New Zealand’s jumping team has finished sixth in the hotly-contested CSIO5* 1.6m Nations’ Cup at Gijon in Spain.
Chef d’equipe Bruce Goodin got the team off to a perfect start aboard Backatorps Danny V notching a stunning clear as the first rider out for the Kiwis and the sixth in the class.
Next out was Tom Tarver aboard Popeye picked up five penalties, followed by the always solid Samantha McIntosh aboard Check In 2 who rode a perfect clear. Richard Gardner and Calisto 5 didn’t have the round they wanted and were the drop score from the opener.
The team finished the first round in second equal spot on five faults – Great Britain led the charge on four with the Kiwis tied with the French and Italians in the 12-nation strong competition.
“We were pretty happy with the way things went in the first round,” said Bruce. “It was a good start with me going out and jumping clear and then Tom and Popeye fought hard for their round – they were just fractionally off the time but it has been step up after step up for them since coming here. Sam did a very nice clear round, judging the time to perfection and the horse looked really good, so that put us in a good position. Richard probably hasn’t jumped a track like this for quite a while and the horse was a little tense to start off with – it was disappointing for him.”
In the second round Bruce was annoyed to have a rail down towards the end of the course. “It was annoying for me and the team and I was disappointed not to nail the double clear,” he said. “Tom’s horse was starting to feel the effects of everything having only arrived here six weeks ago. He just ran out of gas – Popeye was still trying so hard but he didn’t have the power left.”
Samantha and Check In were again jumping superbly when they touched the tape in the water to finish on four penalties. “The pressure was really on Richard to come out and show his worth and he did a great job with just the last fence down.”
The team’s efforts saw them finish the two rounds on a total of 17 and in sixth place. Italy took the win on six faults with Great Britain in second on eight, France third on nine, with Germany and Ireland tied in fourth on 16 and the Kiwis a single point adrift.
“In lots of ways we were very happy how things went but at the same time annoyed because we were so close to being really, really good,” said Bruce. “This is why we are doing these events – to learn how to do better and take away the lessons to make it better the next time. We started well but we need to finish better. That is what we really want – to be better. It was great we were really in the hunt after the first round – we were right there and had a great chance. We want to nail these things. We need to be honest about these things – we need to work out why we didn’t have that little bit of luck and make it happen.”
As the chef and rider, Bruce was proud of the efforts of his team. “We need to nail the whole thing – we know we can do it. It is unfortunate we don’t have a lot of experience compared to many of these other nations. These events are fun – there is a lot of tension, pressure and excitement. This is what team jumping is all about and that is great. We will get better at it.”
Samantha aboard James S and Daniel Meech on Faith 13 also qualified in the top 30 of the CSIO5* 1.4m jump-off. Samantha was double clear with a second round time of 42.04 seconds to claim seventh spot with Daniel picking up four in the second in a time of 45.06 to finish just outside the money in 15th place. The class was won by Julio Arias Cueva (ESP) aboard Tip Top de l’Orle in 40.3.
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The horse details:
Backatorps Danny V – owned by Backatorp Ryder AB
Check In 2 – owned by Takapoto Equestrian
Calisto 5 – owned by GestGestut Jennissen, Gut Nechen Agrar GmbH
Popeye – owned by Tom Tarver and Lucia Voss
James S – owned by Xavier Tirant
Faith 13 – owned by Johnson Horses GmbH
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ