New Zealand’s top onshore based showjumpers are heading to Takapoto next week for an Olympic selection performance opportunity.

The Tokyo Olympic Games long-listed athletes will ride a course designed by Frank Rothenberger with videos of each round being sent to selector Helena Stormanns and high performance jumping chef d’equipe Gilbert Boekmann.

ESNZ high performance manager Jock Paget says the opportunity is not a straight-out trial. “Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, all sports are having to be creative in their preparation for the Games. This is an opportunity for our onshore based riders to keep sharp and see how they are tracking,” says Jock. “The course will be in line with the international standard and we are fortunate and grateful that they get to do it at a world class facility.”

Taking part in the event are Tegan Fitzsimon, Annabel Francis, Samantha McIntosh, Briar Burnett-Grant, Logan Massie, Melody Matheson and Brooke Edgecombe. It is compulsory turnout for all the New Zealand based Olympic long-listed jumpers.

“This will be great chance for our riders to jump this Frank Rothenberger-designed course and to get together in a high performance type environment.”

Frank, who hails from Germany, is no stranger to New Zealand, having previously designed at Takapoto Estate Show Jumping and the Land Rover Horse of the Year Show. He is considered one of the best in the world and has built at the World Equestrian Games, European Championships and Longines FEI World Cup Finals, and as a technical delegate at the Olympic Games, among other top events.

ESNZ jumping selector Oliver Edgecombe says Frank’s course will be typical of what the nation’s best will see at an Olympic Games of a 4* or 5* show in Europe.

“While it will be challenging, a lot of useful information will come out of this,” he says. “The idea behind this is that we would like to benchmark where our (onshore) riders are sitting. I am really looking forward to see them go.”

The class is being held on Saturday (April 24) at 10.30am at Takapoto Estate. It is open to the public. It will be a two round class with a 15 minute break between rounds and the cafe and bar at Takapoto will be open.


By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison