Best of Best Head to Kihikihi 20th

Best of Best Head to Kihikihi 20th
Winners are grinners . . . 2014 CIC3* victor Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation, who are now in the UK chasing Rio selection. Photo by Libby Law Photography

Best of Best Head to Kihikihi 20th

New Zealand’s top onshore based eventers head to the Waikato this week for the Kihikihi International Horse Trial.
The iconic event – celebrating its 20th birthday – is popular as much for the challenge it presents riders throughout the grades as it is for the beauty of the cross country course, which is designed by John Nicholson, brother of former world number one, Andrew Nicholson.
With the Waipa Home of Champions CIC3* 2015 winners Abby Lawrence (Te Puke) aboard Pseudonym out of contention, the classy, talent-stacked field is right open.
South Islander and former Eventer of the Year winner Emily Cammock is bringing Shaw Lee and Lewis north for the run, but also in the line-up are Nick Books (Cambridge) aboard Striking, Donna Edwards-Smith (Te Kauwhata) on Mr Hokey Pokey, Samantha Felton (Matangi) on Ricker Ridge Escada, Dannie Lodder (Auckland) aboard Tomahawk II, Katharine Van Tuyl (Palmerston North) on Double J Sunshine, Andy Daines (Kumeu) on Spring Panorama, Diane Gilder (Matangi) on Your Attorney, Amanda Pottinger (Hawke’s Bay) on Just Kidding, Francesca Silver (Martinborough) On Case in Point, Chloe Phillips-Harris (Whangarei) on Cor Jet and Ashleigh McKinstry (Owhango) on Pioneer Brass Monkey.
Gilder was runner-up to Lawrence last year and will be keen to go one better while Pottinger will be hoping Just Kidding steps up to the challenge of his first Nicholson cross country track.
Lodder is a former winner of the CIC3*, albeit on a different horse.
There are some excellent combinations lining up in the AON CIC2* class, and the Horselands and Prestige Equestrian CIC1* classes are also filled with talent.
True to form the event has attracted an impressive array of international officials, including Marcin Konarski (POL) who is the TD for the CIC3* but also on the (world) FEI eventing committee. He is joined by others from Japan, the UK, Australia, and the Netherlands.
This year marks the 20th birthday of the event. It all started with an idea from Heather Nicholson – mother of John and Andrew – who wanted to run a horse trial at the Kihikihi Domain.
The rest is history, thanks to some very dedicated committees, and particularly Cathy and Murray Houlbrooke, who while take a back seat these days, can always be found on the sidelines.
The event starts on Friday with the dressage, with the cross country on Saturday and the showjumping on Sunday. The cross country course is particularly spectator friendly, with plenty of excellent vantage points throughout.


Date Added: Wednesday, 6th April 2016