On Friday February 19th, Sharn Wordley and Craig Martin collaborated outside of their respective duties as co-founders of Wordley Martin Equestrian, together this time as team members for the New Zealand Nations Cup Team. Sharn Wordley, who’s had consistent success in the Grand Prix ring, was competing for the team aboard Barnetta, alongside seasoned veteran Kirk Webby, and two newer talents, Luke Dee and Claudia Hay.
Craig Martin enthusiastically came back to the competition ring as the New Zealand chef d’equipe, working with his long time business partner in the capacity that originally brought them together, the sport of show jumping!
Typical to the unpredictability of horse sport, the day presented several challenges and several more pleasant surprises. Greener team member Luke Dee stepped up as the team trail blazer, being the first to set the pace on course with only one rail. In an interview with Equestrian Sports New Zealand, Martin was thrilled with the efforts of Dee,
“Luke was incredible,” says Martin. “He was first out and proved to be one hell of a jockey. He has ice in his veins! To go out first in a class like that was a big ask but he rode great and that horse is very, very good.”
“Claudia doesn’t have a lot of experience in classes bigger than 1.55m but really took it on. She handled it very well. She was composed and they are a great combination.”
Sharn, who had previously placed second in the Central Park Horse Show aboard Barnetta struggled a bit at the liverpool and then had an uncharacteristic stop, opting to retire. Martin said it simply wasn’t Wordley’s day, and Webby, the most experienced rider on the team had done a good job to get a “super green” horse around. “Overall it was a bit of a tough day, but that’s show jumping . . . you never know what is going to happen. There is always another day.”
Congratulations goes out to the US Team brought their finest and also the top result, with McLain Ward, Lauren Hough, Todd Minikus and Beezie Madden dominating the field for the win, followed by Mexico placing 2nd and Colombia taking 3rd.
New Zealand promises to evaluate their weekend and return ready for another Nations Cup class in Wellington in the beginning of March.