Dannie Lodder was right when she counted on yesterday bringing a little luck for her at the Kihikihi International Horse Trial.
Aboard Moochi, South Auckland's Lodder coolly rode to victory in the prestigious CIC three star event. Her clear round in the showjumping put the pressure on overnight leader, Karaka's Simon Gordon and Fletch.com, who had just a single fault in hand going into the final phase.
However, Gordon and Fletch.com dropped the first rail in the showjumping and that opened the door for Lodder.
Their efforts in the tighter arena backed up a superb clear round, with just five time faults, over the John Nicholson-designed cross country course on Saturday.
"That track [the cross country] just kept on coming," said an elated Lodder. "You have to ride every single fence and when you reach the finish you are exhilarated and know you are sitting on a super horse because you got round."
The combination were fifth at the Kihikihi World Cup event last year in just their second advanced start, but Lodder said she came into this year's event far more confident after an intensive week of training.
Over this season she says she learned to attack showjumping courses with more vigour.
The Kihikihi victory was her biggest to date, and she was hoping to be named in the transtasman senior team to compete in Sydney at the end of the month, and has her sights on competing in the Adelaide four star later in the year.
In the CIC two star, Virginia Thompson managed to go one better than her second place in the same class last year.