Diane Gilder took top honours with her Australian thoroughbred Your Attorney at the Puhinui Horse Trials over the weekend, winning the Honda CCI4*-S (previously CIC3*) in fine style despite the demands of being event secretary for the big occasion.
Gilder led after the dressage on Saturday, scoring 31.6 penalties with Your Attorney, but had a rail down in the showjumping phase to drop to third overnight. However they were the only combination to complete the cross-country inside the optimum time to regain top spot in this ESNZ Eventing Super League class on a score of 35.6 penalties.
Former international Donna Edwards-Smith moved up from seventh after the dressage with DSE Cluny to take second place after showjumping clear and completing the cross-country with 3.2 time penalties, for a final score of 41.9 penalties.
Samantha Lissington (nee Felton) was joint overnight leader on Ricker Ridge Escada (Tim Price’s ride at the Land Rover Horse of the Year), scoring 34.6 for fourth place in the dressage, and showjumping clear, but 10.8 cross-country time penalties saw them finish third overall on 45.4 penalties.
Lissington had four rides in this top class, comprising a third of the twelve starters, finishing sixth and eighth respectively with Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ and Ricker Ridge Rui. She was eliminated for missing a fence in the showjumping with her fourth entry, Ricker Ridge Divine Right (Jonelle Price’s ride at Hastings).
Jackson Bovill was the other overnight leader with Visionnaire, having been third after the dressage and incurring 0.8 of a time penalty in the showjumping, but 16 cross-country time penalties saw them finish fifth overall. Beth Wilson climbed dramatically from eleventh after the dressage on Alto et Audax to finish fourth after adding only 5.6 cross-country time penalties to their score.
The New Zealand Young Rider and Junior Rider national titles were contested at this event, in conjunction with the Auckland Council CCI3*-S (previously CIC2*) and the Veterinary Associates CCI2*-S (previously CIC1*) classes respectively.
Vicky Browne-Cole, sixth of thirty-one competitors in the CCI3*-S on Cutting Edge, was the best placed Young Rider to win the highly prized Charisma Trophy, while Jasmyne Speake was fourth in the CCI2*-S on DSE Ratmansky to win the Hoffman Trophy.
Browne-Cole, a member of the New Zealand Young Rider Oceania team to Australia in 2017 riding Eli, moves into contention in the year long Mitavite Young Rider series now with Cutting Edge.
ESNZ EVENTING SUPER LEAGUE (standings after seven events)
Samantha Lissington (Matangi), Ricker Ridge Rui, 89 pts; Donna Edwards-Smith (Te Kauwhata), DSE Cluny, 81 pts; Amanda Pottinger (Havelock Nth), Just Kidding, 54 pts; Lissington, Ricker Ridge Divine Right, 51 pts; Madison Crowe (Matangi), Waitangi Pinterest, 48 pts; Diane Gilder (Clevedon), Your Attorney, 44 pts.