The search is on for a new Equestrian Sports New Zealand jumping high performance manager thanks to a funding boost and a revamped and invigorated programme.

Waikato philanthropists Mitch and Kate Plaw are underwriting the new high performance jumping programme which, after an extensive consultation process, will be designed, managed and implemented by ESNZ.

ESNZ HP General Manager Jock Paget said it was an incredible opportunity to really create solid performance pathways for our jumpers.

The Plaws are no strangers to top-flight sport, having been involved with rugby, netball, hockey, rowing and cycling at elite level, as well as the New Zealand Olympic and Commonwealth Games teams. In recent years they have invested hugely in Takapoto Estate, on the shores of Lake Karapiro, which is recognised as a world-class equestrian facility. The family also sponsor Olympian and World Champs rider Samantha McIntosh.

“Under Jock’s stewardship, now is our sport’s time in the sun,” said Mitch. “Finding the right person for the jumping high performance manager’s job is absolute key. For this programme to be successful it is going to call for the showjumping community to step up and support it and be a part of it. With Takapoto, we now have a world class home for top competition, now we need to have more of that. With the proper high performance jumping programme in place, and the right support, the sport will develop.”

ESNZ Jumping Chair Mandy Illston said the programme was a game changer for the discipline and had been long discussed and hoped for.

“We applaud the vision of the Plaw family for creating a platform to grow and develop NZ Jumping talent, we have never had this opportunity before and we truly believe, that in time, it is has the power to change our competitiveness on the world stage.”

Jock says it is a very exciting time for jumping. “We’ve gone through a consultation process within the jumping community in New Zealand and had excellent engagement from a clearly passionate group of people,” he said.

High performance has worked with the jumping board and others to build a solid foundation for the programme and now is the time to find the right person to lead it.
“It is a performance orientated role and the successful candidate will work alongside coaches, riders, equine health and others who are so key to the success of our programmes.” Already in place is a successful eventing programme, and Jock is confident jumping can be equally as good. “It is another exciting step forward and we want to grow this to support jumpers here and offshore to achieve their goals.”