NEW ZEALAND (by Sally Reid) Kihikihi has always been one of New Zealand’s favourite tracks for eventing riders, and for the second year running it was also the venue for the country’s national short-format titles. The two major competitions on the card are the Forest Gate Trophy (CIC3*) and the Waiteko Trophy (CIC2*) – which saw some major names in terms of both horses and riders.
The Forest Gate Trophy was another three-phase win for Clarke Johnstone’s Balmoral Sensation (Senator VDL - Aberzanne x Aberlou). This super NZ Warm- blood is shortly heading off to compete in the Northern Hemisphere, with the World Equestrian Games in his sights. The first date on his international schedule, however, is the third leg of the Event Rider Masters in Belgium.
Balmoral Sensation’s breeder, David Goodin, was at Kihikihi – along with many other fans – to watch the 14-year-old gelding in action. He didn’t disappoint and led from start to finish without touching a fence. He did have time faults on the cross-countr y, but so did ever y other horse in his class. Widely known as ‘Ritchie’, Balmoral Sensa- tion has won all of the five starts he’s had since finishing sixth at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. One of these was a very easy victory at the Adelaide four-star in Australia last November. This is his second three-star win at Kihikihi; he won in 2014, but did not contest the class in the intervening years.
Many may recall that Bal- moral Sensation was the leading horse in the WBFSH-ROLEX world eventing rankings at the end of the 2015-16 season – a victor y also for his breeder David Goodin. However, at that time, as the gelding was not registered with a mem- ber studbook of the WBFSH, Goodin was ineligible to collect his prize as the leading breeder. Since then, however, two NZ studbooks have been granted provi- sional full membership, so it would seem fair if Goodin received the recognition he deserved and was finally able to travel to Geneva for the 2017-18 season’s award ceremony in December alongside the leading breeders in dressage and showjumping...
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