Robust Squad Delivers Decisive FEI Eventing Nations Cup Victory for New Zealand


Tim Worth (NZL) driving Falco. Photograph Copyright: ©FEI/Libby Regulation Pictures

Group New Zealand are setting themselves as much as be sturdy contenders for the Paris 2024 Olympic Video games subsequent 12 months, and outcomes at Millstreet additional bolstered that. An skilled quartet led from begin to end on the Irish occasion, to go away them on a powerful last rating of 114.6. This is without doubt one of the greatest group ending scores seen on this fashionable eight-leg sequence lately, maybe unsurprising given World primary and two riders Tim and Jonelle Worth made up half of the group. They had been joined by the skilled Clarke Johnstone and rising star, Samantha Lissington. Group Belgium had been runners-up on 131.9, while Eire delighted their house crowd by ending third in what was a fierce competitors.

The cross-country course proved the make or break of many mixtures and groups and making the time was suitably difficult, with no riders ending inside. Tim Worth gained the category general on Falco, the horse that additionally gave him a person and group bronze in Pratoni. His spouse Jonelle additionally performed her half on the ‘pocket rocket’ McClaren. The Costs, joined by Clarke Johnstone, had been all members of the bronze-medal profitable group ultimately 12 months’s FEI Eventing World Championship in Pratoni del Vivaro (ITA).  All three riders had been mounted on skilled horses who continued their dependable kind by leaping double clears within the Leaping and cross-country phases. They had been joined by Samantha Lissington, who was the drop rating after choosing up 20 penalties for a refusal on the cross-country section.

Chef d’Equipe of the New Zealand Group is former Olympic Eventing rider Sam Griffiths, who summed up the outcome. “We’re actually pleased with their efficiency. As a result of New Zealand doesn’t have the equal of a European Championship, we determined that we needed to focus on a few Nations Cups, of which Millstreet is one, so we despatched a powerful contingent. It’s actually good to carry the group collectively and observe what we have to do. We may even be hoping to do nicely at Aachen. It’s at all times actually good to focus on an occasion after which ship a extremely good outcome at that occasion, so we’re actually happy.”

Riders had been stuffed with reward for the occasion and cross-country section which was designed by Mike Etherington-Smith. “One of many explanation why we focused Millstreet is that we all know how lovely the venue is. The Duggan household takes superb care of it. We love Mike Etherington-Smith’s programs. They’re at all times fantastically introduced and even with the going being quick, time was extremely tough even with skilled mixtures going just about as quick as they might,” stated Griffiths.

Tim Worth was delighted together with his horse Falco, a 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding.

“Falco is a cracking horse; he’s established now and his intelligence is getting used for the great of everybody. I used to be actually pleased with him, he’s such a cool wee horse,” stated Worth.

“We took this critically as a result of the New Zealand group had been utilizing Millstreet as a marker level for the powers that be again at house. It was necessary that we delivered a good outcome and confirmed that we had been on observe this 12 months and thru to Paris, so we handled it as such and all introduced good horses onto the group. The time was very tight (on the cross-country) so it felt like a correct check.”

The Kiwis have had combined success at main group championships lately, however Griffiths believes they’ve an ideal and long-lasting future forward, with Millstreet highlighting that. “We had extremely sturdy performances from Clarke Johstone and Jonelle, so we had been actually strong. We’re actually beginning to develop some energy and depth. At Millstreet we had 19 mixtures competing and, for a rustic that’s on the opposite facet of the world, that exhibits it’s actually creating.”

The Belgian group, who completed in second place, additionally delivered some strong leaping performances. Tine Magnus, Belgian group member spoke for the group: “We’re going for the Olympic qualification, so we’ll be off to Strzegom subsequent – and we’re going to win! Millstreet is an excellent place. The cross-country was nice to experience; we’re not used to such pretty huge galloping tracks.”

FEI Eventing Director Catrin Norinder was additionally current on the occasion, and stated: “We’d prefer to thank Millstreet and the Duggan household for placing on such an ideal FEI Eventing Nations Cup™. The environment and cross-country course are superb. It was actually aggressive and a novel alternative to get so many countries collectively.”

This FEI Eventing Nations Cup™ sequence is of specific significance to some nations this 12 months, because the highest-placed group in accordance with the ultimate group classification of the 2023 Sequence, excluding groups/NOCs already certified, might be allotted a spot for the Paris 2024 Olympic Video games.

This was the third leg of the Sequence which can now transfer to Strzegom (POL) which runs from 21-25 June. The Belgians lead the Nations Cup Sequence at this early stage, with 270 factors scored, after profitable the opening occasion in Montelibretti final month so as to add to their second place.


by Eleanore Kelly

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