The decision to delay her trip north paid dividends for West Melton show jumper Tegan Fitzsimon, who won her World Cup debut, on a horse also having its first start at this level.
Fitzsimon and the supremely talented eight-year-old Windermere Cappuccino, owned with the Parkes family, jumped the only double clear at the Hawera Auto Court Egmont Show on Saturday to take the win in style.
The New Zealand World Cup League is the country’s premier jumping series and Hawera played host to the second round of competition.
Fifteen combinations started the Harris Taylor Ltd NZL FEI World Cup Round and five came back for the second round, with just Fitzsimon having a clean slate and four four-faulters also returning. They were Briar Burnett-Grant aboard Fiber Fresh Veroana, Logan Massie on Intellect, Maurice Beatson on Mandalay Cove and Emily Hayward with Belischi HM.
Again, Fitzisimon was the only rider to notch a clear round, securing first place. No-one was able to match her, though Burnett-Grant was the fastest four-faulter in the second round to take second, ahead of Massie and Intellect in third.
Fitzsimon also started Double J Monarch in the World Cup, having eight faults in the first round to secure 7th= in the class, the horse’s debut at this level. “She tried super hard and got better as the course went on. She’s not as naturally gifted as the little Cappuccino horse, but she gives me 100% the majority of the time and I was really pleased with her too.”
The 27-year-old fulltime rider was over the moon with the result, despite a shaky start to her show with Vollie, as Windermere Cappuccino is known at home. “He jumped really well and felt really good (in the World Cup), but I got eliminated in the 1.40m the day before, so it wasn’t a good pre-run – after that I honestly didn’t know what to expect,” she admitted.
Originally, both horses were entered in the first World Cup round at Hawke’s Bay, but Fitzsimon felt they were not quite ‘on’ and opted to delay her trip to the North Island by five weeks, a move that paid off.
“They probably would have been fine, but fine is not really good enough. It’s a lot of money to spend bringing them up and I wanted them to be at their best and 100% ready.”
Fitzsimon said the approach with Vollie was to give him a nice, confidence building ride. “He’s still young and the win was a bonus on top. It was about giving him a nice ride and making sure he was confident around the track.”
The horse, by Corofino II out of a mare called Vespa, has been super consistent throughout his career, winning the five, six and seven-year-old series.
Fitzsimon is cautiously optimistic about the horse’s future. “I think you have to take it step by step. He’s always been quite promising, but it will be how long I can keep the ride – we have turned down a few big offers. I would love to take him overseas to compete him, but at the moment the aim is just to get him established at this height. I don’t want to make too many big plans because anything can happen.”
She will stay in the North Island until Taupo Christmas Classic, returning home for several weeks over Christmas before travelling back north for the Dannevirke World Cup, home again and then a final trip up for Takapoto, Horse of the Year Show and Series Finals.
The plan is for both horses to have three World Cup starts, with the aim of keeping them consistent and jumping well.
The series continues at Feilding (November 30 – December 1), Taupo’s Christmas Classic (December 13-16), and the Central and Southern Hawke’s Bay Showjumping Show (January 4-6). The grand finale will be held at the Waitemata World Cup Festival in Auckland (January 10-14).
The series winner has the opportunity to represent New Zealand at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup final in Goteborg, Sweden, in April next year, where the best from each league around the globe go head-to-head.
Harris Taylor Ltd ESNZ NZL FEI World Cup: Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton), Windermere Cappuccino, 1, Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) Fiber Fresh Veroana, 2, Logan Massie (Dannevirke) Intellect, 3, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Mandalay Cove, 4, Emily Hayward (Te Awamutu) Belischi HM, 5, Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) LT Holst Andrea, 6.
Country TV Pony Grand Prix: Emma Watson, Maddox Fun House, 1, Parys Marshall, Spot You Later, 2, Brooke Hawthorne (Cambridge) Easy As, 3, Georgia Bouzaid (Cambridge) Redcliffs Bill, 4, Lily Moore, Showtym Highlight, 5, Karis Spurway (New Plymouth) Kabo Cappesh, 6.
FMG Young Rider: Emily Hayward (Te Awamutu) Yandoo Lady Gold, 1, Blake Davis, Giggles, 2, Nicola Hammond, Carlo I, 3, Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) Fiber Fresh Veroana, 4, Nicholas O’Leary, Obeone Kanobe, 5, Elmo Jackson (Paremoremo), Sugarman, 6.
East Coast Performance Horses Five-Year-Old: Luke Dee, Chic Xtreme, 1, Georgia Massie (Dannevirke) Jay-Z GNZ, 1, Dirk Waldin, LT Holst Cor Blimey, 1.
Mitavite Speedi Beet Six-Year-Old: Luke Dee, Corpaccio Xtreme, 1, Oliver Edgecombe (Waipukurau) LT Holst Elizabeth, 1, Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) Campari, 1, Samantha Peters, Lordeutz, 1, Sally Clark (Dannevirke) Sun Flake, 1.
Matthews Hanoverians Seven-Year-Old: Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Central Park, 1, Robert Steele, Two Eye See, 2, Annabel Francis, Cherokee NZPH, 3, Chloe Hansen (Opiki) Big & Rich, 4, Logan Massie (Dannevirke) Lamondo GNZ, 5, Luke Dee, Numero Uno Xtreme, 6.
Dunstan Horsefeeds & Equifibre Junior Rider: Colleen Crous, Orames Girl VDL, Emma Watson, Maddox Kiwi Silverkee, 2, Ally Carson (Putaruru), Letano, 3, Bobbie Hewson Ngahiwi Blue Moon, 4, Zara Waldin, U Can Dance NZPH, 5, Brooke Hawthorne (Cambridge), Keltern Flash, 6.
Hinterland Amateur Rider: Victoria Grey, Dusseldorf, 1, Anna Kincheff, Red Socks, 2, Holly Dravitzki, Classic Déjà vu, 3, Jillian Watson, Hezvolt, 4, Bailey Marshall, Delaney, 5, Holly Dravitzki, Duchess of Denby, 6.
Dunstan Horsefeeds & Equifibre Pro Amateur Rider: Emma Gaze (Ohaupo) Fire Bug, 1, Sally Clark (Dannevirke) Victorias Secret, 2, Matthew Dickey, Caprio, 3, Kristi Salonius, MF Amore Mio, 4, Melanie Cooper, Zarlo, 5, Sophie Fourie, Detailed MSH, 6.
Story by: Rebecca Harper