ROSE A THORN AT KIHIKIHI>>

ROSE A THORN AT KIHIKIHI>>
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Joseph Waldron aboard Springvale All Black in full flight during the cross country. Photograph by Libby Law Photography

by Diana Dobson

Australia consolidated their lead in the Trans Tasman Senior Competition at the Kihikihi International Horse Trial today (Saturday), but not without some heart-stopping moments over a challenging John Nicholson-designed cross country.

Both New Zealand and Australia had a team-member each eliminated – Christine Bates (Australia) headed to hospital with concussion after a fall early in the course from her lovely horse Delago, while Simon Gordon (Karaka) and Simple Mitch came unstuck at the second water combination.

Joseph Waldron (New Zealand) and his stunning black thoroughbred Springvale All Black rode an impressive clear to pick up just 8.4 penalty points for time, while overnight leader Shane Rose (Australia) and Taurus were all class on their way to clear with 5.2 penalty points for time.

It may have been Rose's third time on the course, but he says there's no concession for familiarity.
“This is a course that is full on from the moment you leave that start box and it doesn't let up! That second to last fence is as big a fence as you will find anywhere in the world.”

Rose feels the Nicholson-designed course continues to be “the most intense” he has ever ridden.
“Taurus has been working really hard and this was a good opportunity to test him before a (London Olympic) selection in three weeks. This is certainly the biggest one day track in the world.... and we'll be back!”

Australian chef d'equipe Prue Barrett knew her team weren't turning up for an easy time. “These guys are trying to go to London so they knew they weren't here to jump a pre-novice track – they've delivered and so has John.”

She had plenty of praise for team-member Katja Weimann aboard BP Gallantry who went not long after seeing Bates' fall. “Katja produced a rock solid performance after seeing Christine become a lawn dart. ”Weimann hit a jump very hard early in the course, and went on to pull off some magic going through the three skinny jumps at the second water combination.

Barrett said the course did not lend itself to being anything but deadly accurate riding into every one of the 36 jumps.

She was rapt with Rose's efforts. “He's pretty familiar with the track and has a lot of confidence in John's courses – it's starting to be a home event for him and as such gives him a real air of confidence.”

Kiwi chef d'equipe Jean Johnstone was proud of her team's efforts. “It was fantastic to see Joe (Waldron) on his first big outing for New Zealand having such a great round. It was a testing course as both teams discovered... but the competition isn't over yet.”

Australian-based Waldron, whose two grandmothers and grandfather travelled from Otago to watch him compete, was ecstatic. “That course was huge!” He remembers watching Olympian Matthew Grayling win the Kihikihi event aboard Revo in 2004, never thinking for a moment he would be lining up in the same event eight years later.

Donna Smith (Te Kauwhata) and Henton Executive missed out on being named in the team, but showed her experience in steering her green horse into third spot with a great clear round.

There was a fair bit of carnage on the three star course, with four eliminated, two retired and no-one clear inside time. Four went clear but had time faults, with Rose the best performed with only 5.2 penalties.

Samantha Felton (Matangi) and Ricker Ridge Pico Boo continued their hot form of recent months, and lead the Bayleys CIC** over Virginia Thompson (Auckland) on Ashbury Pee Cee. Both are on New Zealand's trans Tasman young rider squad.

The Kihikihi event culminates with the showjumping phase across all grades tomorrow (Sunday).

Results -

Waipa Home of Champions CIC***, incorporating the Trans Tasman Senior Competition: Shane Rose (Aus) Taurus dressage 47.6, cross country 0, time 5.2, total 52.8, 1; Joseph Waldron (New Zealand) Sprinvale All Black 61.8, 0, 8.4, 70.2, 2; Donna Smith (Te Kauwhata) Henton Executive 66, 0, 22, 88, 3; Natalie Blundell (Aus) Algebra 54, 20, 14.8, 88.8, 4; Dannie Lodder (Auckland) Moochi 66.2, 0, 23.2, 89.4, 5; Annabel Wigley (New Zealand) NRM Enzo 63.4, 20, 13.2, 96.6, 6.

Trans Tasman Senior Teams Competition: Australia – Natalie Blundell, Algebra 88.8; Katja Weimann, BP Gallantry 98.2; Shane Rose, Taurus 52.8; Christine Bates, Delago eliminated; team total 239.8, 1.
New Zealand – Joseph Waldron, Springvale All Black 70.2; Annabel Wigley, NRM Enzo 96.9; Christen Hayde, Tandarra Sweet As 114.4; Simon Gordon, Simply Mitch eliminated; team total 281.2, 2.

Bayleys CIC**: Samantha Felton (Matangi) Ricker Ridge Pico Boo 53.6, 0, 0, 53.6, 1; Virginia Thompson (Henderson) Ashbury Pee Cee 54.7, 0, 1.2, 55.9, 2; Juliet Wood (Whangarei) Bold Trader 58.6, 0, 0, 58.6, 3; Angela Lloyd (Hunua) Song 57.2, 0, 2, 59.2, 4; Lauren Currie (Wellington) Wishful Thinking 60.6, 0, 0, 60.6, 5; Benjamin Bateman (Palmerston North) Fiber Fresh Facade 60.8, 0, 0, 60.8, 6.

ends



Date Added: Friday, 6th April 2012


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