Katharine Van Tuyl and Double J Sunshine regained the lead in the ESNZ Eventing Super League after winning the Honda CIC3* class at the Puhinui Horse Trials over Easter weekend.
The consistent combination, in their first season at this level, improved from fourth position after
Saturday’s dressage, where they scored 52.4 penalties, to hold the overnight lead after producing one of only two clear show jumping rounds from the field of fourteen starters.
The dressage leaders, Amanda Pottinger and Just Kidding, scored 49.6 penalties, but dropped to third position with two rails down and five time penalties, while second placed Diane Gilder and Your Attorney added two time penalties to their 50.5 dressage penalties to retain their place, a mere 0.1 penalties behind the leader.
A fast round in Sundays’ cross-country was going to be essential, and the two at the top gave it a good shot, Van Tuyl adding 6.4 time penalties to Gilder’s 8, for final scores of 58.8 and 60.5 penalties respectively. Pottinger incurred 13.2 time penalties but held third place with a final score of 75.8 penalties.
The win sees Van Tuyl and Double J Sunshine overtake Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation to top the Super League standings, with three events left in the series.
The next event is the Kihikihi CIC3* on 8-10 April, followed by Central Districts on 30 April/1 May, with the NRM CCI3* at Taupo on 12-14 May the final event of the competition year.
Meanwhile Johnstone and Sensation are settling into their base in the UK, where they will train with the New Zealand High Performance Eventing squad preparing for Rio, with the Badminton Horse Trials the next big challenge for them. They will be seeking to impress the selectors as well as add to their Super League points.
Standings after seven events:
- Katharine Van Tuyl, Double J Sunshine, 216 pts
- Clarke Johnstone, Balmoral Sensation, 174 pts
- Virginia Thompson, Star Nouveau, 102 pts
- Andy Daines, Spring Panorama, 90 pts;
- Diane Gilder, Your Attorney, 42 pts;
- Giles Gormack, Lucero, 42 pts.