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Pottinger thrilled with Badminton debut

Amanda Pottinger and Just Kidding tackle the cross-country at this year’s Badminton trials. PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

EQUESTRIAN

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

Amanda Pottinger achieved her goal of finishing the gruelling Badminton Horse Trials unscathed.

The former St Matthew’s Collegiate student had her mother, Tinks, who finished fourth at Badminton in 1988 on Volunteer, out on the course to support her in her debut outing at the prestigious three-day event.

Amanda and her 16-year-old thoroughbred, Just Kidding, completed the three days on Sunday in 35th place after picking up 16 jumping faults and 1.6 time faults in the final showjumping discipline.

However, it was in the dressage phase where the pair turned heads, finishing the opening phase in eighth-equal, and the only New Zealand pairing to make the top 10.

Amanda’s father, Andy, said just completing the three days of competition was a significant achievement, with more than a third of the 83 starters failing to finish.

He spoke to Amanda after the cross-country and said the 31-year-old was thrilled with the dressage, and pleased with the cross-country, where she took a slower but safer option at one of the obstacles, which cost her 25 seconds because the direct route would have been too big for Just Kidding, and that showjumping has never been the horse’s best phase.

“The dressage was a stunner, the best she’s ever done, and she came home with no cross-country jumping faults, and I guess that was the aim, with a horse that is probably at the bottom edge of the size for that sort of course,” Andy said.

“It’s a big track. I spoke to Tinks and she said it’s like it used to be, with the big rolling tracks and obstacles.”

There’s no rest for Amanda. She was to head to Patroni, Italy, on Monday for a test event for potential New Zealand team members for the Three-Day Eventing World Championships to be held there in September.

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