time to sit in second spot on their dressage score of 34.1 penalty points. In third is Diane Gilder who added just 5.2 time penalties to end the day on 38.6. Leading the pack is Hazel Shannon aboard Willingapark Clifford who have twice won this prestigious event. They sit on 30.7 penalty points meaning less than a single rail between them and Amanda in the showjumping tomorrow.
Bundy Philpot and Tresca NZPH were the trailblazers for the New Zealanders, coming home clear with 7.2 time penalties to finish the day in sixth place on 42.9 with Hayley Frielick and Class Action LP in ninth on 52. All of the New Zealand riders moved up the leaderboard on the back of their impressive cross country riding today.
Three combinations were eliminated on the cross country including overnight leader Emma Bishop and CP Issey Miyake.
ESNZ performance leader Jock Paget had plenty of praise for all the Kiwi combinations. “There was some awesome riding today,” said Jock. “They were all very determined and skilful in their efforts.”
He tipped his hat to Bundy who last year had ridden the cross country so brilliantly until a hiccup at the end. “Major credit to her,” said Jock. “She certainly knows the ups and downs of the sport. She had a rough time here last year and came back strongly. A lot could have been excused for just wanting to get around but instead she went up a gear and made it look easy. She showed a huge amount of bravery and gave everyone a lot of confidence.”
Bundy was very happy to have “laid a few ghosts to rest”. “I couldn’t be more proud of my horse who is a large part of my small family,” she said. “I am super grateful for all the support from everyone here and at home, and especially the horse health team.”
Amanda was next out and was simply “her own champion”, according to Jock. “She came out and was very tight on all her lines. She was slick, efficient and so smooth. The horse was very responsive and confident and she just pressed all the buttons at exactly the right time. It was a masterclass on how to make time without wasting your horse.”
Amanda was over the moon. “I could not be prouder of the little guy,” said the Havelock North horsewoman. “He was virtually foot perfect everywhere and even when I got tipped forward at the water and had no distance, he found a way to get between the flags and never doubted himself for a second. He is a true little champion in that phase.”
Diane had also been super impressive to Jock. “She came out and looked like she was having a ball,” said Jock. “She rode like a champ. They are a cool combo to watch.”
Hayley was rapt with Class Action LP. “He was just phenomenal,” she said. “I am over the moon with him.”
Madison Crowe and Waitangi Pinterest added time penalties to their tally to drop to third in the CCI4*-S, ending the day on 38.1 penalty points. “She jumped amazing today,” said Madison. “It was a shame I wasn’t a little faster. I am so pleased with her though – bring on tomorrow.”
Andrew Cooper and Riverbreeze came home clear and inside time to move from seventh to first on a score of 34.3. Just 11 horses remain in contention.
In the CCI3*-L, Hayley Frielick and Dunedin the Brave remain on their dressage score of 37 and have moved from 18th to ninth place. Aboard her other mount, Dunedin Black Watch, Hayley added both time and jump penalties to end the day on 67.7 but still moved up the leaderboard from 38th to 29th.
“Dunedin the Brave felt like he cruised around,” said Hayley. “Dunedin Black Watch was a bit taken by surprise with the crowds but after that first hiccup felt fantastic.”
Amalia Rowley and Mexico II sit on 129.2 penalty points. Just 35 remain in contention, with two retirements and eight eliminations during the cross country. There has been a bit of a shuffle of the leaderboard with Gemma Tinney and Diablo moving from third to take the lead on 29.6. Overnight leader Tim Boland and Menlo Park slipped to 15th spot after picking up 13.6 time penalties.
ESNZ high performance eventing manager Graeme Thom said it was a great day for New Zealand. “Our riders all performed very well and the horses have come out of it looking well,” he said.
Horses will face a second horse inspection in the morning before the showjumping.
Tresca – owned by Bundy Philpott
Just Kidding – owned by the Pottinger Family
Your Attorney – owned by Diane Gilder
Class Action FP – owned by Hayley Frielick
Waitangi Pinterest – owned by the Crowe Family
Dunedin the Brave – owned by Kathryn Robertson
Dunedin Black Watch – owned by Kathryn Robertson
Mexico II – owned by the Rowley Family
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ