Muzi Pottinger didn’t quite get the dream finish she wanted with Just Kidding in the CCI5*-L at the Luhmuhlen International Horse Trials but she says their 19th place finish takes nothing away from her stella little horse. “Sadly it wasn’t our day today,” she said. “We can’t take away from him how he has performed over the previous two days.”

The sole Kiwi combo in the top-ranking event started with a 30.7 penalty point dressage score to sit in 12th spot but fairly flew up the leaderboard to sixth thanks to a brilliant clear cross country, picking up just 0.4 time to end the second phase on 31.1.  “Words can’t put into perspective just how proud I am of that little horse,” she said. “He just is so blimmin’ honest, and so genuine. He loves his job and has a big heart. He was just the best partner out there.”

While it had been a little hairy early on in the course but Muzi soon got things back on track. “As soon as I jumped a couple of combinations he just pinned his ears back and he looked for the flags and I just couldn’t really have asked for more from him.” He had been “phenomenal” at some of the tough combinations and the water. “The one stride in the main arena I think was the longest one stride I have ever walked in my life and he grew some wings and was amazing. I am absolutely over the moon with him.”

Just 12 of the 38-strong field came home clear and inside time, with two eliminations and seven retirements whittling the field to 29. The Jumping test was a little more challenging with a number of rails and time penalties to finish on 52.7 penalty points. ”It is a three-phase sport and that is why it is so challenging and frustrating all at the same time but he will be back to fight another day and hopefully be able to do a better job next time,” said Muzi.

Twenty-nine of the original 41 starters completed all three phases. World no.1, Tim Price, the only other Kiwi in the field, withdrew Happy Boy before the event started due to the horse not being 100%.

The event was won by Laura Collett (GBR) and London 52 who led from the get-go, finishing on their 20.3 penalty point dressage score. Kitty King (GBR) and Vendredi Biats were second on 27.2 , with Yasmin Ingham (GBR) aboard Rehy DJ third on 27.9.


The horse details;
Just Kidding (New Zealand thoroughbred by Fusaichi Pegasus out of Gypsy Princess who is by Sadler’s Wells) – owned by The Pottinger Family

By Diana Dobson – high performance media liaison
Photos: Libby Law ESNZ