A forward and flowing course was just the ticket for Olympian and World Championship rider Samantha McIntosh who this evening won the fourth round of the New Zealand FEI World Cup Series at the Taupo Christmas Classic Show.
The POLi Payments and McIntosh Global Equestrian World Cup class attracted 11 of New Zealand’s best showjumping combinations who were challenged by Pip Howells building her first course at this level.
In the opening round at the National Equestrian Centre indoor arena, clears came from Taupo teen Annabel Francis who nailed the course with both La Quinara and Carado GHP. She was joined in the clean slate brigade by Samantha (Cambridge) aboard Takapoto Alaid De Chez Nous, Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) with Fiber Fresh Veroana, and Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) aboard LT Holst Andrea. Two-time series leader Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) was also clear aboard her youngster Campari but picked up a single time fault.
Eight combinations with four faults and less came back for the second round where Samantha, Brooke and Annabel with both her horses were double clear. Samantha showed all her experience in her turns and tracks, flying home in 52.62 seconds. Annabel and La Quinara gave it their all but couldn’t match her time, stopping the clock at 53.22 while Brooke crossed the flags in 60.46. Annabel and Carado GHP finished the round in 61.94.
“Those inside turns really suited her,” said Samantha of the feisty rising 11-year-old mare. “She is easier to turn than go in straight lines because it slows her down. She is very forward and brave. My plan today was to try and put enough pressure on the others behind me. I certainly wanted to win – I have had my eyes on this for the last couple of months because she jumps so well indoors and the prize money was excellent.”
McIntosh Global Equestrian had boosted the prize purse to $7500 for the class. “It has been a learning curve getting it together (with the mare) but now we are getting there it makes it all worthwhile,” she said.
“It was a great jump-off today and so good to see a number of clears in there making it exciting.”
The win was Samantha’s first WC victory for the season. Samantha was very complimentary of course designer Pip Howells. “She built a nice flowing course out there.”
Samantha felt New Zealand showjumping would only continue to improve as riders gained more experience riding in indoor arenas. The win topped off a good show for Samantha who earlier won the cash rich 1.3m speed aboard Takapoto James S, Takapoto Alaid de Chez Nous had won her warm-up class and Takapoto Malarkey won the 1.3m.
Earlier in the day, Nakeysha Lammers (Hamilton) made it two from two in the Fiber Fresh CSI1* 1.4m heading home a competitive 41-strong field aboard 10-year-old Balboa NZPH.
The four-day show has attracted more than 850 horses and will wind up tomorrow.
The World Cup Series runs over six rounds with the best four to count for each rider.
The winner of the New Zealand league usually has the chance to represent the nation at the Longines FEI World Cup Final which is scheduled to be held March 31-April 5, 2021, in Gothenburg Sweden, but with a global pandemic whether it goes ahead or not is uncertain.
Following Taupo will be another qualifier at Dannevirke (January 10) with the final at the Waitemata World Cup Show at Woodhill Sands in Auckland (January 17).
POLi Payments FEI World Cup (sponsored by McIntosh Global Equestrian): Samantha McIntosh (Cambridge) Takapoto Alaid de Chez Nous 1, Annabel Francis (Taupo) La Quinara 2, Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) LT Holst Andrea 3, Annabel Francis (Taupo) Carado GHP 4, Melody Matheson (Havelock North) Cortaflex Graffiti MH 5, Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) Windermere Cappuccino 6.
NZ Series World Cup Leaderboard (4th of 6 rounds – best 4 to count): Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) 72 points 1, Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) 62 points 2, Annabel Francis (Taupo) 61 points 3, Melody Matheson (Havelock North) 45 points 4, Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) 38 points 5, Samantha McIntosh (Cambridge) and Logan Massie (Dannevirke) 31 points =6.
Fiber Fresh CSI1*: Nakeysha Lammers (Hamilton) Balboa NZPH 1, Sarah West (Matamata) Oaks Centurian 2, Laura Inkster (Clevedon) Nikama MVNZ 3, Oliver Croucher (Cambridge) Waitangi Surf 4, Samantha Morrison (Tauranga) Frangipanne de Toxandria 5, Jeremy Whale (Cambridge) Idol d 6.
FMG Young Rider Series (sponsored by McIntosh Global Equestrian): Sarah West (Matamata) Oaks Centurian 1, Rylee Sheehan (Te Aroha) Bandito NZPH 2, Annabel Francis (Taupo) Cherokee NZPH 3, Isabelle Jameson (Whangarei) Di Caprio CSNZ 4, Kalani Nicol (Whitianga) KMR Descardo 5, Olivia Dalton (Karaka) Cil Dara Bonaparte 6.
Mainland Coachwork Junior Rider Series (sponsored by Equestrian Entries): Leeshelle Small (Ramarama) AMS Dolce NZPH 1, Madison Smith (Cambridge) Biarritz 2, Amara Green (Woodhill) LC Underberg 3, Kimberly Carrington (Takapau) Double J Barmaid 4, Tim Wilson (Waipukurau) McMillans Chuck 5,Anneke van Rooyen (Taumarunui) My Sassy Cat 6.
Dunstan Horsefeeds Amateur Rider Series: Anna Kincheff (Rotorua) Red Socks 1, Danielle Stanaway (Tauranga) The Invisible Man 2, Kelly Chapman (Albany) Eye See Ruby 3, Maddison Grainger (New Plymouth) Our Finn 4, Jeremy Clark (Cambridge) Dynavyte Cancion HSH 5, Kristie Mason (Auckland) Centiare 6.
Harrison Lane Pro-Amateur Rider Series: Christine Cornege (Cambridge) Varekai SL 1, Holly Rose (Taupo) Pampero 2, Tanya Hansen (Taranaki) Euro Champagne 3, Sally Clark (Dannevirke) Victoria’s Secret 4, Philip Steiner (Tauranga) Lord Rendition WS 5, Kirsten Worker (Clevedon) Melanie‘s Choice 6.
East Coast Performance Horses Five-Year-Old Series: Georgina Dormer (Rangiora) Google NZPH, Brooke Hawthorne (Cambridge) Latona and Melody Matheson (Havelock North) Cortaflex Giulia MH =1.
UltraMox Six-Year-Old Series: Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) Fiber Fresh Kasalla, Julie Davey (Hastings) LT Holst Freda and Geordie Bull (Taupo) Marius =1.
For full results, head to www.equestrianentries.co.nz
By Diana Dobson
19 December 2020