Monica Spencer and Artist have finished seventh on debut in the CCI5*-L at the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event in the United States this morning.

They looked well on track for a clear showjumping round until the last two, adding eight jump and 1.2 time for a final tally of 41.9 penalty points. Joe Meyer and Harbin were clear jumping but also added 1.2 time for their 50.8 penalty point effort that saw them finish in 14th place. “We were so close,” said Monica. “I guess the course was just two jumps too long. It was tough out there – 100% it was the toughest and highest showjumping round we have ever done.”

Monica said it called for a lot of effort through the related line to the treble and then another related line. “I jumped in quite big over the green oxer and think I didn’t reset the balance for those last two jumps.” She is rapt with her Kiwi thoroughbred. “We are heading in the right direction with the jumping and getting stronger and stronger in that phase. Next time we will clear those two extra jumps. It is a bit of a tough pill to swallow though. He was trying so hard and then just touched that Liverpool and the last – it was so technical all the way round and he tried his heart out.” Last year Monica and Artist were seventh in the 5* at Maryland.

Joe was pleased with Harbin and is already looking forward to their next 5* together. “He jumped amazing today and was one of only five clear jumping rounds,” said Joe. “He felt fresh and great.”

ESNZ high performance general manager Jock Paget was full of praise for Monica and Artist. “They were amazing all week and attacked all three phases so professionally,” he said. “She goes about her business in a very good way – she is focused but calm. Both are improving very quickly. Some amazing horses had fences down today – it was tough.” He was chuffed to see Joe Meyer have a good weekend on an exciting little horse who was on debut at 5*.

Oliver Townend (GBR) nabbed another Kentucky title, winning with Cooley Rosalent on 31.8, with Tom McEwen (GBR) aboard JL Dublin slipping to second with a rail and time for 33.8, and Yasmin Ingham (GBR) on Banzai du Loir in third on 35.6. Only two of the remaining 23 combinations were clear and inside time in the final test, with three others clear but adding time.


Across the Atlantic, Tim Price and Jarillo were the best of the Kiwis at the Saumur Complet in France, placing fifth in the CCI4*-L on a score of 31.8 penalty points. James Avery and Dallas 13 placed eighth with their 33.2 effort, with Jonelle Price and Senor Crocodillo 14th on 41.5, and completing on 54.6 with McClaren.

Thirty-four of the original 45-strong field completed the three tests with Sebastien Cavaillon (FRA) and Elipso del la Vigne leading from the get-go to win on their 23.4 dressage score. Astier Nicolas (FRA) and Alertamalib’or were second on 27.9, with Jean Lou Bigot (FRA) aboard Utrillo du Halage third on 29.1.

ESNZ head coach Sam Griffiths said all three riders had shone. “All put in very solid performances,” said Sam. “One of the reasons we went to Saumur was because it had Pierre Le Goupil, the same cross course designer as the Paris Olympic Games.”


Artist (by Guillotine out of Maxamore who is by Volksraad) – owned by Monica and Andrew Spencer
Harbin (by Verglas out of Rainbow City who is by Rainbow Quest) – owned by John, Gay, Ruth and Joe Meyer and Theresa Foote)
Jarillo (by Dantos out of Fiorilla who is by Alicante) – owned by Lucy Allison, Frances Stead and James and Rachel Good
Senor Crocodillo (by Connor 48, out of Marni who is by Exorbitant XX) – owned by Alexander and Joseph Giannamore and Jonelle Price
McClaren (by Clarimo out of Toni I who is by Landjunge) – owned by David and Karie Thomson
Dallas 13 (by Dimaggio) – owned by David and Karie Thomson

By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Shannon Brinkman