It’s Olympians all the way in the mid-year revision of the Eventing High Performance squads released today.
Sir Mark Todd has been named with a trio of horses – NZB Campino and Leonidas II, who were both already on squad, with Kiltubrid Rhapsody joining them. The very in-form Jonelle Price remains with her stars Faerie Dianimo and Classic Moet, while husband Tim has Xavier Faer, Bango and Ringwood Sky Boy. Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation round out the top squad.
Todd’s Kiltubrid Rhapsody is an 11-year-old Irish bred gelding by Cascaletto St Ghyvan Z out of Kiltubrid Heather (by Lombardo) who placed sixth at Badminton this year.
NZB Campino was his London Olympic horse and part of the bronze medal-winning team. The 16-year-old German bred gelding, who is by Contendro I out of Pink Dame (by Pinkus) was fourth at Badminton in 2017 and been top 10 at CCI4* events at Kentucky, Pau, Burghley and Luhmuhlen.
Leonidas was seventh individual at the Rio Olympic Games, and also represented New Zealand at World Equestrian Games in 2014. The German-bred horse is by Landos out of Nairobi III (by Parco XX).
Jonelle Price won Badminton this year aboard her 15-year-old black mare Classic Moet. The British-bred horse, who is by Classic out of Gamston Bubbles (by Bohemond) was fourth at 2014 WEG and also competes in showjumping at CSI4* level.
Faerie Dianimo was the winner at Luhmuhlen this year and also Jonelle’s Rio Olympic mount. The 13-year-old grey mare, who is by Dimaggio out of Faerie Dazzler VII (by Catherston Dazzler) was second at Luhmuhlen in 2015 and fourth at Pau in 2014.
Tim Price’s 15-year-old Irish-bred gelding Ringwood Sky Boy was fourth and fifth at Luhmuhlen and Burghley respectively in 2017. By Courage II out of Sky Lassie (by Sky Boy), Ringwood Sky Boy was Tim’s Rio Olympic Games horse.
Xavier Faer is a 12-year-old British-bred gelding who is by Catherston Liberator out of Faerie Dazzler (by Catherston Dazzler). He was third at Badminton last year and also competes in showjumping at CSI4* level.
Tim’s third squad horse is Bango, a 12-year-old Irish-bred gelding who is by Garrison Royal out of No Sale (by Don Tristan). He has competed in CCI4* at both Burghley and Luhmuhlen.
Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation were New Zealand’s best-performed individuals at the Rio Olympic Games with their sixth place finish. They won the CCI4* at Adelaide last year and were fifth on début at Badminton in 2016. The combination can lay claim to nearly all of New Zealand’s top eventing crowns. The Kiwi-bred Balmoral Sensation is by Senator VDL out of Aberzanne (by Aberlou).
It has been a challenging season for New Zealand’s top combinations chasing WEG selection, with a wet UK winter forcing the cancellation of many events followed by a British heatwave meaning hot conditions and hard ground. That led to ESNZ extending the timing for combinations seeking to meet WEG eligibility until the end of the month. Riders on both the High Performance and High Performance Futures squads can be eligible for selection for championship teams. New combinations can be added to any squad at any time by selectors.
ESNZ high performance director Sarah Dalziell-Clout said it had been a busy time for high performance selectors with Aachen and the review of mid-year squads with WEG in mind.
The WEG team and reserves – both travelling and non-travelling – are likely to be announced after the Camphire Horse Trials, which run July 25-29.
There are nine combinations on the High Performance Futures Squad. Tim Price has taken over the rides aboard Ascona M and Cekatinka, while Olympian Caroline Powell (UK) brings on a new horse in Up Up and Away. Also on squad is Todd (UK) aboard McClaren, Blyth Tait (UK) on Havanna, Dan Jocelyn (UK) aboard Grovine de Reve and Dassett Cool Touch, Jock Paget (Taupo) on Angus Blue and Jesse Campbell (UK) on Amsterdam 21.
Twelve-year-old Amsterdam, who is German-bred, by Acorado’s Ass out of Allez Petite (by Augustinus XX), competed at Luhmuhlen this year. Irish-bred Dassett Cool Touch, who is by Van Dantzig out of Touch of Cavalier (by Secret Touch) also has a number of CCI4* runs to his credit.
Angus Blue and Paget led the New Zealand team to victory in the Oceania Championships at Melbourne last year. The New Zealand-bred thoroughbred – who is by Senor Pete out of an unknown Waikiki Star mare – came back from the UK with Paget when he moved home.
Up Up and Away, a 12-year-old Irish-bred grey gelding, has competed at both Badminton and Pau. He is by Puissance out of Coolmore Frolic (by Paris Lights). Ten-year-old Grovine de Reve has campaigned at 3* level throughout 2017 and 2018. The Irish-bred horse is by Hermea de Reve out of Erkina Jane (by Rimilis).
Havanna has been with Tait since mid 2017. The Belgium-bred mare is by Warkant van Het Gestelhof out of Dilys van’t Castaneahof (by Turbo van’t Gestelhof).
Todd rates McClaren very highly. The German-bred horse, who is by Clarimo out of Toni 1 (by Landjunge) was second in the CCI3* at Saumur this year.
Both of Tim Price’s horses have also been ridden successfully by his wife. Cekatinka, an 11-year-old bay mare, won the CCIO3* at Boekelo last year and has finished in the top 10 of her last six starts. She is by Kin Kolibri out of Katinka (by Julio Mariner).
Ascona M is a 10-year-old grey mare who won the CCI3* at Haras le Pin last year and was second in the CIC3* Event Riders Masters at Blenheim in September. She is by Cassaro out of Naomi (by Carpaccio).
Nine riders have been named in the Future Potential Recognition Group which bridges the gap between the High Performance and Performance programmes. New to the squad is Nick Brooks (Cambridge), who joins national three day champ Amanda Pottinger (Havelock North), Bundy Philpott (Cambridge), Donna Edwards-Smith (Te Kauwhata), Sam Felton (Matangi), Emily Cammock (Canterbury) and US-based Joe Meyer, and UK-based Neil Spratt, Ginny Thompson, James Avery and Lucy Jackson.
High Performance Squad
NZ Bloodstock and Sir Mark Todd
Di Brunsden, Peter Cattell and Sir Mark Todd
Niki Ryan and Dr Elizabeth Donald
Trisha Rickards and Jonelle Price
Trisha Rickards, Jacky Green and Jonelle Price
Ringwood Sky Boy
Varenna Allen, Robert Taylor and Tim Price
Trisha Rickards, Nigella Hall and Tim Price
Numero Uno Syndicate
High Performance Futures
David and Katherine Thomson
Dr Craig Campbell
Dassett Cool Touch
Therese Miller and Dan Jocelyn
Up Up and Away
Cameron and Mary Crawford and Caroline Powell
Grovine de Reve
Therese Miller, Jo Preston-Hunt, Philip Hunt and Dan Jocelyn
Jane Lovell-Smith, Katherine Corich and John Ormiston
Suzanne Houchin, Sir Peter Vela and Lucy and Ben Sangster
Future Potential Recognition
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison