By Diana Dobson

It was Aussie all the way on the final day of the Waipa Home of Champions CIC*** at the Kihikihi International Horse Trial today (Sunday).
Olympian Shane Rose (Aus) aboard Taurus (right) cruised to individual victory, with his team also winning the Senior Trans Tasman Teams Competition for the first time ever on New Zealand soil.
Best performed of the Kiwis was the Australian based Joseph Waldron on Springvale All Black who finished second, with individual Donna Smith (Te Kauwhata) and Henton Executive in fourth spot.
Australian team-member Natalie Blundell on the spunky little grey Algebra was third.
A humble victor, Rose paid tribute to his hosts. It was his fourth time at the event, but this time he particularly wanted to catch the eyes of the London selectors. He and groom Michelle Robson also picked up the prize for the best presented horse.
Taurus (owned by Johnnie Walker) was now three wins for three outings this season, and would head to the Adelaide 4* on a high.
“The best way to perform as a team is to do well as an individual,” he said.
Ten started the 3* showjumping phase, with just Australians Katja Weimann and Blundell jumping clear rounds inside time over the Gerrit Beker-designed course. Waldron and Rose both went clear but picked up time faults.
Waldron was very excited by his second placed efforts.
“It's just awesome,” he said of his former race horse. “The best thing is that it proves your horse power and makes you realise whether you've got a decent horse or not. He's a pretty special horse.”
New Zealand team coach and advisor Tinks Pottinger felt her team had done well, especially considering their experience.
“It's been a great learning opportunity for our four riders who have now earned their first New Zealand caps,” she said. “It's good for them to see where they need to be to compete against the likes of this Australian team.”
She was particularly pleased with Joseph Waldron.
“He's a humble and modest athlete with a good future in the sport.”
Australian chef d'equipe Prue Barrett said three clears from her three riders in the showjumping phase was a dream for any chef.
“It's been a great here – it's a truly international event and I don't think you can really believe just how big that cross country is until you walk it!”
Juliet Wood and Bold Trader had the perfect preparation for their upcoming trip to the UK with a classy win in the Bayleys CIC**.
The 26-year-old Whangarei rider went into the showjumping phase in third spot behind Virginia Thompson (Auckland) on Ashbury Pee Cee and Samantha Felton (Matangi) on Ricker Ridge Pico Boo.
Ahead of her there had been just three clear rounds, but at the business end of the 19-strong class the competition was hotting up.
Wood and her former race horse jumped a lovely clear and then faced a few anxious moments as they waited for Thompson and Felton to finish.
Thompson was unlucky to take the first rail, but left everything else up, and finished on 59.9 penalty points. Last to go was overnight leader Felton who had a stop and a rail to slide back in the placings and finish on 63.6.
Wood was rapt with her 11-year-old 15.2hh horse who she got off the track at eight years old.
“He's not huge but he's got a big heart and tries his hardest every time. He loves it,” she said. “He thinks he's still racing most of the time out there!”
The open and quite large showjumping course suited him well too.
The win was Wood's best to date, and the combination now head to the UK at the end of the month in good spirits, and are looking forward to hopefully starting in the prestigious CIC3* at Blenheim in September.
The Newstalk ZB Fools and Horses Fun Run was won – in a dead heat – by teenage twins Kody and Shaun Boyce and Callum McFarlane, who covered the 18 jumps and four kilometres in 12 minutes and 38 seconds.

Results -

Waipa Home of Champions CIC***, incorporating the Senior Trans Tasman Teams Competition: Shane Rose (Aus) Taurus 53.8 penalty points 1, Joseph Waldron (New Zealand) Springvale All Black 74.2 2, Natalia Blundell (Aus) Algebra 88.8 3, Donna Smith (Te Kauwhata) Henton Executive 92 4, Dannie Lodder (Auckland) Moochi 97.4 5, Katja Weimann (Aus) BP Gallantry 98.2 6.

Senior Trans Tasman Competition: Australia 240.8 1, New Zealand 306.2 2.

Bayleys CIC**: Juliet Wood (Whangarei) Bold Trader 58.6 penalty points 1, Virginia Thompson (Auckland) Ashbury Pee Cee 59.9 2, Kristy Smyth (Rotorua) Skibbereen 61.7 3, Angela Lloyd (Hunua) Song 63.2 4, Samantha Felton (Matangi) Ricker Ridge Pico Boo 63.6 5, Tom Lane (Auckland) At The Limit 72 6.

Pioneer Brand Seeds Novice A: Nicoli Fife (Waikato) Charlton Veeza 1.
Pioneer Brand Seeds Novice B: Tom Lane (Auckland) Kakariki 1.
Open Novice: Chelsey Hawthorn (Waikato) Pioneer Zuess 1.
Annandale Pre Novice A: Clarke Johnstone (Otago) Vincent 1.
Bateson Trailers Pre Novice B: Louise Leonard (Pukekohe) Arctic Avalanche 1.
Farmlands Pre Novice C: Louise Mulholland (Waikato) Mr McTaggart 1.
Goldpine Barns Pre Novice D: Katie Dewar (Auckland) Cordial 1.


Date Added: Sunday, 8th April 2012