New Zealand’s top onshore showjumpers were tested by a very up to spec Frank Rothenberger-designed course today at the Olympic performance opportunity at stunning Takapoto Estate, providing the ideal conditions and atmosphere to any show in Europe.

Annabel Francis (Taupo) lined up on both La Quinara and Carado GHP, Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) on Windermere Cappuccino, Samantha McIntosh (Cambridge) on Takapoto Alaid de Chez Nous, Logan Massie (Dannevirke) on Bravado Ego Z, Melody Matheson (Havelock North) with Cortaflex Graffiti MH, and Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) on LT Holst Andrea. The two-rounder was compulsory turnout for all the New Zealand based Olympic long-listed jumpers.

Those behind the opportunity says a lot of very useful information was gathered by all. For ESNZ high performance manager Jock Paget says it was particularly exciting to replicate a European standard in New Zealand. “It highlighted to me that showjumping really does have a lot of leverage,” he said. “We could never bring the European standard in eventing here without trying to replicate a Badminton or Aachen, but today we did that for showjumping by using a track designed by one of the best, we had good people on the ground to put it together and access to a world class venue like Takapoto.”

He was impressed to see around 300 people turn up to watch it – some of whom had travelled miles to see it. “It great to see that sort of interest for the sport,” he said.
“The riders and their teams knew it would be tough. They were put under a lot of pressure for it. They all trotted up and had a crack – it was good to see.”

Videos are being sent to Europe to be studied by selector Helena Stormanns and high performance jumping chef d’equipe Gilbert Boekmann, with all riders spoken to individually over the coming week.

ESNZ jumping selector Oliver Edgecombe says he is confident everyone had useful things to take away from the rounds. “Horses being horses, you never know what is going to happen,” he said. “It is great to be able to trial something like this for the future, knowing we can bring a bit of Europe with the associated pressure right here. It is a great way to benchmark where our riders are at.”

Friday saw each rider have a 15 minute arena familiarisation and then came together for a dinner and chat around logistics of travel and vaccinations for the Tokyo Olympics.

By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ