Tegan Fitzsimon and her wonderful gelding Windermere Cappuccino can lay claim to a rather unique achievement – together they have won every single New Zealand jumping series he is possibly eligible for.
They already had the FEI World Cup (NZ) Series in the trophy cabinet at home and headed to the Series Finals having also secured the ESNZ Premier League, Equissage Horse Grand Prix Series and ESNZ Eight-Year-Old Series. Last season he won the Seven-Year-Old Series and in the preceding years the five and six-year-old ones too.
“It just sums up the horse he has been for me,” says 28-year-old Tegan. “He has been so consistent over the whole period right from the get-go. He is just phenomenal and very cool as a rider. He is quirky, but he just loves his job.”
Their partnership is rock solid. “He knows me inside out and backwards and I know him the same. He always gives me 100% in the ring and that is a pretty good feeling.”
It is the first time Tegan has won the Premier, Horse Grand Prix or World Cup series. “It is really special.” The combination also placed third in the Olympic Cup at HOY after a brilliant jump-off between Tegan, eventual winner Emily Hayward and Melody Matheson.
“He is pretty quirky, so our training is casual. He does like to do his own thing – you can’t tell him anything. You have to ask him! At home I just make sure he continues to enjoy what he does best. We don’t do much flat work in the season because he goes a bit sour on it and that takes the jump away. And he doesn’t like a lot of jumping at home either – it has to be all about fun.”
Tegan says she has to keep reminding herself Windermere Cappuccino – who is owned by the Parkes Family and herself – is just eight. “He is phenomenal for his age. I keep reminding myself to calm down a little. He has always been a year above his age. But it can be hard not to want too much. It is about making smart decisions and not over-cooking him too much.”
She teamed up with the warmblood when he was four. This season they did their first World Cup start – from their four starts they had two wins and two seconds and took just a single rail. They also won the National Grand Prix crown this year too, adding to the others they have won each year they have competed there. Over the entire season, they had just five rails down.
The horse is for sale and that has added some pressure to Tegan. “It has been the season of the roller coaster,” she says. “I was on such a high after winning the World Cup and then suddenly he was on the market, but we kept on as normal. It was tricky to work through it all but in my gut, I knew he had to keep competing, and I am glad we did that. He is a real athlete and needs that focus and consistency.”
Tegan would dearly love to take the horse offshore to compete but says this winter isn’t the time. “This is our 16th week in the North Island and while it would have been nice to take him to Australia, he really has done enough this season. He needs a break.”
If she still has him next season, she will certainly be looking at seriously heading offshore. “He is openly on the market so only time will tell . . . of course, I would dearly love to have the chance to compete internationally with him.”
It was a very small field that lined up for the grand final of the ESNZ Premier League thanks to late scratchings. Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) and Gold Locks were the victors with four faults over the two rounds, Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) and LT Holst Andrea were second with 12 faults and Maurie aboard Mandalay Cove were third on 13 faults. Maurie was clear with both his horses in the second round.
In the two round Equissage Horse Grand Prix Series Grand Final, 15 started the opening round of the Gerrit Beker-designed course, with clears coming only form Julie Davey (Hastings) aboard Joligne De Carmel and Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) on LT Holst Andrea. Nine came back for the second round with clears coming from Nicola Hammond (Cambridge) aboard Carlo I, Glen Beal (Te Kauwhata) on All Expenses of Renton and the very consistent Brooke aboard Andrea who took the win with the only double clear of the class. Riders really did cop some dreadful weather, but everyone coped admirably.
By Diana Dobson
ESNZ Premier League Series:
1st Tegan Fitzsimon (Christchurch) Windermere Cappuccino 154 points
2nd Melody Matheson (Hastings) Cortaflex Graffiti MH 119 points
3rd Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) LT Holst Andrea 117 points
4th Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) Fiber Fresh Veroana 110 points
5th Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Mandalay Cove 87 points
6th Tom Tarver (Kawerau) Equifibre Popeye 80 points
ESNZ Premier League Grand Final:
1st Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Gold Locks
2nd Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) LT Holst Andrea
3rd aurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Mandalay Cove
Equissage Horse Grand Prix Series:
1st Tegan Fitzsimon (Christchurch) Windermere Cappuccino 112 points
2nd Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) LT Holst Andrea 96 points
3rd Steffi Whittaker (Christchurch) Eros K 75 points
4th Tegan Fitzsimon (Christchurch) Double J Monarch 56 points
5th Lily Tootill (Karaka) Ulysses NZPH 53 points
6th Clarke Johnstone (Matangi) Quainton Labryinth 46 points
Equissage Horse Grand Prix Series Grand Final:
1st Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) LT Holst Andrea
2nd Julie Davey (Hastings) Joligne De Carmel
3rd Nicola Hammond (Cambridge) Carlo I
4th Glen Beal (Te Kauwhata) All Expenses of Renton
5th Emma Watson (Morrinsville) Letino
6th Elmo Jackson (Auckland) Fairview Animation
ESNZ Eight-Year-Old Series:
1st Tegan Fitzsimon (Christchurch) Windermere Cappuccino 224 points
2nd Katharine Van Tuyl (Palmerston North) Centavino 20 points
3rd Clarke Johnstone (Matangi) Dolly Blue 16
4th Doug Isaacson (Dannevirke) Elmo 13 points
5th Natasha Brooks (Cambridge) Twerk 12 points
6th Robert Steele (Dannevirke) Delta Blue 10 points