Following her decisive win in the Waipa Home of Champions CIC3* at the Kihikihi International Horse Trials over the weekend, Katharine Van Tuyl has extended her lead in the ESNZ Eventing Super League, and now looks a certainty to take out the top prize at the end of the season, with only two events remaining.
The Manawatu rider held third position after Friday’s dressage with 51.6 penalties, but took the lead after Saturday’s demanding cross-country, which saw five of the twelve starters fall by the wayside.
Van Tuyl had the fastest time, adding 12.8 time penalties, for an overnight score of 64.4 penalties.
She was delighted with her horse, having not started him at Kihikihi before, and she herself had not ridden there for ten years. She finished the event with a clear show jumping round on Sunday, incurring 2 time penalties for a final score of 66.4 penalties, comfortably clear of her rivals.
Dannie Lodder and the Black Hawk Syndicate’s Tomahawk II improved from fourth after the dressage to lie second after the cross-country, with the second fastest time, adding 14 time penalties, but two rails down as well as 2 time penalties in the show jumping gave then a final score of 76 penalties.
Donna Edwards-Smith led the dressage on the little palomino Mr Hokey Pokey with a score of 50.3 penalties. This being just his second 3* start, Smith gave him a prudent cross-country ride for 26 time penalties, and he followed that with a rail down and 1 time penalty in the show jumping to finish in third place on a score of 81.3 penalties.
Having nailed the most difficult course in the country, Van Tuyl is now considering taking Double J Sunshine to the Adelaide CCI4* in November. Owned by her mother Robyn, the eight year old gelding was bred by the Jacobs twins at their Double J Stud near Norsewood, in Southern Hawkes Bay. He is by Repecharge out of Double J Remember Me.
The two remaining events in the Super League series are the Central Districts event at Foxton on 30 April/1 May, with the NRM CCI4* at the Taupo Three-day Event, May 12-15, providing the grand finale.
Standings after eight events:
- Katharine Van Tuyl, Double J Sunshine, 264 points
- Clarke Johnstone, Balmoral Sensation, 174
- Virginia Thompson, Star Nouveau, 102
- Andy Daines, Spring Panorama, 96
- Dannie Lodder, Tomahawk II, 42
- Amanda Pottinger, Just Kidding, 42
- Diane Gilder, Your Attorney, 42
- Giles Gormack, Lucero, 42