Clarke Johnstone and Samantha Felton Lead Eventing Classes
Rio Olympian Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation lead the CIC3* eventing class after the dressage with a smart 31.7 penalty point score. “I thought he was good and we are in the lead, so I am happy,” said Johnstone who was New Zealand’s best-performed at the Rio Olympic Games with their sixth-place finish. The combination won the Eventer of the Year crown in 2016, and as the class was cancelled last year, they head into the event as defending champs. Sitting in second is Amanda Pottinger and Just Kidding on 33.6, with Sarah Young and Leo Degas just a snip behind in 33.7. The top four combinations in the CIC2* have all gone sub 30 in the dressage. Samantha Felton leads the charge, sitting on 26.7 penalty points aboard Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ, with Abby Lawrence aboard Anonymous on 27 and Chanel Griffiths on Astek Guardsman and Aleisha Collett on Mi Focus both on 29.6. Felton was very pleased with Sooty’s effort, which matches his personal best. “It is nice to do those (scores) back to back. He was great,” she said. “We were a bit wobbly in the shoulder ins, but otherwise it was very accurate with lovely rhythm and flow.” The cancellation of an event at Hunua has left Felton with not as many runs as she had hoped for, but she was confident their training would stand them in good stead. Tomorrow is the cross-country phase with new course designer Chris Ross stepping in to fill the rather large shoes left by John Nicholson.
CIC3* (after dressage): Clarke Johnstone, Balmoral Sensation 31.7 penalty points 1, Amanda Pottinger, Just Kidding 33.6 2, Sarah Young, Leo Degas 33.7 3, Madison Crowe, Waitangi Pinterest 34 4, Clarke Johnstone, Wolf Whistle II 35.3 5, Nick Brooks, For Fame 35.7 6, Abby Lawrence, Charlton Yamani and Samantha Felton, Ricker Ridge Escada 37.2 =7, Jessica Woods, Just da Manzana 37.4 9, Ashleigh McKinstry, Pioneer Brass Monkey 37.9 10.
CIC2*: Samantha Felton, Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ 26.7 1, Abby Lawrence, Anonymous 27 2, Chanel Griffiths, Astek Guardsman 29.6 3, Aleisha Collett, Mi Focus 29.9 4, Sophie Alexander, World Famous 30 5, Abigail Long, Cruising Guy 31.2 6, Kimberley Rear, Delta Legacy 33.7 7, Greer Caddigan, Mr Mancini 34.3 8, Sarah Young, Equador MW 34.6 9, Fleur Rohleder, The Alchemist 34.8 10.