John Nicholson has certainly lived up to his reputation for building big tough XC courses, today was definitely no exception with five pairs failing to complete. The Aussie Team started today as favourites and in the lead by a comfortable 40 penalties but by days end, although the scoreboard looks similar the feeling is not quite the same. Three Aussie pairs completed with Shane Rose the only one to have no jumping penalties. Time was almost impossible and Shane gave it a good go picking up just 5.2 time in the day’s fastest round. Unfortunately teammate Christine Bates had a big fall at fence 3 and is in hospital tonight being treated for a concussion. Christine’s ride Delago was un-injured in the fall. The Kiwi team also had a mixed day with three pairs coming home, Joe Waldron was the best of the bunch and now lies in second place on 70.2 a full 17.4 behind Shane’s 52.8 pens. Joe and his lovely black horse looked a picture around the XC with accuracy and pace rewarded by moving up from 6th place.
The other members of the Kiwi team were less accurate and Christen Hayde picked up 45.2 pens today to finish on 114.4 and Annabel Wigley added 33.2 to her dressage score to end with 96.6. Unfortuneately Simon Gordon and Simply Mitch had a most ungracious exit from the event with Simon sitting on a fence at the splash. The other Aussies Nat Blundell with Algebra picked up 34.8 pens to be on 88.8 and in 4th while Katja Weimann & BP Gallantry picked up 36.4 pens to finish with 98.2 and drop to 8th place overall.
The Aussie team maintain their lead on 239.8 and the Kiwis behind on 281.2 with jumping to come. I have to make special mention of one individual Donna Smith who’s clear round with 22 time puts her into 3rd place on 88 pens for the final day. It has been a big day here in Kihikihi New Zealand.
Yours in Eventing,