NZL-Bruce Goodin rides Backatorps Danny V  Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography

The UAE has again proved to be a happy hunting ground for Tokyo hopeful Bruce Goodin with a super win this morning in the CSI5* HH Ruler of Sharjah Cup FEI World Cup Qualifier aboard Backatorps Danny V.

It is Bruce’s first-ever 5* Grand Prix win and he couldn’t be happier. “It was a bit of a roll of the dice to come here but I wanted to come and do some good shows that were all on sand.” The tour included one 4* and two 5* shows. “I thought that would be a good way to start the year off with three decent shows like this.”

Forty-one combinations started the class in Sharjah, with 15 coming back for the second round where the top 11 were all double clear. However, Bruce and his 12-year-old gelding showed their class with a 34.68-second round to seal the win ahead of Christian Ahlmann (GER) on Solid Gold Z who came home in 35.27 seconds with Abdel Said (EGY) and Alanine de Vains third in 35.3.

Bruce and Danny were 12th to go in the second round and pocketed 50,000 Euro for their efforts. The field included the likes of British riders William Funnell, Chad Fellows and Michael Whitaker.

“When I walked the course I thought it was big enough and I think everyone was surprised to see 15 clear rounds in the first round. I wasn’t sure how Danny would jump today though – he was double clear and third in the 1.50m class yesterday. Coming into the show I hadn’t planned on jumping all three days but on Thursday in the 1.50m Grand Prix qualifier he felt a little bit too aggressive and too cocky so needed to jump again. That’s why I started him yesterday where he jumped better and clean and was better again in the jump-off. I was really happy with third.”

NZL-Bruce Goodin rides Backatorps Danny V  Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography

But Bruce wasn’t sure how the horse would be feeling today. “He is a horse who really shows his mood. As soon as you see him in the sable he tells you. He was a little tired this morning when I rode him but he seemed to perk up. He was happy in the warm up and I had a good feeling.”

The Kiwi combo touched a couple in the opener but it went well. They were 12th to go in each round giving Danny a good break between the two. Bruce said the horse was feeling so good he felt he could really go for it.

“I didn’t see (Egyptian rider) Abdel (Said) go but I knew his time and saw Jack (Whitaker) go so had a good idea how fast Abdel had been. Danny jumped fantastically in the second round. I backed myself to win.”

The win was “hugely satisfying” for Bruce. “It gives me a lot of confidence going forwards. There are still things that I know I have to work on but at the same time to bring a great result like that is excellent.”

Bruce figures there may be another force at work helping him to victory. The win came the same weekend that the Chiefs beat the Crusaders. Last year his Waikato Chiefs team beat the Crusaders the same weekend that he won the Grand Prix in Munich. “There could be something in that,” he says.

All up Danny will have spent seven weeks in the UAE with Bruce bouncing back and forth between his base and the tour. “He’ll have a decent break before the European outdoor season starts proper in April.”

The UAE was where the New Zealand jumpers made history in 2018, by winning a Nations Cup round at Abu Dhabi.

Backatorps Danny V is owned by Backatorp Ryder AB and Bruce and Ulrika Goodin. Bruce and Danny represented New Zealand at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon in 2018 and now have their sights set on Tokyo.

Click here to watch Bruce’s Winning Round

Click here for Full results

By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ