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Paget Loving HOY

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Jock Paget and Henton After Dark competing in the dressage phase of the Land Rover CIC3* today. PHOTO: Kerry Marshall/KAMPIC


Paget Loving HOY


Jock Paget is having a blast at the Farmlands Horse of the Year Show.

Today, aboard Samantha Felton's Henton After Dark, he cruised to second place in the dressage phase of the Land Rover CIC3* eventing, scoring 43.8 penalty points, to sit just behind leader Mathew Grayling (Taranaki) on NRM Lowenberg.

It's not the first time Paget has teamed up with Albert, as Henton After Dark is known by his nearest and dearest.

“I rode him once as a youngster when Sam tried him to buy, but haven't been on him since,” says 31-year-old Paget, who is at HOY as a special guest.

“He warmed up well and Sam gave me some help with him last night . . . hints on what buttons to press, what he's good and and what to be careful of.”

And he's happy with the points.

“He's in with a chance all right. Sam has done a great job on him. He knows what the movements are. It's not a matter of trying to train him before going into the ring, but more about getting the best out of each movement and developing a partnership before we went in.”

Paget, who has twice won the Eventer of the Year crown, says he loves HOY.

“It is nice to be back. I have fond memories because both times I came here we went well. It love the New Zealand feel, the weather, the people . . . it's just nice to be back!”

Paget is a great believer in cross country designer John Nicholson, and is looking forward to getting out on another of his courses.

“I have ridden his courses twice here, twice at Kihikihi and once at Taupo and am always impressed by the way he builds. He is one of he best in the world.”

Paget hasn't yet jumped Albert, but says he will tomorrow (Friday) before the showjumping phase. The cross country is on Saturday.

“He is new to this level, so it is very much an unknown as to how he will go but he is a good jumper. I will be trying to learn what he rides like and what I can give him . . . it's very much about trust.”

He says catch rides are always exciting.

“You never know what you are going to get,” says Paget. “Even if you have watched the horse before, you don't know what feel you will have. I think it is a matter of riding each fence as best as you can and deal with what you have when you get there.”

Back in the UK, Paget is preparing for the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.

“It will be my first major of the season.”
He hopes to have both Clifton Promise and Clifton Lush, but will take things carefully with Lush who is just coming back from injury.

“If he needs more time, then he will get it.”

Meanwhile, Paget is keen to get his programme back on track,

“I have got a bit of making up to do . . . I have lost a year. Now is the time to rebuild and reshape – I have some exciting new depth to my stable and I am looking forward to getting back out there again.”






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