An Australasian record prize pool for a dressage
competition is up for grabs at the 2008 Kelt Capital
and is likely to be contested by a record number
of Grand Prix combinations at a New Zealand event.
Thanks to principle sponsors Hatton Estate ,
the official wine sponsors of the 2008 Horse of
the Year Show, an extraordinary $30,000 pool is
offered for the Grand Prix Musical Freestyle with
$10,000 to the winner.
Arch rivals from the Waikato region, Bill Noble
and Jody Hartstone, plan to start two horses each
at Grand Prix level. In recent years, the now
twenty-one year old German bred stallion, Landioso,
(Boo Boo to his friends) ridden by Hartstone has
won the Grand Prix technical test but conceded
the valuable Freestyle prize to Noble and his
NZ station bred Vincent St James, aka Vinnie.
Bill is enthusiastic about making it four wins
on the trot, and Jody excited about the possibility
of a fantastic 21st party for Boo Boo !
Kallista Field has returned to the top level
this year and can boast three Grand Prix prospects
Soda, Salutation and Waikiwi but under
international rules will be restricted to two
Form being shown by newcomers to this level indicate
that the experienced combinations will not have
it all their own way. Karen Anderson (Whakatane)
and Komplete Kaos, whose name is certainly not
indicative of his performance, have four wins
from as many starts on the regional circuit this
season leading the Equine Herbals Leaderboard,
and will be chasing hard along with Charlott Bayliss
and All Black II from Cambridge.
Olympic year is always a prime focus for equestrian
sport and the international CDI*** ranking of
the event means that riders can earn MES (Minimum
Eligibility Score - 64% from an FE1 O
Judge) and Dressage Rider World ranking points.
Young Rider competition is particularly strong
this year at Prix St Georges level with about
twelve under 21s contesting qualification
and a place in the Young Rider World Cup Final
in Germany in December 2008.
The Tri Series Derby between Australia, South
Africa and New Zealand is an innovation for the
dressage section. To be held at Open Medium level,
the first leg was contested in South Africa earlier
this year. Jody Hartstone won the leading rider
prize so New Zealand will be looking to keep this
International Judges confirmed to date are Cara
Witham (Canada) and Susie Hoevenaars (Australia).
Cathay Pacific continue to be great supporters
of this event and are making it possible to bring
top international officials to complete the objective
of a offering NZ riders a truly European style
event on their home terrain.
So to see the best dressage action with Freestyle
to Music in the main oval every day from 5th
9th March, the best horses and riders from throughout
the country all vying for a coveted Horse of the
Year title and a place on the Zilco Freestyle
Leaderboards, make your way to the Kelt Capital