Just Kidding Back at Kihikihi

Just Kidding Back at Kihikihi
Photo by Eye Witness Images.

Just Kidding Back at Kihikihi

Last week 2015 2* winner Amanda Pottinger was adamant she wouldn’t be starting Just Kidding at Kihikihi this year . . . but that all changed after the nine-year-old gelding showed his true colours at Puhinui at the weekend.
“He gave me such as amazing run at Puhinui over a track that was a lot tougher than I anticipated it would be,” said the 24-year-old from Hawke’s Bay.
Her earlier dilemma was that Just Kidding simply was not ready to be challenged by a John Nicholson 3* track.
“I just didn’t think he had the experience for that track and I want him to run on confidence leading into the Taupo three day. Kihikihi is a very tough track and the best preparation for it is build-up.”
But he now feels ready for the Waipa Home of Champions CIC3* after their third place efforts at Puhinui.
“The most important part for me was the cross country. He did it with ease and it was big, bold and technical. I now feel there is nothing I will get at Kihikihi that will scare the hell out of him.”
She made the call after chatting to her mum Tinks Pottinger and high performance dressage eventing coach Penny Castle.
“If there is something on the track that is too tough for him, there are always options. Hey, he may make a green error somewhere out there but we will learn from that,” said Pottinger.
And her Olympic silver medal-winning mum was right behind her.
“She said after watching that (Puhinui) run, she 100% agreed with me. I know it is going to be in your face at Kihikihi, but it should be a good experience.”
Kihikihi is Pottinger’s favourite event.
“If you do well there, you know you have really jumped a decent cross country track. It is the biggest factor at that event and you have to go there on something you are really confident can do the track. You have to ride well to get around it.”
Pottinger, who is an operation analyst for the dairy farming company Bel Group, will also start the seven-year-old Blytheburn Maximo in the Prestige Equestrian CIC1* – all things going well. The horse is owned by the Volunteer Syndicate – Catriona Williams, Charlotte Gendall and Pottinger's parents.
“He is super talented but it is about just getting it all together on the day,” says Pottinger. “He is beautiful but quite a handful at the moment . . . I need to cut out some of his cheekiness.”
Kihikihi has been kind to Pottinger over the years – last year she and Achilles II were third in the 2* behind Just Kidding, and in 2014 fourth in the same class. She has also placed in the 1*.


Date Added: Saturday, 2nd April 2016