It will be a first Badminton for New Zealander Clarke Johnstone (29) who is currently based in the UK with Christopher Burton, having recently arrived from New Zealand. Last year with Badminton entry Balmoral Sensation he was third at the Adelaide four-star in Australia and the pair has won seven of their 10 international starts together while in total Balmoral Sensation has 11 international wins to his name.
With Orient Express Clarke was a member of the bronze medal winning team at the WEG 2010. With Icognito he jumped double clear at Burghley in 2011 (17th) and with KS Secrets won the NZ advanced three-day championships at Taupo in 2011.
He first came to the UK to compete at the London test event and for three years competed in both the UK and NZ – he last competed here at Hartpury in 2013.
Clarke is from the South Island although his recent base is Hamilton, North Island. Clarke grew up on a sheep and cattle farm in Otago and first rode aged 12 when he was encouraged to ride out with his sister. He was educated in Dunedin and in 2008 he received a degree in commerce from the University of Otago. It was after this that Clarke made the move to the North Island to pursue eventing full time. Following a successful season in 2011 he moved to the UK to prepare for the 2012 Olympic Games – during which time he was based with Mark Todd. He made the decision to return to NZ to rebuild his string after a run of injury and a paddock accident that resulted in the loss of his top horse Incognito. Clarke trains with Vanessa Way and former New Zealand Olympian Vaughn Jefferis.
Balmoral Sensation is a grey 12-year-old New Zealand sport horse. He is by the Dutch-bred jumping sire Senator VDL – a son of Corland – that stands in NZ. Sensation is out of a mare by the thoroughbred sire Aberlou (sire of many top event horses including Delta, Messiah, Aberjack, Lily the Pink). He was bred by David Goodin a well-known show jumping personality in NZ who still competes at the age of 80. Sensation was acquired from Balmoral Eventers in 2014 and is an accomplished showjumper having competed up to 1.50 grand prix in NZ. He was previously ridden by Donna Smith who produced him to three-star – winning four of their eight international starts.
16.2hh , grey , gelding
Sire Senator VDL
Dam Aberzaane (Aberlou)
Breeder David and Anne Goodin
Owner(s): The Johnstone Family, Otago, New Zealand