Auckland’s Virginia Thompson, aboard her wonderful mare Star Nouveau, showed their great skill and partnership over the event to secure a clear win in the Honda New Zealand CCI3* class for a second consecutive year. The first time this has been achieved since World Champion Bounce in 1999 and 2000.
Lying a disappointing 9th after the dressage phase, Thompson rode a determined cross country round, inside the time, to move into the leading position.
In a nail biting show jumping round on the final day today, Thompson had one rail down but it was not enough to knock her off the top.
“I’m really proud of Paige (Star Nouveau). We have tried really hard to get where we are and a big win like this makes it all worth it,” said Thompson.
Thompson’s original plan was to compete in the CCI4* in Adelaide however, a minor lameness issue with Paige meant the plan changed to re-route to Puhinui.
Thompson’s win today will provide a confidence burst as she plans to head across the ditch with Paige to compete in 2017.
“It will be my first time taking a horse overseas so I’ve got a lot of learning to do but I’m very excited for the future,” said Thompson.
All going to plan, this overseas experience will see Thompson make the 2017 Senior Trans-Tasman team to compete in Melbourne in May.
Samantha Felton on Ricker Ridge Escada, recently returned from a campaign in Australia, came into the arena in second position in the Honda New Zealand CCI3*. Despite knocking one rail they certainly put the pressure on Thompson who jumped last.
Felton was very complimentary of Thompson and said “Paige didn’t used to be such a great show jumper but Virginia has produced her really well. I just knew I had to jump as well as I could and what would be would be. She definitely deserved the win,” said Felton.
The iSpyHorses CCI2* was won by Ashleigh McKinstry (King Country) on the home bred Pioneer Brass Monkey. McKinstry really rates this horse.
“I believe Brass Monkey has the ability to go to the top”, says McKinstry. And she should know as she was the 2012 winner of the CCI3* competition at Puhinui.
The 2016 Young Rider champion is South Islander, Lucy Turner aboard Carbon who was full of praise for her stunning black thoroughbred.
“He is a really good jumper and jumps anything I put him at”, says Turner.
Turner’s win is even more impressive as she is still only 16 and could have competed in the lower level Junior Rider 1* class