A Tight Battle to the Wire in the Dressage Oval Today

Article Index
Horse Of The Year

It was a day of intense pressure for Advanced level dressage riders today, with the Horse of the Year title hinging on the outcome of the crucial musical freestyle test. With a slew of talent lining up for the honours, there was no room for error. Heading into today’s class, the ever-competitive Andrea Bank (Albany) sat at the top of the leaderboard.

However, just behind loomed Britta Pedersen (Helensville) on Upendo, while Bank also had third spot on her second ride, Northern Fortuous. With plenty of talented combinations nipping at their heels, including Christine Weal (Te Awamutu) and Emma Geor’s Superior Hit, every point counted. Bank and Doringcourt were first up, setting the bar high, with a confident 69.72%.

Despite the best efforts of several combinations, no-one could catch her, until Pedersen arrived at the tail end of the class to pull off the test of the day. Starting with a bold line of flying changes down the centre line – it just got better. Superb music with challenging choreography, including more flying changes on a curved line, it deserved every bit of the 70% awarded. The crowd clearly loved her style too, awarding a double round of applause as she left the arena.

Pedersen and Bank stood out for their professionalism from start to finish – immaculately turned out and with freestyle tests showing a huge amount of careful planning. Level 6/7 Horse of the Year: Britta Pedersen (Helensville), Upendo; Reserve: Andrea Bank (Albany), Doringcourt; 3: Christine Weal (Te Awamutu), Superior Hit; 4: Anna McIntyre (Tauranga), Maplethorpe; 5: Shiwon Green (Cambridge), Da Vinci; 6: Andrea Bank (Albany), Northern Fortuous