It’s been an exciting few months of highs and lows that culminated in success for the winners of this year’s TiES (Thoroughbreds in Equestrian Sports) Dressage Series. The TiES Dressage Series recognises eligible Thoroughbreds collecting points from Premier League Dressage Events throughout the season. And this year, two new awards, the New Zealand Bloodstock Newcomer Series and the TiES Best Performed have been added to the trophy line up, with points collected from the Bates Dressage National Championships in lieu of the cancelled Land Rover Horse of the Year Show.
TiES Dressage Series winner, Aucklander Belinda Greenfield says she couldn’t be more proud of L’homme du jour, who she affectionately calls “my little Freddy” who finished on 53 points.
“We’ve ended the season on an absolute high and now it’s time for a small breather before we focus on our winter training, and prepare for the next member of the ridden team who is off for backing next week,” says Belinda.
Belinda says that she, and a number of Thoroughbred enthusiasts like her, are grateful for the opportunity to showcase the successes of horses that have come off-the-track.
Fellow champion, Cantabrian Louisa Doig won the TiES New Zealand Bloodstock Newcomer award on Southern Aurora II, also coming second overall in the TiES Dressage Series on 51 points.
She considers the TiES series is enabling her to unlock access to the more elite level of sports and show Thoroughbreds are “super versatile”.
“It’s such a great initiative, championing these TBs into second careers. We’re giving purpose-bred ponies a run for their money,” she laughs.
Louisa says she couldn’t be prouder of her beautiful boy, Gizmo, who is now 11 and has been brought on slowly since she got him three years ago.
“He has really stepped up … I’d love to wear tails one day!” she says.
Completing the trifecta was Samantha Fechney of Taupo, who won TiES Best Performed Thoroughbred on Shockings Showman. At 23 years old, Samantha has won seven NZ National titles and numerous regional titles in Australia and New Zealand. She is currently training up youngsters through the grades and has sights set on making to Grand Prix in the near future, and competing overseas again.
She says she is still in disbelief at winning the newly introduced championship, as well as coming 4th overall in the TiES series. She had a few hair raising moments at Nationals in March and at one stage doubted if she was going to be able to compete, but Archie came through in flying colours.
“Archie continues to improve and always tries his little heart out for me. He has a very trainable attitude and has come so far in a year and a half of owning him” she says. “When I brought him, he didn’t even know how to lunge probably, let alone do a dressage test.”
“Buying him has been the best thing I’ve ever done!”
Samantha says her partner, Damon and mother, Vanessa, have massively supported her journey with Archie since the day she got him and she couldn’t of done it without them.
“Secretly, both of them want to take Archie for themselves” she laughs.
All riders agreed that it was the support of family and close friends that enabled their successes, along with the generosity of their individual sponsors.
The TiES Series is sponsored by New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing and aims to promote the qualities of off-the-track Thoroughbreds embarking on second careers as sport horses. New Zealand Bloodstock is a proud supporter not only of the racing and breeding industries, but also initiatives and events that align with racehorses off-the-track, supporting them in their show of versatility, athleticism and second careers after racing.
The multi-discipline series is hosted by Equestrian Sports New Zealand across Dressage, Eventing, Jumping and Show Hunter, with points collected from throughout the season.
Eligible horses must have a New Zealand Track Racing number and current ESNZ registration.
The top six for the TiES Dressage Series:
1 Belinda Greenfield L’homme du jour
2 Louisa Doig Southern Aurora II
3 Emma Rodd H L Double Happy
4 Samantha Fechney Shockings Showman
5 Joneen Chalmers Jacknthebox
6 Lauren Dolan Brightside Lumiere
TiES Best Performed (up to third place):
1 Samantha Fechney Shockings Showman
2 McKenzie Dew Roof of Reckoning
3 Jessica Sutherland Easy Going