New Zealand jumpers Richard Gardner, Daniel Meech and Bruce Goodin have placed 11th in the CSIO3* Nations Cup in Prague.
Daniel and Donjon d’Asschaut were the best of the Kiwis going clear in the opener, with Richard and Calisto 5 picking up four and Bruce with Backatorps Danny V on eight faults.
Daniel was chuffed with his horse. “Donjon was great today,” he said. “He really fought for his clear round. It was his first Nations Cup so I am rapt that he came through it so well. It was a great team effort and we nearly got to the second round – even with only three riders. I am really looking forward to Sunday’s Grand Prix.”
Richard was very pleased with Calisto. “I felt we were a bit unlucky today,” he said. “I had one situation going into the combination when we were a bit too close. He really tried his heart out but just had the back rail going in but jumped the rest of the course really good.” He felt the team would have been in the top four or five if they had managed to get through to the second round. “But that is just the way it goes. It was good to get together again and do something and see where we are at and to plan a few things from here. There is only three of us at the moment who can do that level – the others have to work a bit before they are ready.”
Richard and Calisto have certainly been enjoying a purple patch of late. “My horse is jumping really good at the moment. Hopefully we can keep him up at that level and keep improving. When you have a bit of success like that, things get easier and you get more confident and start riding better. It is nice at the moment – everything is going well.”
Bruce was really disappointed to ha
ve two “cheap” rails. “If we had had only one down or gone clear we would have come back for the second round,” said Bruce. “It wasn’t that he jumped bad but he just wasn’t fighting for it. It was a good course and certainly technical enough.”
The Netherlands won the 13-strong Nations Cup class after a jump-off against the Czech Republic who had to settle for second after picking up four faults. The two teams had finished the two rounds on 12 faults apiece. Sweden were third on 16 penalties.
Both Daniel and Richard have qualified for Sunday’s Grand Prix with Bruce and Danny set to start in the 1.5m class tomorrow.
“I have always had real respect for the Grand Prix here,” said Richard. “It was always very big and massive and just very technical – difficult! This year, with things going well in general, I think we might be in with a good chance.”
Earlier in the show, Richard and Calisto 5 placed fifth in the Diamond Tour 1.45m (GP qualifier) with a clear round in 67.07 seconds. The 66-strong class was won by Skye Morssinkhof (NED) aboard G-Vingino-Blue with a 65.44-second round.
THE HORSE DETAILS:
Backatorps Danny V – owned by Backatorp Ryder AB, and Bruce and Ulrika Goodin
Boateng 9 – owned by Pia Forssell and Goodin Sporthorses AB
Diarthago SN – owned by Hakansson Hast AB and Goodin Sporthorses AB
Hi-5 – owned by Johnson Horses GmbH
Donjon D’Asschaut – owned by Darragh McCarthy and Ian O’Grady
Calisto 5 – owned by Gestut Jennissen, Gut Nechen Agrar GmbH and Richard Gardner
Cromwell 32 – owned by Gestut Jennissen, Gut Nechen Agrar GmbH and Richard Gardner
Carl Otto 5 – owned by Gestut Jennissen, Gut Nechen Agrar GmbH
Ippolito – owned by Gestut Jennissen, Gut Nechen Agrar GmbH
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison