19 Aug 2011

NZ equestrian rider on the verge of $50 thousand pay day

8:16 am on 19 August 2011

A $50 thousand pay day is in store for New Zealand rider Clarke Johnstone going into the final round of the Eventing World Cup in France this weekend.

The UK-based rider from the Waikato has a comfortable ten point buffer over nearest rival.

With two wins and a third from the six rounds so far, Johnstone says he's heading to Le Grand Complete in Normandy a little nervous but very excited.

The World Cup series runs over seven events, with just the best three scores to count.

Johnstone and his mount 13-year-old Orient Express were part of the bronze medal winning New Zealand team at the World Championships in Kentucky last year.

Johnstone moved to his Gloucestershire base earlier this year in a bid to qualify for next year's London Olympics.

In two weeks time he'll start Burghley Horse Trials aboard Incognito.

Also competing in Normandy this weekend is Mark Todd aboard NZB Campino, who will be looking to qualify another horse for the London Olympics.

The event has attracted 266 horses from 14 countries.