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Bounce and Aspyring retire at Puhinui

The Auckland Airport Qantas CCI in New Zealand saw Vaughn Jefferis’s Olympic horse Bounce bow out of eventing with a final three-star win to his name.

With just one hiccup across Mark Phillips’s acclaimed country course – in the water, which required a hasty re-routing over the alternative – the 17-year-old gelding then show jumped clear to take the title.

Another to retire at this event was Blyth Tait’s ride Aspyring, who belongs to the Kiwi Belles syndicate of Heather McRae, Lady Margaret Trotter, Margaret Apatu and Lady Joyce Fisher.

Sadly however, the 14-year-old was withdrawn after the dressage as Blyth felt the hard ground on the steeplechase would take its toll on his feet.

The two-star event was won by Tim Price onDesamoray, ahead of Blyth and Jen Kneale’s Rongotai.

New Zealand also cleaned up in the international teams competition, with Vaughn, Mark Todd and Dan Jocelyn beating the “rest of the world” (Heidi Antikatzides with US riders Becky Douglas and Diann Steinrotter).

Matt Ryan, Brook Staples and David Middleton took third for Australia, ahead of the British Isles team of William Fox-Pitt, Sue Shortt and Trish Donegan.

For full story see Horse & Hound issue dated 14 December.

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