WEG experience shines in eventing

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Horse Of The Year

By Virginia Caro

World Equestrian Games team bronze medalists Clarke Johnstone and Orient Express showed the benefit of all that experience in producing the leading dressage test in the Alltech 3* Eventing at the Horse of the year Show in Hastings on Friday evening, in the premier arena, with a capacity crowd filling the grandstand for the Friday Extravaganza. They scored 40.2 penalties for a fluent and forward performance which was way better than their WEG test in Kentucky last year.

Clarke said afterwards, “He was quite lazy out there, which was surprising, but he’s established in his work now so I can ride for every mark.” The Bell Tea Super League leaders, Lizzie Brown and Henton Attorney General, are close behind on 43, and would have been even closer without a course error. However Lizzie was pleased, saying, “It’s right up there with the marks over there”, meaning in the UK, where she and Clarke are both heading after the Kihikihi World Cup next month.

Clarke is also third with KS Secrets on 46, and sixth with Incognito on 51. Cantabrian Alice Montgomery, wearing a red arm band on her black jacket, lies fourth with the seasoned Gordon on 47.4, and Lizzie is fifth with Push Play on 48.
The eighteen starters in this top class will provide an exciting spectacle as they tackle John Nicholson’s challenging cross-country course at the Hawkes Bay Equestrian Park on Saturday. The track also winds through the adjacent Hawkes Bay Golf Course, which is very picturesque.

Results after dressage: Alltech CIC3*: C. Johnstone, Orient Express, 40.2, 1; L. Brown, Henton Attorney General, 43 2; C. Johnstone, KS Secrets, 46, 3; A. Montgomery, Gordon, 47.4, 4; L. Brown, Push Play, 48, 5; C.Johnstone, Incognito, 51, 6.