Antonello Ridden by John Thompson to New Zealand Horse of Year
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HASTINGS, New Zealand, Mar. 6, 2016–John Thompson rode JHT Antonello to New Zealand Dressage Horse of the Year at their first national championship after capturing the Grand Prix Special and runner-up in the Freestyle Sunday.
John and the New Zealand-bred 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding received a personal best mark of 73.800 per cent in the Freestyle, placing second on Julie Brougham on Vom Feinsten with a score of 76.300 per cent. His victory in the Special made the difference in winning the title.
“We got personal bests, and you think that just six weeks ago Antonello nearly died,” he said after the ride. “Now we are starting to get some strength and it’s nice to be able to put some power back into the test, and not just survive.”
The pair head to Australia to compete for selection as New Zealand’s individual slot at the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro while Julie and Vom Feinsten go to Germany.