Mitavite sponsored riders have enjoyed a cracking season, with show jumper Rose Alfeld (pictured) taking out the World Cup series and eventer Clarke Johnstone winning the CCI4* at Adelaide.
Clarke has had a phenomenal run of form with his lovely grey, Balmoral Sensation and has headed overseas with him. Clarke and “Richie” are based in England and will compete in events in Belgium, Aachen and Germany with an eye to making the New Zealand team for WEG. The goal is to stake a claim for an eventing team spot for the FEI World Equestrian Games, to be held in Tryon in September.
“I had a really good season with Balmoral Sensation (Richie) and won our first 4* at Adelaide, which was great. We also won all four 3* starts in New Zealand.”
His results in New Zealand over this last season couldn’t have been better and Clarke says Richie is in great form.
“He had good, consistent results and is feeling fit and well, I’m very happy with how his preparation has gone.”
As well, Clarke competed at the top level in show jumping with another mount, Quainton Labyrinth, placing second in the World Cup series final at Woodhill Sands.
“He has stepped up to jumping World Cup this year and hopefully we’ll do some more World Cups next season. I don’t have any specific plans for him though, we’ll just see what comes.”
Clarke’s relationship with Mitavite has been a 10-year partnership. “I don’t have any worries about my feeding. I know the horses are getting really good quality nutrition and there’s something to suit every horse. I feel very confident in the quality of the feed.”
Travelling overseas with a horse can throw up challenges, but Clarke is fortunate to have Mitavite shipping a pallet of feed over, so Richie won’t have to change feed.
“They’re really going above and beyond. It’s potentially one of the challenges with travelling horses around the world, I’m really lucky I don’t have to change feed.”
For his show jumpers, Clarke finds the Cool Crusada is a fantastic all-round medium energy feed, while he uses Munga with a lot of his event horses. “It has a great nutritional profile and suits really well. It’s a good addition to my feed.”
Leeston rider Rose Alfeld spent four months on the road campaigning her team, a move that paid off when she clinched the World Cup series on My Super Nova.
“There are no World Cup classes in the South Island and for me to compete I have to be in the North Island. Also with the young horses, there are only a handful of age group series classes to compete in, they have to be in the North Island,” Rose explains.
“When I left I had no idea how long I would be gone for, I thought it could be two weeks or three months. I had no solid plan and I was going to be stoked just to place in a World Cup class.”
Not only did she manage a place, she took out the whole series. It was a win made even more special by the fact the family bred and produced My Super Nova themselves.
“It was huge, I was so emotional and excited. We bred My Super Nova, dad broke him in for me and I took him through the age group series. It’s pretty special because we have been so close for so long.”
Unfortunately the horse sustained an injury late in the season, but Rose hopes he will be back to contest the World Cup series again next season. “At first it just looked like a small over-reach, but we scanned it and it turned out to be a tendon injury. He’s had stem cell treatment and got the best care possible.”
She still hopes to take the horse to Australia to compete and, one day, to actually contest the World Cup final. “It’s always a dream to go to the final, if it was a bit closer. Also keeping in mind I have some exciting young horses and, if it’s not My Super Nova, I’m hoping it will be another.”
With so much time spent on the road, one of the keys to success was having great nutrition for her horses. “Having great nutrition all the time is important, but especially on the road. The horses never got tired, always looked a million dollars and bounced back after travel and competition. I think that’s a big help when you are away from home and the support Mitavite gave me while I was away was amazing.
“I have a large team at home as well and having the horses started on Mitavite from a young age I know they will develop into healthy, strong horses.”
Mitavite sponsors the Six-Year-Old series, which Rose competed in on Cadenza NZPH, placing fifth overall in the series.
“He has been pretty cool and surprised me a lot, which is nice. He had a few 1.30m starts for double clears and has impressed me a lot this season.
“I think the Six-Year-Old is a great series to sponsor. The age group series are where all the top horses start. My Super Nova came through the series too and I think it’s a great way to further their education and give them a good grounding.”
Rose says Cadenza NZPH has all the scope in the world, but his behaviour can be tricky. Advice from Mitavite and adjusting his feed to ensure he gets all the nutrition needed, without the extra energy, has been a key to their success.
“Mitavite helped figure out a better feeding plan for him so he gets as much fat as possible, with as little energy as possible. He’s also quite a fussy eater and since moving him to Mitavite Fibre-Beet he’s changed to a complete pig. It’s great to have people like that behind you to help you get the best out of your horses.”
Mitavite’s North Island sales manager, Daryl Vink, says while the company looks to sponsor good riders, it is also important those riders are good role models.
“We have good riders, but riders who are supportive of others and are just good people. It’s not just about winning classes but also about being considered a good role model.”
Mitavite is a specialist equine feed company, creating an equine only product that is produced in an equine only mill.
Sponsorship of the Six-Year-Old series is a good fit for the company. “You get a lot of good horses, and riders, coming through in the age group series.”