New Zealand’s two Olympic riders battled it out in the arena for the first of the Advanced title classes and a shot at winning the overall Horse of the Year title.
Kallista Field (Pahiatua) with Waikiwi took the class by less than one percent, winning with 66.94%, just ahead of Louisa Hill (Clevedon) with Bates Antonello on 66%.
Riding her imported stallion Salutation, Field was also third on 64.52%, a smidgeon ahead of Lisa Blackbourn (Kumeu) with her Dutch stallion Prestige VDL on 64.15%.
These four performed expressive, extravagant tests and tomorrow’s class promises to be highly competitive, deciding who wins the HOY title.
A tidy test by Kate Klingender with Adler saw them place fifth on 62.68%, followed by Ottillea Upshall with Tama Park Bradman on 62.47%.
Hardly anything separated Liz Hutson (Knavish Trick) on 60.36% and Debbie Barke (Mzungu) on 60.15%.
Moments of tension spoiled the tests of the remaining riders, but the horses should be more accustomed to the BNZ International Arena atmosphere for the Advanced Freestyle class and hopefully produced more solid tests.

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