In Charlotte Penny’s own words, “It was a good day at the office” when she not only won the Reyna Equestrian National Young Rider One-day Eventing Championship on Festival at the Dunstan Fiber Fresh National Equestrian Centre over the weekend, but was also runner-up on SD Amourosi.
Charlotte held fourth and third place respectively after the dressage phase on Friday, but was the only rider to produce clear showjumping rounds inside the time, with both horses, to hold the top two spots overnight.
She also jumped clear across country with both horses on Saturday, but incurred 4 time penalties with SD Amourosi giving the title to his stable mate Festival. However 19 year old Charlotte is young enough to give SD Amourosi his chance to have his name engraved on the Charisma Trophy next year or the year after.
Third place went to Jasmyne Speake, Cambridge, riding Pioneer Jeepers Creepers, improving from sixth after the dressage and showjumping, in which she had a rail down, but finishing with a clean sheet on the cross-country.
Brittany Fowler, Matangi, finished fourth on Game Keeper, moving up one spot from their dressage standing despite having two showjumping rails down, thanks to a clear cross-country round. Kelli Frewin, Hastings, who led after the dressage on Phoenician Zatalk, had two showjumping rails down, and withdrew prior to the cross-country.
This Young Rider Championship was run in conjunction with the Portage Cars CCI3*-S, but it was a clean sweep by them taking the top four spots of the twelve strong class.
The only senior rider to feature was former international Lizzie Green who was second after the dressage on Comanche II, but retired on cross-country after incurring twenty jump penalties at the angled combination after the bank.
All four Young Riders to feature are members of the Talent ID squad, and Charlotte acknowledged the training she has received, saying “It is an awesome thing to be part of, I’m really lucky,” adding, “It is so beneficial to be based with a professional rider, I am so grateful to Monica (Spencer),” with whom she has been based this year.
The Junior Rider title went to the only Junior Rider in the API Ltd CCI2*-S class, Catriona Lamb riding Oskars Gold, who held fourth position of the eight starters after the dressage and a clear showjumping round, but incurred 20 jumping penalties on cross-country plus 22.8 time penalties, to finish sixth overall.
Campbell Draper’s cross-country courses provided a fitting challenge for these championship classes, and rode well, if ridden well. The weather was hot and humid, and the going hard and fast, producing top performances from those properly prepared for the event.
Sunday was another day however, overnight rain preceding a cold change. The showjumping phase of the Coast NZ CCI2*-L, with just 6 of the 9 starters still standing, took place prior to the worst of the weather.
Phillipa Howells tracks had challenged competitors throughout, and again clear rounds were scarce, but Clarke Johnstone won on Domasco despite a rail down. He also won the Quality Print Ltd CCN3*+-S on Menlo Park, leading from go to whoa, as he did with Domasco.
Entries were undoubtedly affected by the Auckland border closure, but the lower level classes were well supported, and all riders were most appreciative of the opportunity to compete at the various levels available. Huge thanks must go to Denise Rushbrook and her team who made this event happen despite the trials and tribulations of the Covid lockdown and traffic light requirements.