NZ Poised for Rio
PUBLISHED 11 OCTOBER 2015
New Zealand looks well on track to secure the team spot at the 2016 Rio Olympics after some brilliant efforts in the cross country overnight in the CCI3* at the Military Boekelo Horse Trials in The Netherlands.
But tonight’s showjumping is going to be critical – New Zealand must have three of the four team riders complete to secure the berth.
Young gun Jesse Campbell and his former racehorse Kaapachino rode a beautiful clear round, adding just .4 time penalties to his dressage score for finishing just outside of the time allowed. They sit on 43.5, just behind leader Chris Burton (AUS) and Monarchs Exclusive on 41.3.
For 26-year-old Campbell it was “a good day at the office”. “We had a great discussion around how to approach the (cross country) track and a good plan of attack,” he said. “Pretty much, it all came up as hoped. I was lucky to have two seriously experienced people to go out before me.”
He had every confidence in his horse too. “Kaapachino is a pretty experienced cross country horse – not only is he quick but extremely easy to turn too, which is what this course is all about.”
The two competed at Boekelo three years ago.
“I was confident this would suit him, but it was a course you really had to ride.” Campbell says the team Olympic qualification is the big focus for the showjumping tonight, but Kaapachino is capable of a clear round.
Jonelle Price and Cloud Dancer II were also clear but added 14.8 time penalties to their dressage score to finish in seventh place on 48.9.
Individual Blyth Tait and Xanthus III were in searing form to also come home clear but added six to their dressage score to sit on 49.2 in eighth place. Dan Jocelyn and Beaucatcher, who are competing as an individual combination, were clear and added 2.4 in time to their score. Lizzie Brown and her individual mount Princeton rode well to just add 3.6 time faults to sit in 34th place on 61.9. She retired Henton Attorney General during the cross country.
Team-members Jocelyn on Dassett Cool Touch and Tim Price on Xavier sit in 37th and 38th respectively. Jocelyn was clear with 9.2 time and Price added 20 faults for a run-out but incredibly still came home inside the time allowed.
The showjumping is going to call for perfection from many – there is a single rail (four penalties) between the top three, and two between the top eight.
ESNZ eventing coach Erik Duvander was very pleased with the team. “Today was a very good performance from all of them,” he said.
“They rode to team orders and delivered what was expected. The aim for tomorrow is four clears – we want as fine a result as possible. It is not just about qualifying but also being competitive.”
He had plenty of praise for Campbell, but was also very pleased to see Jonelle Price’s young horse Cloud Dancer II do so well.
“It looks as though that horse could be a real prospect for the future,” he said.
As expected the time was tight on the course, with just four coming home clear and on the right side of the clock. Six retired, seven were eliminated and five withdrawn before the cross country in the 84-strong field.
In the Nations Cup competition, New Zealand sit .3 of a penalty point behind Ireland. Just four teams remain – Ireland, New Zealand, United States and France. The other six failed to complete a full team.
The Japanese are out of the team’s race for Rio after Toshiyuki Tanaka and Ballastar Bay were eliminated during the cross country. Yoshiaki Oiwa and The Duke of Cavan sit in 28th place on 58.1 penalty points and Ryuzo Kitajima and Just Chocolate are in 47th on 76.6.
Results in the Nations Cup: Ireland 157.7, New Zealand 158, United States 170.1, France 200.3.
The New Zealand riders, horses and owners:
- Jonelle Price on Cloud Dancer II (owned by The Marley and Me Syndicate)
- Jesse Campbell and Kaapachino (owned by Jesse and Dr Craig Campbell)
- Tim Price and Xavier Faer (owned by Trisha Rickards)
- Blyth Tait and Xanthus III (owned by Jane Lovell-Smith and Tait)
- Dan Jocelyn and Dassett Cool Touch (owned by Therese Miller)
- Lizzie Brown and Henton Attorney General (owned by Tessa Grant and Brown)
- Dan Jocelyn on Beaucatcher (owned by Jocelyn)
- Lizzie Brown on Princeton II (owned by Brown)
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ