New Zealand’s Big Day Out in Adelaide
New Zealand’s Big Day Out in Adelaide: 3 Kiwis finish in the top 10
Clarke Johnstone, Blair Richardson and Jenna Mahoney took three horses who had never completed a 4**** event and not only went up against some of the best horse and rider combinations in the world, they managed to beat them to place in the top 10 at a very challenging Adelaide CCI****.
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Photo Above: Jenna Mahoney From Clevedon New Zealand
“They are absolutely thrilled, and we are really excited about the future of eventing with horses and riders like these,” said Erik Duvander, Eventing Team Coach.
Clarke Johnstone and the young Orient Express finished as the best of the Kiwis, moving up from 9th place after cross-country to 6th place, taking one rail and adding three time penalties to finish on a final score of 93.10.
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“Clarke’s horse was very careful, but he jumped very big, which made things a bit tricky for Clarke,” said Erik.
Jenna Mahoney and Santos finished 8th, dropping one place after pulling two rails and adding two time penalties to end on a score of 94.6.
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“Jenna had a cracking round,” Erik said. “She had the second rail down, but got a move on and looked fantastic after that.”
Blair Richardson and Spend Up dropped from 5th place after the cross-country to 9th place, incurring 12 jumping penalties and 3 time penalties to finish a mere .3 behind Jenna on 94.9.
“Blair’s horse was a little unsettled in the ring, but he wanted to be careful and jumped well,” Erik said. “With a little more time invested, he’ll be a good show jumper.”
The Australians took the top five placings, with Stuart Tinney and Vettori jumping clear to win the competition on 65.8. Megan Jones finished 2nd and 3rd on Kirby Park Allofasudden and Kirby Park Irish Jester, respectively. Amanda Howell took 4th place with Koyuna Tora Bora, and Luke Jones and Soul fell to 5th place after taking two rails and incurring five time penalties.
The Australians also took the Trans Tasman competition for the third time since 1985 after their three remaining horses passed the Second Horse Inspection this morning.
“The Trans Tasman competition didn’t quite work out for us, but that was a bit of bad luck,” Erik said. “Heelan’s horse wasn’t quite right in the dressage, and then Clarke had to go out first for us around a very tough track. They removed a fence that was causing a lot of trouble shortly after his round, and I think that fence really shook his horse up, so that was unfortunate. But if you look at the remaining three riders, they had really good cross-country rounds on relatively inexperienced horses where world class horses were getting around with faults or not at all.”
Only 16 combinations completed the event, with the other 15 being eliminated or retiring throughout the three days. Despite not being able to compete, Erik reports that Heelan was a great team supporter and helped out behind the scenes in what can only be deemed very challenging conditions, with temperatures often rising to 40 degrees and above.
“There are pretty big smiles all around,” Erik said. “Coming into this competition against riders of this caliber, to say that we would have three riders finishing in the top 10 is not a result I would have expected. This is a great result for New Zealand, and a great result for the future of eventing.”
Congratulations to Clarke Johnstone, Jenna Mahoney and Blair Richardson, and to everyone else who helped out with their success in Adelaide.
To see the complete results, visit: http://www.australian3de.com.au/pages/results.html