Clifton Promise and Jonathan Paget Win NZ Leaderboard
Wellington, New Zealand
Even before the CCI*** Bell Tea NZ Open National Championships at Taupo this past weekend, the winning combination is already decided with Jonathan Paget riding Frances Stead's Clifton Promise taking out the prize for 2008/09. This combination already have 68 points, putting them in an unassailable position 23 points clear of their nearest rivals, Donna Smith and Stanage on 45 points.
Clifton Promise and Jonathan Paget have achieved remarkably consistent good results at all the FEI 3-star competitions across the 2008/09 season so far:
Richfields CC1*** - 1st
Nearly all their leaderboard points have come from these targeted competitions. The combination also won their only other Advanced start of the year at Woodhill Sands over their new Advanced track in October 2008.
The next target for the pair is Taupo 3-star this weekend and then they hope to be picked for the Trans-Tasman team to go to Adelaide 4-star in November.
The leading owner contest is even more clear cut with Frances Stead, owner of the Clifton Eventers team, securing victory with 85 points, almost double that of any other owner. Whilst Clifton Promise has earned most of these, Clifton Jade, also ridden by Jonathan Paget, and Clifton Kudos ridden by Donna Smith, have also contributed.
The third element of the leaderboard contest, that of leading rider, in contrast to the others, looks like going right down to the wire at Taupo. Jonathan Paget currently leads with 84 points, but is very closely followed by Anne-Marie Styles on 77. Whilst Jonathan only has Clifton Promise in the Taupo CCI*** competition, Anne-Marie has her own As You Like It, and Alana Tasker's Opera Groove, both of whom have shown good consistent form to place them fourth and fifth on the leaderboard to date. The final placings of these three combinations at Taupo this weekend will determine which of these two talented riders wins the distinction of leading rider of 2008/09.
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