Samantha McIntosh had plenty of good to say about the Auckland Showjumping Grand Prix Show. The Olympian and World Champs representative rode off with the win in the ESNZ Horse Grand Prix class aboard Takapoto Alaid de Chez Nous, heading home a competitive 11-strong field.
“I am still producing her for the bigger classes and she needs a bit more mileage at this level before I step her up but she really is a fantastic horse,” says Samantha. “She has a lot of ability but is not the easiest being quite strong and very forward and fast, but that is what makes her good.”
Her plan for the second round of the Grand Prix was to put enough pressure on fellow clear rounder Emelia Forsyth (Clevedon) aboard Henton Faberge. “It worked well. Emelia jumped a beautiful first round and just had the second to last down.”
Eight came back for the second round with just Samantha aboard Takapoto Alaid De Chez Nous and Emelia on Henton Faberge carrying zero faults.
Emelia added four in her 51.74 second round with Samantha double clear in 51.89 seconds. Annabel Francis (Taupo) and Carado GHP finished in third spot with four penalties while Drew Carson (Putaruru) and Winston V Driene filled fourth on eight faults.
A veteran of producing and competing at top level, Samantha said it was always key to choose the horses for their classes wisely. “It is about giving each horse more of a chance,” she said. It had been a great show for her with Takapoto James S placing second in the FEI 1* behind Daniel Blundell (Auckland) aboard Athena NZPH.
“The courses all weekend have been nice and flowing, it was a great weekend out.”
But what really impressed Samantha about the weekend was the schedule at the show, which was held at the Pukekohe A&P Show Grounds. “The first day they held the style classes which were hugely popular and produced some nice rounds. It is a chance to get your greenies out into the main ring and jump on style rather than against the clock.”
The schedule ran nicely through the heights to give all levels a good run.
The style classes, for four, five, six and seven-year-olds, were around 10cm smaller than series tracks and judged by John Cottle and Fred Cornege who were looking for a nicely trained and scopey horse.
The 26-strong FEI 1* horse 1.4m was a class for the speedsters with Daniel Blundell (Auckland) and Athena NZPH almost three seconds faster than the opposition in the 11-strong jump-off. The full time rider was rapt with the efforts of the mare who he has had for around five years now. She was sidelined last season and Daniel has taken his time bringing her back in. “That was the class I wanted to do well in,” he says. “She is so fast and quick and slick I know I always have a chance to win with her.”
They bravely took an inside turn to the wall that no-one else dared do, coming home double clear in 43.32 seconds with runner-up Samantha McIntosh (Cambridge) and Takapoto James S also all clean in 46.24. “I didn’t hit the best distance but she is such a good jumper she handled it,” said Daniel.
He plans to build her up to some of the nation’s big classes towards the end of the season.
Ten started the Country TV Pony Grand Prix with Liv Teixeira (Kerikeri) and EB Esperanza leading the field home with a double clear in a slick time. She and Madison Jackson (Auckland) Rednalhgih Cowan were both all clean but her 43.92 second time was too good for Madison’s 45.86. Fastest of the second round was Crystal Hackett (Waiuku) and The Dreamer but they paid for their 42.38-second effort with four penalties and had to settle for third.
Auckland Showjumping Group chair Paula Mussen said she and the committee were rapt with their annual event that continued to grow in stature and this year attracted 500 horses.
The crew had started watering three weeks before the show but stopped when they saw the forecast and ended up with perfect footing and weather. The show had 30 sponsors for the event, with many using it as an opportunity to network.
Danielle Watts designed the courses in ring one with Eryn Duffy mentoring her while also doing the FEI 1*. It was the first time the Auckland Group had held the 1*.
ESNZ Horse Grand Prix (sponsored by Veterinary Associates Equine): Samantha McIntosh (Cambridge) Takapoto Alaid de Chez Nous 1, Emelia Forsyth (Clevedon) Henton Faberge 2, Annabel Francis (Taupo) Carado GHP 3, Drew Carson (Putaruru) Winston V Driene 4, Glen Beal (Pukekohe) All Expenses of Renton 5, Daniel Blundell (Auckland) Cadenza NZPH 6.
FEI 1* Horse 1.4m (sponsored by AMS Saddlery and Weatherbeeta): Daniel Blundell (Auckland) Athena NZPH 1, Samantha McIntosh (Cambridge) Takapoto James S 2, Oliver Croucher (Cambridge) Waitangi Surf 3, Glen Beal (Pukekohe) All Expenses of Renton 4, Amanda Illston (Auckland) Verdelho 5, Vicki Prendergast (Matamata) Selena C 6.
Country TV Pony Grand Prix (sponsored by GJ Gardner Homes): Liv Teixeria (Kerikeri) EB Esperanza 1, Madison Jackson (Pukekohe) Rednalhgih Cowan 2, Crystal Hackett (Waiuku) The Dreamer 3, Katie Readings (Pukekawa) Rump Shaker 4, Cassie Topper (Whangarei) Redcliffs Wizz Bang MF 5, Shanae Savannah (Silverdale) Tiger Tale LS 6.
FMG Young Rider Series (sponsored by LG Forge & Landcare): Brooke Hawthorne (Cambridge) Ziggy Stardust GNZ 1, Emma Watson (Morrinsville) Maddox Letino 2, Emily Hayward (Te Awamutu) Centino 3, Annabel Francis (Taupo) LT Holst Elizabeth 4, Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) Fiber Fresh Delphine NZPH 5, Tyla Hackett (Waiuku) Global PH Cocofino 6.
Mainland Coachwork Junior Rider Series (sponsored by Zealandia Nurseries): Tara Gower (Ohura) WTF Cabello 1, Leeshelle Small (Ramarama) AMS Dolce NZPH 2, Tara Gower (Ohura) Double J Image 3, Liam Rutland (Cambridge) George Jetson 4, Lucas Bremner (Whangarei) Dynavyte Cancion HSH 5, Natalia Lammers (Whangarei) Romeo NZPH 6.
Dunstan Horsefeeds Amateur Rider Series (sponsored by The Workshop 1924): Kelly Chapman (Albany) Eye See Ruby 1, Georgina Forsyth (Clevedon) Catapult Xtreme 2, Jessica Toomey (Cambridge) Starlight Destiny 3, Helen McNaught (Taupo) Double Whoopy 4, Kristin Manson (Auckland) Bellhaven Misty Blue 5, Shelley Bridgeman (Auckland) Oaks Vendetta 6.
Harrison Lane Pro-Amateur Rider Series (sponsored by Te Hihi Farms): Kirsten Worker (Clevedon) Melanie’s Choice 1, Kylee McCambridge (Cambridge) Chicago 2, Emma Gaze (Ohaupo) Woodland Bug 3, Laura McGregor (Auckland) High Command 4, Emma Gaze (Cambridge) Kowhai Bug 5, Georgia Massie (Dannevirke) Loose Change 6.
Matthews Hanoverians Seven-Year-Old Series (sponsored by Mainland Coachwork): Oliver Croucher (Cambridge) Casanova Xtreme 1, Sophia Blackbourn (Hamilton) Octavia MVNZ 2, Natalia Lammers (Whangarei) Puro Qualita 3, William Willis (Karaka) Charlize MS 4, Rachel Malcolm (Cambridge) Onessa MVNZ 5, Charlotte Francis (Taupo) Chic Xtreme 6.
UltraMox Six-Year-Old Series (sponsored by Thoroughbred Floats): Jeremy Whale (Cambridge) Bannockburn ECPH, Carissa McCall (Auckland) Picasso MVNZ, Georgia Lawrie (Auckland) Carlottie and Michelle Wakeling (Wellsford) BMW Chaccolilli =1.
East Coast Performance Horses Five-Year-Old Series (sponsored by Wade Hose Coaches): Caitlin Henry (Whangarei) Rata Mill Rhythm, Oliver Croucher (Cambridge) Takapoto China and Brooke Hawthorne (Cambridge) Latona =1.
The Village Horse 1.3m-1.35m Championship (part of the Super Series): Leeshelle Small (Ramarama) AMS Glenbrooke Archie Bunker 1, Alexa Randall (Auckland) LC Tango 2, Olivia Newsome (Tauranga) Caretino Jewel 3, Sam Whale (Cambridge) Adloo Annabelle 4, Olivia Dalton (Karaka) Yalambi’s Garibaldi 5, Isabelle Jameson (Whangarei) Di Caprio CSNZ 6.
Petplan Equine Pony 1.1m-1.2m Championship (part of the Super Series): Soro Mayo (Whitianga) Glenwood Genteel 1, Samantha-Lee Wakeling (Wellsford) BMW Sharpshooter 2, Francesca Bishell (Auckland) Galaxy Disco Fever II 3, Jordyn Appleton (Taupaki) Stylish Gem 4, Alexandra Henry (Whangarei) Mosaic of Renton 5, Rosa Wilkinson (Whangarei) Double J Yippee 6.
For full events, head to www.equestrianentries.co.nz
By Diana Dobson
16 November 2020