Ginny Thompson’s decisive win on Star Nouveau in the Honda CCI3* at the Puhinui Three-day Event over the weekend has seen her rocket up the ESNZ Eventing Super League standings, but she was not able to catch the oh so consistent Donna Edwards-Smith on DSE Mr Hokey Pokey, thanks to their third place in the class. However both now have a huge margin over their rivals at the top of the Super League standings.
Thompson pulled up from ninth of the twelve starters after Friday’s dressage phase with the only clear cross-country round inside the time allowed on Saturday, to take the overnight lead. She had one showjumping rail in hand over second placed Samantha Felton on Ricker Ridge Escada, who moved up from fourth after the dressage with 10.8 cross-country time penalties.
Abby Lawrence and Song improved from eighth after dressage to hold third place overnight with 8.4 cross-country time penalties, a further rail away, while Edwards-Smith, who was third after the dressage, dropped to fourth after incurring 22 cross-country time penalties. The diminutive Yogi, as he is known, gave his all in the testing conditions, and it was enough to keep them in contention.
Sunday’s showjumping was to prove influential as always, with none of the six who remained in the competition, after the trials and tribulations of Titch Massey’s testing cross-country course, producing clear rounds. Jumping in reverse order of placings, two rails down seemed to be the order of the day, until Lawrence had three down with Song to drop behind Edwards-Smith.
The two at the top had a rail apiece so their placings were unchanged, giving Ginny her second successive win with her “cross-country machine.” She said afterwards, “I came to win, but didn’t think I would. It was a tough track, but she really stepped up. We hope to get to Adelaide 4* next year, and might make the Oceania team to go to Australia in June, which would be great experience.”
Standings after Puhinui:
Donna Edwards-Smith (Te Kauwhata), DSE Mr Hokey Pokey, 114 pts; Virginia Thompson (Kaukapakapa), Star Nouveau, 102 pts; Sam Felton (Matangi), Ricker Ridge Escada, 51 pts; Jackson Bovill (Matangi), Visionnaire, 51 pts; Andy Daines (Kumeu), Spring Panorama, 48 pts; Brent Jury (Rangiora), SE Hedging, 48 pts; Diane Gilder (Te Kauwhata), Your Attorney, 36 pts.