The Kiwis have had a solid start to their FEI Nations Cup CSIO5* show in Rome with three combinations finishing in the top 10 of the opening 1.45m class.
Daniel Meech and Fine were the best placed, finishing in fifth in the two phase class, with Samantha McIntosh aboard Check In 2 seventh and Bruce Goodin on Backatorps Danny V rounding out the top 10. Lisa Cubitt and RLE Legoland had a rail in the opening round of the 62-strong class, which was won by Francois Jr Mathy (BEL) aboard Casanova in 25.68 seconds.
Meech was very pleased with his 10-year-old mare who was double clear in 29.07 seconds. “At a show like this, it is a championship atmosphere, so it is always nice to get the opening day out of the way – you train as well as you can but can never be 100% sure you have covered all bases. It is a grand arena with much to look at for green horses.”
McIntosh and her showy 15-year-old stallion were double clear in 30.56 seconds. “It was a great start,” she said. “The horses were all fit and fresh in the class today. It will be a tough one tomorrow, but we will give it our best shot.”
Goodin was rapt with Danny’s double clear too. “He didn’t look at anything and felt very careful,” he said. “It is a good start.”
Cubitt is relishing being a part of the team in what she is calling “truly a once in a lifetime opportunity”. “I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here at this incredible show,” she said. “
Chef d’Equipe Helena Stormanns had plenty of good things to say about all four riders, and is chuffed to see the improvement from some of the team horses. She too says the support from New Zealand families, owners and supporters is incredible.
Interestingly, New Zealand again drew number one in the Nations Cup, with Goodin to go first, followed by Cubitt, Meech and McIntosh for the big class tomorrow. The class will get underway at 12.15am on Saturday morning NZ time (2.15pm Friday Rome time), see the link below to watch the LIVE Stream.
McIntosh and Cubitt also competed in the 1.45m against the clock class. McIntosh was aboard her new horse Alaid de Chez Nous, and came home clear in 74.74 seconds, with Cubitt and Encour, in their first outing together, having a rail in the 49-strong class. Filippo Marco Bologni (ITA) and Quidich de la Chavee won in 59.74 seconds.
The horse details:
Check In 2 – owned by Takapoto Equestrian
Estina – owned by Takapoto Equestrian
Alaid De Chez Nous – owned by Takapoto Equestrian
Fine – owned by AB Kastanjegärden and Daniel Meech
Sitia-Blue – owned by Daniel Meech
Bäckatorps Danny V – owned by Bäckatorp Ryder AB
RLE Legoland – owned by River Lodge Equestrian
Encore – owned by Spencer Golding and Home Farm Equestrian Centre
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison