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Puhinui Three Day Event Attracts World Champion

This weekend’s Puhinui International Three Day event has attracted a top field of competitors from all over New Zealand. Horses and riders arrive Thursday for a preliminary inspection and settle into their new surroundings for the weekend. Their riders will get a first look at the Ewan Kellett (Australia) designed cross country courses which they will be jumping on Saturday. But first there’s the dressage phase on Friday. This year’s event has been focussed on the International classes – 1*, 2*, 3* and 4*, with the up-and-coming riders being invited to participate in a new competition called the Eventers Challenge over the weekend.

The Auckland Council 4* class has attracted a small but highly talented field of 12 riders with Donna Edwards-Smith having a strong hand with 4 horses entered. Olympian Clarke Johnstone, fresh from finishing second last weekend in Australia and gaining his Tokyo 2020 qualification, has two horses entered here, but could one of the young talents emerge to give these two seasoned campaigners a run for their money? In the Gilmours 3* class 26 combinations will tackle the weekend while the Veterinary Associates 2* class has 34 entries including Olympian Jock Paget patiently bringing on his young horse Bing Bong – they’ll be the combination to beat! Forty-one starters will come before the dressage judges in the Thompson Electrical 1* class where both Paget and Johnstone will be competing on new horses.

The weekend is a great opportunity for emerging talent to test themselves against the best of New Zealand’s Olympic riders based at home, and provides a talent and horse spotting opportunity for those looking for the next Sir Mark Todd. World Champion Ros Canter will no doubt also be looking possible for a contender to defend her title at the next Eventing World Championships which will be held in Italy in 3 years’ time.

On Friday the Auckland Secondary and Intermediate Schools Eventers Challenge takes place where 50 of our younger riders will compete in two rounds over a course of 95cm in the afternoon or 80cm in the morning.

© Scoop Media

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