Brougham Takes Open Freestyle Crown

Rio Olympian Julie Brougham and Vom Feinsten were every bit the stars tonight as they won the inaugural ATEED New Zealand Open Freestyle Grand Prix to Music.

The Australasian freestyle record holders from Palmerston North scored an impressive 72.13%, with recent FEI World Cup finalist Wendi Williamson (Kumeu) aboard Dejavu MH on 70.38% and John Thompson (Hamilton) on JHT Antonello third on 70.29%.

The win was all the more special for Brougham as it was the last time she and Vom Feinsten will perform that particular freestyle Down Under.

“I am just thrilled,” said Brougham. “He was listening to me all the way. It was such fun to ride. I am very pleased to do this freestyle for the last time and win.”

She paid tribute to her husband David and coach Andrea Raves.

“It is a real team effort,” she said.

Williamson felt the surface had ridden really well.

“It’s been a great show.”

Thompson too was full of praise for EQUITANA Auckland, the sponsors, the other riders and the Australian visitors.

“It is great to see such a high standard here,” he said. “A big thanks to everyone for this wonderful event.”

The efforts of the first and third riders also secured the trans Tasman clash for the Kiwis.

Australian team captain Brett Parbery felt his team – comprising Parbery and fellow dressage rider Rozzie Ryan and showjumpers Gabi Kune and Kate Hinschen – had given “the Kiwis a good run for their money”.

“The jumping girls did a great job . . . they are super talent. We came up against three of the best Kiwis and they really stuck it to us.”

But the New Zealanders – comprising dressage riders Thompson and Brougham, with showjumpers Samantha Morrison (Tauranga) and Clarke Johnstone (Matangi) – were just too good.

Results – ATEED EQUITANA New Zealand Open Freestyle Grand Prix to Music: Julie Brougham (Palmerston North) Vom Feinsten 72.46% 1, Wendi Williamson (Kumeu) Dejavu MH 70.38 2, John Thompson (Hamilton) JHT Antonello 70.29% 3, Brett Parbery (Australia) Raukura Satori MH 69.33% 4, Jody Hartstone (Raglan) Ali Baba 67.04% 5, Abbie Deken (New Plymouth) KH Ambrose 66.79% 6, Rozzie Ryan (Australia) Adonie 66.46% 7.