Showjumper Lily Tootill and eventer Nick Brooks are happily and safely at their new bases in the UK, with Samantha Lissington also set to pack her bags.
Nick looks to tick off Bucket List
Nick, a member of the Eventing High Performance Potential Squad, and For Fame, his 11-year-old gelding who placed fourth at the CCI4*-S at the Land Rover Horse of the Year Show, are based at the relatively new family-owned operation Lancer Stud in Suffolk.
“Sly (For Fame) surprised me by travelling great,’ said 30-year-old Nick. “He bounced off the transporter that brought him here from Heathrow, arriving at my new base at 2am. And has been very perky ever since!”
Their new base is equally weighted towards producing both event horses and showjumpers. “Hopefully it will be a great fit for me.” Nick is the Lancer Stud’s new eventing consultant. “It has been the dream forever to have a horse worth taking over to do the British Eventing thing, and hopefully tick off a few of the big B events. Sly is the right age and stage now, so it was time to take the leap.”
His plan is to keep producing Sly to see just how far they can get together. “Ticking off the 5* bucket list item is on the goal’s list and making a Kiwi championship team would be the ultimate.”
Nick is in the UK on a two-year visa but has no qualms extending the time if all goes well. While he only has For Fame with him at the moment, he would dearly love to have 11-year-old Versace C, who has done both World Cup showjumping and evented to CIC2* level.
“I don’t know just how I will afford that yet but I am just putting it out into the universe!”
Versace C is by Voltaire II, out of Coco C (who is by Cantago II) while For Fame is by For Edition and out of Craighaven Tarmac (who is by Waingata). Both are New Zealand sport horses and owned by Nick.
Ulysses NZPH and Lily Right at Home
Lily, a member of the Jumping High Performance Futures Squad, and Ulysses NZPH, who won the Olympic Cup in 2017, have arrived at their new base, at IN Show Jumpers at Henley on Thames. The business prides itself in identifying “exceptional” young showjumping horses with talent, scope and the ability to be successful at the top of the sport after training and development by experienced riders and trainers.
Eleven-year-old Ulysses NZPH, who is by Cabdulla Du Tillard, out of Quiet Time NZPH (by Twist Kerllec) is co-owned by Lily and Theresa Gattung, has arrived “fresh as a daisy from day one” after his long trip from New Zealand to the UK.
“We’re all settled in,” says 22-year-old Lily. “I am here because I want to have a go at the competition lifestyle in Europe, she says. “I love my horses but I wasn’t enjoying the lifestyle at home recently and I am not ready to give up on something I love without trying every option.”
She would love to compete for New Zealand but says she is realistic about the difference in the level of competition between the two hemispheres. “I know I have a long way to go before I am ready for that level.” Their first outing will be next month at Sentower Park CSI2* in Opglabbeek in Belgium.
Samantha Excited for UK Adventure
Eventer Samantha Lissington is making her preparations to head to the UK where she will be based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, with Ginny Thompson at Blyth Tait’s old yard. She and husband Brayden also have two year visas with the focus on having an adventure, great experience and learn as much as possible.
“Tokyo would be a bonus,” says the 28-year-old.
She plans to take eight-year-old Ricker Ridge Sooty GNZ, on whom she won the CCI3*-S at the Land Rover Horse of the Year Show this year. The gelding, by Caretino, out of Quantum Flash (by Tristaking) is co-owned by Samantha and Pip McCarroll.
“It is going to be good based at Ginny’s yard,” says Samantha, who has yet to set a final departure date but is working towards June or July. “We work really well together and it is a good chance to share resources . . . and the boys will have company!”
This month Samantha, a member of the Eventing High Performance Potential Squad, won the CCI4*-S at the Kihikihi International Horse Trial aboard Ricker Ridge Rui.
There are a handful of other riders also contemplating heading to Europe to base to further their experience.
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison