AUCKLAND AIRPORT INTERNATIONAL THREE DAY EVENT
Puhinui, New Zealand
by Penny Rose
The Three Star 3DE
The weekend of 10th and 11th December saw five Australian combinations cross the Tasman together with two of the selectors and the Australian team veterinarian to ride in the New Zealand National Three Day Event. The weather on dressage day was near to too perfect with most people getting truly sunburnt.
Heath Ryan on the expansive Cool Renegade led the way on a score of 70 (42 in the new/future scoring), closely followed by Vaughn Jefferis on Bounce with 73 and Shane Rose with Mr Joe Cool on 76. Lovely tests were also provided by Sammi McLeod on Hunter Red (5th with 88), Tarsha Hammond on Fuzzy Logic (8th with 98) and Olivia Bunn on GV Top of the Line (12th with 103).
Cross country day dawned somewhat overcast and certainly much better conditions for the endurance phase. There were a few changes in the top placings, with Heath dropping down to third with ten time penalties, Sammi had an unfortunate fall but catching Frederick Hunter to complete the course. Tarsha moved up two places with a sensational clear round. Olivia did a stirling job with Top of the Line finishing clear with 22 time penalties, a truly professional round with a young horse who only did his first One Star event earlier this year.
The course was testing with some difficult lines, some nice galloping stretches with a number of close asks in between. There were only eleven combinations that finished without time or jumping penalites.
The final days showjumping provided some expected weather changes, hot one moment, cool the next and the odd shower in between. No one got too wet but the umbrellas doubled for sun and rain.
Sammi McLeod led the way in the show jumping with a sensational clear round. Olivia followed suit as did many of the early riders. Tarsha Hammond dropped one rail but this did not affect her placing since Catriona McLeod (riding the horse she took to Adelaide) took three. Shane Rose had three rails and Heath four. This was probably our riders worst phase but fortunately they had put in such polished performances in dressage and cross country that the end result was Australians third, fourth and fifth.
The event was won by Vaughn Jefferis on Bounce with a final penalty score of 73, followed by the Belgian rider Constantin van Rijckevorsel who is now domiciled in New Zealand with 84 penalties.
|2nd||Tielcey Glenbrook||Constantin van Rijckevorsel (BEL)||84|
|3rd||Mr Joe Cool||Shane Rose (AUS)||91|
|4th||Cool Renegade||Heath Ryan (AUS)||100|
|5th||Fuzzy Logic||Tarsha Hammond (AUS)||103|
|6th||NRM Denver||Catriona McLeod||109|
|9th||Curious George||Vaughn Jefferis||115|
|10th||Ataahua Brigadier||Masami Okamoto (JPN)||119|
|11th||Rise & Shine||Tinks Pottinger||121|
|12th||GV Top of the Line||Olivia Bunn (AUS)||127|
|22nd||Frederick Hunter||Sammi McLeod (AUS)||294|
The International Teams Invitation
There was also an International Teams One Day Invitation event with four teams competing against the New Zealand team with Vaughn Jefferis, Mark Todd and Andrew Nicholson.
Australia was represented by David Middleton, Gillian Rolton and Sammi McLeod.
At first it appeared as if the judges were working in collusion as the first four rides were all within one point of each other. Our riders were not actually stars in the dressage phase, having drawn horses that were obviously a little tense. Andrew Nicholson took out first place in the dressage and eventually the whole event. His score of 85 on a lovely horse was some 20 points ahead of the rest of the field.
The cross country phase finished with two horses being eliminated, one from each of the New Zealand and Great Britain teams and at the end of the second day, Australia and New Zealand were locked on the same scores in first place.
Both David and Sammi did fine showjumping rounds for no added penalties but two rails from Gills horse proved expensive and at the end of the event, it was New Zealand first, four points ahead of Australia.
The local press hailed the success of this team and of Vaughn Jefferis in the Three Star as turning points for New Zealand sport as the country chalked up wins in both squash and golf as well that same weekend. There should be some fierce rivalry at Sydney 2000.
As a footnote from an observer. The trade stands were superb, especially some of the clothing and souvenir stalls. We didnt actually browse the equestrian stands but saw Bates represented. Oh, and duty free shopping at Auckland airport was just a treat. A quality shopping mall at tax free prices. This was altogether an excellent weekend outing.