Tom Tarver and Mat Irvine at the Backing Black Cocktail Party at the Taupo Christmas Claassic 20th December 2019.
Credit – Eye Witness Images

New Zealand Jumping’s Tokyo campaign is off to a cracking start after the Backing Black Cocktail Party and Auction raised nearly $50,000 last night at the Taupo Christmas Classic.

There was some spirited bidding from the sell-out 150-strong crowd who were all dressed to the nines for the special occasion.

Organiser Tom Tarver was very pleased with the outcome and extended huge thanks to everyone involved – from those who had generously donated so much for the auction, those who had attended, the young riders who had helped during the night and so many more.

“This is just the beginning,” says Tom, who with his team of Lana Mihelcic, Alexa Dodson and Kelly Wilson is already planning a second auction to be held at the Horse of the Year Hall of Fame evening.

“I’m driven to make this happen to for our sport,” says Tom. “It’s about building a team culture. We don’t want to get to Tokyo and look back and think there is more we could have done. We don’t want to leave any stone unturned. We want everyone along for the ride too so they feel they are a part of it.”

He’s not just talking about Tokyo either – Paris 2024, World Equestrian Games and beyond is also on the radar. “Success breeds success and some of our younger riders who helped last night could be in the picture by then.”

By Diana Dobson
Photo by Eye Witness Images