Phillip Steiner bagged one of the biggest results of his rather long showjumping career this afternoon, taking out the opening round of the POLi Payments FEI World Cup Series in Hastings.
The 50-year-old truckie, farmer, father and rider headed home a competitive nine-strong field who were certainly challenged by the Kevin Hansen-designed course.
Phillip and his nine-year-old mare Cassina Dior were one of four to go clear in the opener, and while he backed that up with another clear round in the second, he picked up a single time penalty.
Clears in the opener also came from three time series winner Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) aboard Windermere Cappuccino, current Olympic Cup horse of the year holder Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) with LT Holst Andrea, and Daniel Blundell (Auckland) aboard the sometimes feisty Cadenza NZPH.
Uncharacteristically both Tegan and Brooke had rails in the second, and had to settle for second and fourth respectively. The only other clear in the final round came from young gun Sophie Scott (Palmerston North) aboard Waitangi Skynet who were carrying eight penalties from the first and finished in third place.
But for Phillip it was a very sweet success. “I am stoked . . . really stoked,” he said. “The course was quite technical and I really didn’t think it was her course.”
How wrong he was, but then again, he has always believed in the mare’s talent. She was bred by Pip McCarroll who managed to convince Phillip to have a look at her. The rest is history, although it hasn’t been the smoothest of rides.
“When she was four I knew she was more at home on the bigger tracks but she had no rideability until she was seven. She had all the jump in the world but she’d run.”
They only jumped their first World Cup in November 2021 for a second placing and he knew things were about to change. “Things just really started clicking from there.”
They had a very successful winter campaign in Australia and Phillip says he will now be selective of just where he starts her, and now has a newfound confidence.
“Having the support of Equestrian Sports New Zealand to go to Australia over the winter was great for our confidence and this just lifts it that bit more,” he said.
“Today I just wanted to give her time to jump the fences, but you know if you go double clear you will be placed.”
He described the course as more modern day, with plenty of roll back, which is exactly what he trains for at home.
Phillip’s win emulated that of his wife Sally’s 20-odd years ago when she too won the World Cup at Hastings, and went on to later win the series. He also remembers his own first-ever World Cup start – he was 18 and aboard Briggs, a thoroughbred off the track. It cost $40 to enter the class, which his father said was a tad expensive, and he picked up 16 faults.
Results, showjumping –
POLi Payments FEI World Cup (NZ League) Series – opening round: Phillip Steiner (Tauranga) Cassina Dior 1, Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) Windermere Cappuccino 2, Sophie Scott (Palmerston North) Waitangi Skynet 3, Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) LT Holst Andrea 4, Daniel Blundell (Auckland) Cadenza NZPH 5, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Central Park 6.
More results to come.
For full results head to www.evoevents.co.nz
21 October 2022