Paget wins Aldon CCI* on Clifton Cognac

By: Clifton Eventers  05-Apr-2012
Keywords: Horse

Paget wins Aldon CCI* on Clifton Cognac
Published on 23 October, 2011

Sunday's All Blacks win in the Rugby World Cup was followed by another Kiwi win when Jonathan 'Jock' Paget took out the last 3DE of 2011 in the UK at , in the south-west of the UK at Yeovil, on Frances Stead's Clifton Cognac.In a big and classy field of 67 starters at the CCI*, Paget put in an excellent dressage test to lie second, just 0.7 marks off the lead, at the end of this phase on Clifton Cognac. Over a hilly and long cross country course on Saturday, the top few horses all came in clear and under time, so positions remained unchanged. However, whilst Mary King, Aaron Millar and Paget, then lying fourth, third and second, all show jumped clear, the less experienced leader, Danielle Dunn, succumbed a little to the pressure and had two rails dropping her to fifth and elevating the others each by one place, making Paget the winner.This capped off a great season for Paget and Clifton Cognac, a horse that had only had a couple of low level eventing starts before 2011 when he moved to the UK. However, he has gone from strength to strength since then with a very impressive as follows:
  • Three Pre-Novice (BE100) starts for fourth, fourth and second.
  • Taken slowly at his first two Novice for time faults cross country which kept him out of the major placings.
  • At his next five Novices, never lower than fourth with first, third, third, fourth, first.
  • Now a win at his fist CCI*, less than three months after his first Novice start.
is a very unusual 'Clifton Eventer', as he is the only one ever born in the Northern Hemisphere. He was bred in Germany, and then sold as a four-year-old to a Kiwi, Bundy Philpot, who was then based in the UK. She rated him so highly that, when she moved back to New Zealand, she brought him with her. However, due to her suffering a back injury, she was unable to compete him. He was sold to Clifton Eventers late-2010 and, despite his lack of experience, was rated so highly the decision was made to move him back to the UK with Paget early 2011 to continue his eventing career.Speaking on the phone to us after his win, Paget was full of praise for his horse after the event, saying "Clifton Cognac is certainly one of the most generous and easiest horses I have ever ridden. He gives everything and is so obedient and easy to ride, yet has loads of class and ability. Everyone notices him at a show. I almost feel a bit of a cheat when I compete him as he looks so flash that it must seem that I am having to ride him really well, but in reality, he is so easy that I think almost anyone could get a great performance out of him!”“When I first sat on him”, added Paget, “I thought of William Fox-Pitt's 2010 Kentucky four-star and WEG silver medal winner, Cool Mountain, as he seemed to be such a similar type. I remember thinking that, if he could turn out as good as that, then I would be extremely happy to have the ride! He has not disappointed. I don't think I have ever had such a consistently good track record on a horse before as I have on him.”Paget joked that, now he has won a CCI* to add to the CCI** and CCI*** wins already achieved on Clifton Promise, that he only needs a CCI**** win to complete the full range."That will be my 2012 target, along with an Olympic Gold medal of course", added a very happy Paget.Paget now returns this week to New Zealand to compete in the local Spring season on some of the Clifton eventers still based here, including Clifton Airtight, who he hopes to compete in the 3-star at the National One Day Champs at Richfields and then the end-of-season 3DE at Puhinui.In addition, Paget will be conducting a clinic for riders visiting from overseas in early January, giving them a chance to ride some of the Clifton team and learn from this very talented up and coming international rider and trainer.

Keywords: Horse

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