New Zealand eventers have finished agonisingly close to the podium in the CCIO4*-NC-S at the Concours Complet International D’Arville in Belgium.

The Kiwi team – comprising Muzi Pottinger aboard Good Timing, Samantha Lissington and Lord Seekonig, Dan Jocelyn with Blackthorn Cruise, and Lauren Innes aboard Global Fision M – were fourth in the Nations Cup. Germany led the team event from the front, finishing on 103.2 penalty points for the win, with hosts Belgium second on 103.5, France third on 112.3, and New Zealand fourth on 116.4.

For a moment, the Kiwis were prepped and ready to receive bronze when news filtered through a missed flag penalty given to the French had been overturned. However, ESNZ general manager of high Performance Jock Paget had nothing but praise for the team. “It was an influential day for sure,” said Jock. “There were particularly good performances from Samantha, Muzi and Dan. Lauren, for her first time in a team, did well to get home and put a score on the board.”

The remaining three riders had risen to the pressure to ensure they were home clear and fast if they wanted to be on the podium. “They all really stepped up.”

Lauren had been having a “great” round up until the last few combinations where she picked up a couple of 20s. “Those were uncharacteristic stops from that horse,” said Jock. “She did a good job to get him home.”

Conditions had been tough. “It was a tough enough track. Time was hard and it was physically pretty demanding on a hot day but Samantha, Muzi and Dan put in good performances when under plenty of pressure. They did what we asked them to do so it was really good.” It had been a great team experience for the week. “It has been a good opportunity for those guys to put themselves in the frame for Olympic selection.”

Samantha Lissington and Lord Seekonig was the best of the Kiwi team, finishing in 12th spot on 37.3, with Muzi Pottinger and Good Timing 17th on 38.9, Dan Jocelyn with Blackthorn Cruise 21st on 40.2, and Lauren Innes aboard Global Fision MF ending the competition on 87.7.

Individual James Avery made the top 10 with his 34.6 penalty point effort aboard MBF Connection with Ginny Thomasen and Gladstone finishing on 51.5, and Caroline Powell with CBI Aldo home in 74.8. The class was won by Julia Krajewski who with Nickel 21 led from the start and finished on a score of 27.1.

The cross country was certainly influential with just four combinations home clear and inside time. There were five combinations withdrawn before the test, five eliminations and five retirements.

Caroline Powell and Oakley Olive placed eighth in the CCI2*-S on a score of 33.7. The 96-strong class was won by Antonia Baumgart (GER) aboard Lagavulin 4 on 25.1. Again the cross country played a huge part with four retirements and nine eliminations.

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Good Timing – owned by The Volunteer Syndicate
Lord Seekonig (by Lord Fauntleroy, out of Seekonig who is by Carpalo) – owned by Sharon Honiss, Annabelle and Robin Greville Williams, and Brayden and Samantha Lissington
Blackthorn Cruise (by Vancouver, out of Ms Cruze who is by Cruising) – owned by Panda Christie and Dan Jocelyn
Global Fision M (by Flipper D’elle HN, out of Kantussa who is by Cantus) – owned by the Innes Family Syndicate
MBF Connection – owned by Hazel Liversey
Gladstone (by Der Senaat 111, out of Vanessa B who is by Phin-Phin) – owned by Elaine Butterworth, Anthony Quirk and Ginny Thomasen
CBI Aldo (by Goodluck VDL, out of KMS Eclipse who is by Ramon) – owned by Jo West, Serena Greenwell and Pat Melville-Evans
Oakley Olive (by Cevin Z, out of Sportsfield our Clare who is by Newmarket Venture) – owned by Jo West

By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ