Carrissa McCall rides Picasso MVNZ, National Young Horse Jumping Show, Hastings, Saturday, December 10, 2022 Copyright Photo: KAMPIC / Jaimee Whittaker


ESNZ Eight-Year-Old Series


It’s been a mighty season for Carissa McCall. Between her winning the ESNZ Eight-Year-Old Series with her lockdown purchase Picasso MVNZ and her offshore horses on fire with Kiwi-turned-Aussie rider Katie Laurie, she has a lot to be happy about.

“It’s just incredible really,” she said. Carissa and Picasso MVNZ – or Pickles as he is known at home – have had five Grand Prix starts this season for two wins and two placings. The highlight being her win at Auckland Champs at Woodhill Sands the same day Katie and Cera Caruso won in California. “I couldn’t be happier,” said Carissa. The combination also placed sixth in the EvoEvents Horse Grand Prix Series.

“That to me was a really big surprise. Honestly, I had no expectations coming into the season and look how it has turned out!”

She bought Pickles from Mount View Sport Horses in March 2020. “He hadn’t done anything at all . . . never even been to a show.”

Then COVID really kicked in so Pickles didn’t really get to start to compete until he was six and then only lightly. “He has come up as a rather amazing eight-year-old horse now. It is a testament to just how nice a horse he is. He has been phenomenal for me.”

The gelding is cheeky and has attitude but a real trier, according to his besotted owner.

This is her first-ever national series title. “We have just been doing what we think is right for him. It never occurred to me he was doing well in a series. It is a nice surprise.”

But there have been a few bumps in the road this season. Carissa and husband Mike headed to California in March to watch Katie compete and it was on return that he had an accident, degloving and crushing his hand. It meant they missed the last few shows of the season while he had operations and more medical attention.

Carissa is hopeful of taking the horse up to base with Katie next year but she won’t be giving up the ride.

“I have my name stamped all over this one!”

Fittingly, she now has her name on the Stewart Tucker Zedco Cup, which also features Katie no less than five times. “How cool is that,” says Carissa.


ESNZ Eight-Year-Old Series: Carissa McCall (Taupaki) Picasso MVNZ 30 points 1, Julie Davey (Hastings) LT Holst Freda 14 2, Daniel Webb (Hunterville) WSJ Apache 8 3, Daniel Webb (Hunterville) WSJ Astros 6 4, Sam Carrington (Takapau) Double J Hurricane and Francesca Corich van der bas (Paraparaumu) Bannockburn ECPH 4 =5.


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Diana Dobson – 19 April 2023