By Sally Reid
Photography: Kelly Wilson and courtesy of Samantha Peters
Sport horse breeding has never looked so exciting in New Zealand, and this year’s Young- Horse Show, with its record number of entries, was a showcase of serious bloodlines and talent. The leading breeder of the show, for the second year in succession, was New Zealand Performance Horses (NZPH), whose progeny won the five- and seven-year-old championships, as well as the seven-year-old style prize.
NZPH is based in Hawke’s Bay and has produced many winners since it was founded in 1995 by Warwick and Julie Hansen, and David and Bridgette Kirk. Its breeding manager is Adele White, who joined the operation four years ago. “The success is from 23 years of trying to breed the top showjumpers in New Zealand,” says Warwick Hansen. “A lot of hard work, but we’ve got there!”
All broodmares in the NZPH band have international pedigrees, and all foals born at the stud are by top European stallions via imported frozen semen. They have an enviable start to life on 4,000 acres of hilly coastal farmland – the perfect place to develop muscle and athleticism.
Top stallion Corofino II
For at least the third time, top stallion honours went to the licensed Holsteiner Corofino II (Corrado I – St.Pr.St. Valeska IV x Fernando I), who was also the winner in 2015 and 2016. (Records of this award are ridiculously difficult to trace!)
Bred by Hobe Bernhard in Germany, Corofino II comes from the highly-ranked Holsteiner dam line 318d2. This has produced more than 50 other licensed stallions, among them Corofino I, Crawford, Chello I, II and III, and Camiros. Corofino II is a full brother to Corofino I, and a half-brother to Camiros (Contender), who was a Holsteiner approval champion. Another Holsteiner approval champion, Diarado (Diamant de Semilly x Corrado) is closely related, as is the excellent Coriano, who is his dam’s half-brother.
Corofino II scored 10 for jump, 10 for character and nine for temperament at his 30-day test in Schlieckau and had an excellent competition career in Europe: More than 90 clear rounds, with 10 wins at international level. He was ridden first by Thomas Konle and later by Janne Friederike Meyer. He served at stud in Europe before coming to New Zealand in 2009, and is handsomely represented by Northern Hemisphere progeny, including the elite mare Uhura HH, the Bezirksprämie mares Tessa and Ulme, and Zuchtbuch mares Utopia and Uliana P.
His offspring here in New Zealand include the seemingly unbeatable eight-year-old gelding Windermere Cappuccino (Corofino II – Vespa x Voltaire II) who won his five-, six- and seven-year-old series and, in his first season at this level, leads the ESNZ 2018-19 Grand Prix series.
Corofino II is now 21 and stands at Xtreme Sport Horses in Otaki.
Top mare, Madam Coco
Winner of this award and the ‘open’ mare class was Madam Coco (Tiger Moth LS – La Vedette x Voltaire II), a New Zealand Sport Horse bred by eventer Kirsten Kelly, ridden by Danielle Maurer and owned by Cerys Tarr. The nine-year-old is now jumping at Grand Prix level. Her sire, Tiger Moth LS (Tribune xx – Dilemma x Distelfink), is closely related to one of this country’s best showjumpers of all time, John Cottle’s Super Moth (Distelfink – The Flying Jug xx x Copsale xx). His dam, Dilemma, was Super Moth’s full sister. Tiger Moth stands at Longspring Sport Horses.
This year’s seven-year-old Champion, Cadillac NZPH (Jokus Latour – Untouched NZPH x Cabdulla du Tillard) is a bay gelding owned and ridden by Samantha Peters of Whangarei. They were the only seven-year-old partnership to finish the three days of competition without faults. Peters has had ‘Stewy’ since he was a four-year-old, and says, “He’s the most outgoing character in the stable and a true professional in his work. When he enters the competition ring people stop to watch him. He gives me 100% every time we compete.
“I bought him off the recommendation of my very valued friend Daniel Blundell, who was the rider at NZPH at the time, and Tui Teka, who is a highly respected horseman.
“It’s been an incredible journey to date, winning the North Island six-year-old title, placing second in the HOY six-year-old championship, and jumping clear in multiple six-year-old starts.
“He’s now had six starts as a seven-year-old, and he’s won three of them and placed fifth in two. Winning the Young Horse title means so much to me – it’s a hard three days of jumping, and Cadillac NZPH couldn’t have done it in any better style – three clear rounds to take the win!”
Peters has another very promising NZPH youngster in her string, a half-brother of Cadillac’s named Dodge NZPH (Quintus – Untouched NZPH x Cabdulla du Tillard). “His scope feels unlimited,” she says. “He’s electric, jumps in style and has a huge heart. He’s definitely one to follow in Cadillac’s path.”
Their dam, Untouched NZPH, has recently given birth to a filly, Jaguar NZPH, by Contendro I. Make a note of that baby’s name!
Second place went to the always-excellent NZ Sport Horse gelding Central Park (Euro Sport Centavos – Silk and Spice x Omnicorp xx) who was bred by Imogen Neale and is ridden by Maurice Beatson.
A New Zealand Warmblood gelding, Whimsical WDS (Whisper IV – Volivia x Voltaire II), bred by Walton Dressage Stables and owned and ridden by Kate Hercock, was third. His sire Whisper IV (Weltmeyer x Feiner Stern) was a superb dressage stallion who competed in Europe with Hans-Peter Minderhoud and in New Zealand with Jody Hartstone. His progeny include stallion sons in Europe, and breeders here are keeping a close eye on the outstanding young colt Wyoming (Whisper – Luxor x Landioso) who was bred by Hartstone and was the champion foal of the 2018 Warmblood classifications.
Two Eye See (Ngahiwi One Eye – Mrs Grey x Telesun), who had a great season as a six-year-old, was fourth in the class with Robert Steele, and looks certain to continue his upward climb.
Fifth went to another from New Zealand Performance Horses, the super gelding Cadenza NZPH (Kannan – U Can Dance NZPH x Fuego du Prelet) for Rose Alfeld, and in sixth place was an adorable Gypsy Cob-TB gelding, Showtym Burrow (John Brodie – Gemaica xx x Strike Diamonds xx) for Amanda Wilson.