Land Rover Horse Of The Year 2024, Friday, March 08, 2024
Madison Selvwright rides Waitangi Pintrest in the Land Rover CCI4*-S at the Land Rover Horse of the Year 2024, Tomoana Showgrounds, Hastings, New Zealand. Friday, March 08, 2024 Copyright Photo: KAMPIC / Kerry Marshall

There’s nothing in it between the Australian and New Zealand teams in the Oceania Eventing Challenge after the dressage at the Land Rover Horse of the Year Show in Hastings.

Australia are just in front in the CCI4*-S, with a score of 89.4 penalty points from their best three combinations, with the Kiwis sitting on 90.6, while the roles are reversed in the CCI3*-S with the New Zealanders on 101.2 and the visitors on 104.7.

Andrew Barnett (AUS) and Go Tosca lead the 4* field on 27.6, followed by team mate Oliver Barrett aboard Sandhills Special on 28, and New Zealand Paris hopeful Madison Seivwright aboard Waitangi Pinterest in third on 28.7.

Kiwi chef d’equipe Jock Paget said he was very proud of all of the team. “There was a lot of atmosphere in the arena and they all did their jobs well,” he said.

Madison was pleased with her mare who hadn’t been in such an atmosphere since June 2023. “Most of her work was beautiful out there,” she said. 

Australian 4* chef Stuart Tinney said there would be much to take away from their New Zealand visit. “I was proud of them, they did great jobs,” he said. “There was a little bit of tension with some of the horses in the arena but to some degree that is why we are here to get them in arenas like that. We only have a few events at home where we can get them into that sort of atmosphere.”

He felt it was “wonderful” to be here and have that opportunity. “We are very happy to be here.” 

Stuart had himself ridden at HOY but it was many years ago. “It is great to be back and such a beautiful part of the world here.”

In the 3*, Australian team member Olivia Shore leads on Dreamcatcher with a score of 28.1 penalty points, followed by individuals Alena Dorotich aboard Cassiana Xtreme on 31.4 and Donna Edwards-Smith with DSE Tommy Thomson in third on 31.8. The best of the Kiwi team is Bridie Quigley aboard Oranoa Greyson on 33.4.

New Zealand chef Lizzie Green felt her young team had done well. “It includes two 17 year olds so it is their first experience at anything like this,” she said. “They have certainly put their best foot forward in that environment.”

Australian chef Amanda Ross, who has previously competed in New Zealand but not at HOY, said it was very unique to be at a show that had so much going on. “We are used to going to shows where everything revolves around eventing,” she said. “Logistically it has been tricky!”

She felt her team would take away so much from the trip.

“We are concentrating a lot on an overall experience for our young riders,” she said. The trip was full of firsts for them. “They probably didn’t get the scores they would usually get but they are here to get ready for the future. They will go back with so much learning.”

The competition continues tomorrow with the much anticipated Chris Ross-designed cross country that will bring the rest of the show to a halt and attract thousands to the Tōmoana Showgrounds to line the laneways.

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