The Kiwi Arena Rakes  Dressage Premier League got underway with the Oro Equestrian Bay of Plenty Championships at Taupo and the Syncroflex Marlborough Championships in Blenheim

It was an exciting day at Taupo despite the smaller Covid reduced fields with the Intermediate II attracting four new combinations. It was a winning debut for Te Aroha’s Gaylene Lennard and Jax Johnson at this level. Sadly her biggest supporter , her Mum Betty Lennard could not be there in support. “I’m here on my own, mums in hospital and my groom lives in Auckland so it’s just me, anyway so happy with the win, first time in my life I have ever ridden that test. Jax felt super, listening to me all the way, we had a little blip in the one times (sack the rider), otherwise he felt amazing, Never did I think it would happen first time in this level with Jax”. The result was made even more creditable as Gaylene has only ever ridden two Grand Prix tests before on her previous horse Donzello.

Vanessa Way lined up two in the class taking second with NSC Andreas and third on the nine year old NSC Timbermill Prequel (photo shown) Chelsea Callaghan and Sisters II Etta J were a  close fourth in their first ever  Int II. It was possibly a day Cooper Oborn would prefer not to remember with the experienced Aphrodite, losing his way in the test resulting in Elimination. 

Jax Johnson                               Gaylene Lennard                    71.61       1

NSC Andreas                              Vanessa Way                          70.00    2

NSC Timbermill Prequel        Vanessa Way                          67.94     3

Sisters II Etta J                           Chelsea Callaghan                67.13      4

Windermere Johanson W     Toni Louisson                         59.19      5

Meanwhile in Marlborough the Zilco Grand Prix Freestyle attracted three entries with local rider Diane Wallace taking top honours. Second and third placegetters travelled big distances from Canterbury and Southland to attend 

Profile                                  Diane Wallace        62.4         1

Westford Lanciano         Lauren Haig            61.138      2

New World Finesse         Fiona Sharp             61.075     3

The Marlborough organisers had a curve ball thrown at them with the news of the first positive Delta case recorded today in Blenheim, but Anna Gale and her team had done their homework well and had all necessary Covid plans securely in place. 

Full results from both events at