Jesse Linton rides Icarus NZPH, Copyright Photo: KAMPIC / Kerry Marshall


Jesse Linton has added to his already bulging trophy cabinet with a win in the East Coast Performance Horses Five-Year-Old Championship Final aboard New Zealand sport horse Icarus NZPH (by Up to You, out of Vibe Blue NZPH, who is out of Mr Blue).

“He is possibly one of the most talented horses I have ever ridden,” said 29-year-old Jesse. “Icarus is pretty green but a very nice horse who hopefully has a big future.”

The horse was bought as a four-year-old and is co-owned by Jesse and Belinda Buchanan. “This horse is a big, athletic, scopey and brave horse . . . but extremely spooky. He also has a massive stride so I do one less in lots of places. That was a very competitive class to win, and luckily we managed to pull it off.”

Jesse loves the Young Horse Champs, and now has seven crowns to his name. One of the biggest challenges he says of the show is finding the balance to ensure a horse still has enough left in the tank for the final day.

Icarus was a little tricky to manage as he was a very high energy horse. “He has got so much blood. He is bred for this so it just comes naturally to him.”

Jesse Linton & Icarus NZPH with Jenny and Nikki Booth from East Coast Performance Horses – Copyright Photo KAMPIC/Kerry Marshall


However, he had his quirks and liked to be in the ring early to have a good look around at everything. The champs were the first time Jesse had pushed the horse for speed. “We only aim for a few shows a year for him,” he says. “Slow and steady double clears is what we want. It’s all about the long game of producing him carefully.”

Jesse was grateful for the help and advice he continued to receive from Greg and Kim Best. “I am so lucky to have them right there.”


For full results, head to


The Jumping Team – 14 December 2022