Gaylene Lennard and Jax Johnson held onto their winning streak – just! – in the Dunstan Horsefeeds FEI Grand Prix Special 2022 CDI, with a quality test although a few errors cost them precious marks which was reflected in the final score. They finished on 64.383, tied with Vanessa Way and NSC Timbermill Prequel, but taking the win on a countback. “Thanks DNZ and Dunstan Horsefeeds – clearly we need these events because we are all a bit rusty!” Gaylene said in her championship speech. “Thank you so much for putting this event on for us.”
Lennard now has the first of the two FEI MER qualifying scores she needs to be eligible for Denmark. With no further opportunities to obtain the second score in NZ, her next step will be deciding whether to fly across the Tasman to compete at the Sydney CDI.
A night of constant rain produced another drizzly grey dawn for Taupo. This fortunately eased to showers just after daybreak accompanied by a brisk southwesterly to start drying everything out and made the outdoor warmup much more pleasant!
Just two combinations lined up for the Dressage Wellington FEI Inter B 2022 CDN. Liz Hutson and Hapsburg PSH were first in, followed by Lorraine Ward-Smith (Oamaru) and Fernlea Diamond Day who took the win and claimed the Medium Tour Championship rug.
The Young Rider Championship also went to the South Island after a quality performance from Meg Johnston (Geraldine) and BL About Time in the Aotearoa Gaming Trust FEI Young Rider Team Test 2022 CDI-Y. They posted 67.324 for the win, awarding them the Young Rider title with Ben Weir and NPE Del Rico going into reserve.
It turned out to be two from two for Morgan Abel-Pattinson and Pioneer North East with a second win today in the CW Equestrian FEI Pony Individual Test 2022 CDN. This earned them the Pony Championship, and hot on their heels for reserve was Georgia Mullins with her smart bay Kingslea Busy Bee.
Grand Prix prizegiving also saw the official retirement of Raukura Satori MH (by De Niro, bred by Matthews Hanoverians), ridden by William Millar who owns him together with Brett Carter and Rosemary Kendall. The pair made their Grand Prix debut in 2014 (Millar having trained the horse all the way up the levels) and have remained a firm crowd favourite, especially with their musical freestyle performances. In 2020 they were Reserve Champions at HOY and Nationals, and just last year recorded a personal best at Auckland Manukau Dressage Champs with 71% in the Grand Prix.
Over in the Small Tour it was a clean sweep for Whanganui’s Mandy Littlejohn and Dolce Vita RB, winning the River Park Farm FEI Inter I 2022 CDN with a harmonious, flowing and accurate test for 66.618 and the Championship rug. Renee Etherington went into reserve with BL All By Chance.
Full Dressage 4 Denmark show coverage and stories in next month’s edition of the Dressage NZ Bulletin magazine.