Pottinger is known throughout the equestrian community as Tinks, though her given first name is Judy. Born in Waipawa, the Wairarapa rider was one of the first New Zealand three-day eventers after Mark Todd to make an impression on the world stage.
Riding Volunteer, she travelled to Australia to win the Gawler three-day event in 1985. The following year Pottinger looked a sure gold medallist at the 1986 world champs, also at Gawler, but the ground jury controversially vetted Volunteer out after a cross-country knock.
Pottinger and Volunteer finished fourth at Burghley in 1987 and fourth at Badminton in 1988.
At the 1988 Seoul Olympics, Pottinger, again aboard Volunteer, was a member of the New Zealand team – also including Marges Knighton, Mark Todd and Andrew Bennie - that won the bronze medal. She followed a mediocre performance in the dressage, when she was assessed at 65.8 points, with a clear round in the cross-country on the second day. On the final day she went clear in the show-jumping section, helping to secure New Zealand the bronze.
She was fifth in the individual competition, only 3.8 points behind the bronze medallist, Virginia Holgate of Great Britain.
Pottinger, who ran a farm with her husband Andy, had problems with the fitness of her horses after 1988 and though she was regarded as an outstanding three-day eventer, did not make any further Olympic teams.
Even into the late 1990s, riding Good Fun and Rise and Shine, she was one of New Zealand's three-day eventing leaders. She eventually won 10 national eventing titles on seven horses.
Pottinger planned and organised New Zealand's talent identification and development squads for more than 10 years. She has also coached Young Rider trans-Tasman teams, and in 2011, became New Zealand's new eventing performance leader.
Tinks's Games History
Olympic Summer Games Seoul 1988