Tegan Fitzsimon was the queen of cool as she rode Windermere Cappuccino to her second ESNZ Horse Grand Prix Series.
As happy as she was to take the win, after placing second in a hotly-contested class, her preparation has a longer game feel about it.
“Everything is about working on getting him to jumping to the best of his ability in readiness for the Olympic performance opportunity at Takapoto later this month,” said the 30-year-old from West Melton. “He felt really good out there. He jumped it well quite easily and was happy and confident.”
She’s worked hard to get Vollie, as he is known at home, back to full fitness after a month-long break due to a small injury. “By the time I got him fit enough for the big tracks, the Land Rover Horse of the Year Show was cancelled. We were all relying on Takapoto and HOY to run to get those bigger starts, but we just haven’t had them.”
While the horse hasn’t had many Grand Prix starts this year, he has always been in the top three. “This series win was a real bonus for us, I just want him on form.”
Tegan got Vollie as a four-year-old and has done everything with him. He previously won the Horse Grand Prix Series as an eight-year-old, last year also took home the POLi Payments Premier Series and has twice won the FEI World Cup NZ Series, among others.
“He has been phenomenal throughout his career, winning a series every single year since he was five. He really does like to win and always gives me 110% since the day I first sat on him.”
Vollie is by Corofino II out of Vesper, who is by Voltaire II.
It was a star-stacked class this afternoon that saw 21 combinations go head to head, and 11 of those coming through for the second round. “It sounds like a lot of clears,” said Tegan, “but look at the start list – it was anyone’s class on the day. I thought the course rode really nicely and everyone’s horses jumped it well.”
Retired accountant Glen Beal (Te Kauwhata) and All Expenses of Renton rode off with the win with a double clear in 59.13 seconds. Tegan and Vollie were second with a clean 60.79 second effort, with Annabel Francis (Taupo) and Carado GHP third in 60.81. The top five were all double clear.
ESNZ Horse Grand Prix Series: Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) Windermere Cappuccino 62 points 1, Rylee Sheehan (Te Aroha) Bandito NZPH 58 points 2, Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) LT Holst Andrea 57 points 3, Glen Beal (Te Kauwhata) All Expenses of Renton 50 points 4, Sophie Scott (Wellington) Lakota 42 points 5, Nicole White (Invercargill) LC Samson 39 points 6.
ESNZ Horse Grand Prix Grand Final: Glen Beal (Te Kauwhata) All Expenses of Renton 1, Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) Windermere Cappuccino 2, Annabel Francis (Taupo) Carado GHP 3, Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) LT Holst Andrea 4, Sarah West (Te Aroha) Oaks Centurian 5, Rylee Sheehan (Te Aroha) Bandito NZPH 6.
For full series results, head to www.nzequestrian.org.nz
For full class results, head to www.main-events.com
By Diana Dobson
12 April 2021