Clarke’s riding high at Puhinui
Clarke Johnstone’s on track to win his second Puhinui CCI4* in a row, having stormed around clear and seven seconds under time on cross-country today, with his super Aces High. Tich Massey’s big, bold track jumped extremely well overall, but caught out dressage leader Muzi Pottinger, who retired Just Kidding after a slip-off at the […]
Clarke’s riding high at Puhinui
After a near-perfect cross-country day at the Puhinui International Three-day Event, Clarke Johnstone's three rides are sitting first, second and second. Images by Libby Law
Clarke Johnstone’s on track to win his second Puhinui CCI4* in a row, having stormed around clear and seven seconds under time on cross-country today, with his super Aces High.
Tich Massey’s big, bold track jumped extremely well overall, but caught out dressage leader Muzi Pottinger, who retired Just Kidding after a slip-off at the downhill combination at fence nine.
Monica Oakley’s Artist, on his first long format event at Advanced level, looked confident and professional on cross-country; they were six seconds under the time and have moved up to second place, just a couple of penalties behind Clarke.
Matthew Grayling’s double clear with Trudeau have shifted them from fifth to third, while Madison Crowe collected 4.8 time faults with Waitangi Pinterest, and have dropped from third to fourth place.
Former Puhinui winners Bundy Philpott and Tresca NZPH were slightly over the time but improved from seventh to fifth, and Abby Long was the big mover, up from 15th after dressage on Belmont Holy Smoke to sixth, with a fast clear.
The Prestige Equestrian CCI3* track was a big challenge for the 28-strong field, with only three horses coming home clear and under time.
Two of these were ridden by Abby Long; and so Cruising Guy and Henton Audacious have moved up significantly, now sitting second and sixth respectively.
But the lead has been taken by Angela Lloyd and her very experienced mare Lyrical; the pair were fifth after dressage but their impressive round, three seconds under the time, have catapulted them to the top of the scoreboard.
Dressage leaders Jock Paget and Bing Bong had 4.8 time faults to drop to third, while Bundy Philpott and Henton First Lady had 2.8 time faults to climb up to fourth.
In the Young Rider championship, held as part of this class, the leading rider Alena Dorotich withdrew Donner XS after a fall in the warm-up; the best-placed Young Rider is now Rosa Millar and DSE Mister, who are 12th overall.
The SsangYong CCI2* class is still firmly in the hands of Vicky Browne-Cole and the super thoroughbred Comanche II (owned by Lizzie Green). The pair were both clear and 20 seconds under time, to hold a two penalty margin over second-placed Clarke Johnstone and Watermill Hadley. Twenty-six of the 34 two-star contenders came home clear and only one of those had time faults; a couple of them were so fast that they were more than a minute under the optimal time.
Last year’s winners, Ella Morshuis and World Famous, added no penalties to their third-placed dressage score, and are still leading the Junior Rider championship.
The two divisions at CCN1* level made short work of their cross-country track, again with the majority home clear and under time. Division A has a new leader though, as Maddy Crowe and Prestige Springs, who were first after dressage, had an unscheduled dismount in the water jump.
The class is now led by Megan Finlayson and Robbie Robinson, with Clarke Johnstone second on Domasco.
Bridie Quigley is still leading Division B, with Ricker Ridge Riley; the top three places are unchanged in this class.
In the CCN95cm classes, the winning riders are Taylor Maxwell on Methuselah, and Dannie Lodder with Kingsguard.