Eventing Day 1
2010 Badminton winners Paul Tapner and Inonothing were the trailblazers for the Australian Team and put together a professional test to take the lead in the early stages of the competition.
2010 Badminton winners Paul Tapner and Inonothing were the trailblazers for the Australian Team and put together a professional test to score 43.80 and they take the lead in the early stages of the competition.
It was a good result, when he goes well he scores in the low forties, so that was what I was hoping for and that was what we got” said a happy Paul after his test.
“He is not naturally talented in any of the three phases but his desire to do his best is what makes him such a good horse,” added Paul.
Paul was awarded 9’s for three movements including his halt and rein back the left half pass trot. It was a great start for the Aussie team.
Ex-Aussie Boyd Martin, who now represents America, scored 49.3 on his Australian thoroughbred Neville Bardos. Neville showed some tension when the crowd cheered for him as circled the area. Although he was tense the test improved as it went, with some great flying changes.
Dirk Schrade (GER) and Gadget de la Cere were impressive.
Nines across the board for his medium walk and the rein back, and 8’s for his medium canter put him into the lead after the first 12 horses on 42.5 penalties.
Eventing Rider of the century Mark Todd (NZL) who retired in 2000 and made a comeback before the 2008 Olympic Games Games is competing on Grass Valley, a 10-year-old Irish Sport horse. The pair made a good entry receiving a 9 from Anne-Mette Binder (Judge at B). Grass Valley is a great type of horse but was a little tight for much of his test, 48.5.
Next up for Australia were Peter Atkins and the Argentine bred Henry Jota Hampton. This is the least experienced horse from the AUS camp with just one CCI4* performance so Peter is riding as an individual. Dressage is not his strongest phase, but Peter has been working with the Aussie coaches throughout the week and he put together a respectable test for 61.8.
Henry Jota Hampton (aka Henny) is a lovely type with a “look at me” presence. He is naturally uphill which at times becomes he uses to pop above the bit. Henny looked a little green in the test but improved his score by 10 penalties from his last appearance in this arena in April.
“My goal was to get to London 2012 on this horse, so he is still young and needs a few more years at this level to be his best. At the beginning of this year it would not have been in my wildest dreams to be representing Australia at these Games,” said Peter, who got the call up when Megan Jones’ Kirby Park Irish Jester was not fit to compete after the long trip from Australia.
Peter said he had hoped that Henny would have been more settled in the arena. “I had him when I went around the arena but he got tense in the test.”
When asked about the cross-country course Peter said he thought it was motre techiincal than the Rolex CCI4*course but added, “Henny is a very good jumping horse, so I am confident.”
The Germans are at home in the Dressage arena and Simone Deitermann (GER) and Free Easy NRW (competing as an individual) were the first combination to crack the 30’s. The horse‘s frame is higher and more sophisticated than the previous horses and the engagement is rewarded with a score of 36.00 penalties.
New Zealand’s Johnathon Paget (who lived in Australia from age 3 until 24, and therefore has spent all but the last 3 years competing on the Aussie Eventing scene) is now the principle rider for Clifton Eventers. Jock, riding as an individual, did a great test on Clifton Promise to score fractionally behind Paul Tapner.
William Fox-Pitt the only rider to have won four different CCI4* events is riding 10-year-old Cool Mountain. William won the CCI4* at Rolex Kentucky this year on this horse (finishing on his dressage score of 42.8). As expected, they put on a good show for 42.00 penalties.
2000 Olympic Gold Medallist Stuart Tinney and 14-year-old Vettori (aka Kiwi) were the last to ride for Australia today.
This seasoned combination entered with a lovely square halt, sevens for the first medium and shoulder ins.
The pirouette was a little tense but a good extended trot for one 8 and two 7s. His frame is more up and open than it has been and looks great. One little skip behind on the second last change but otherwise a great test for 47.2 and 8th place for the time being.
As wife Karen said “He nailed it!”
“I am really pleased,” said Stuart, “He was great. I have had trouble with his halts all week buthis pirouettes were really good but today he did 3 great halts and not such a good pirouette, but I am really happy.