It’s all on for New Zealander showjumpers who this week chase their single chance to qualify a team for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

The team of Daniel Meech aboard Donjon D’Asschaut, Tom Tarver with Fiber Fresh Popeye, Phillip Steiner with Cassina Dior, and Richard Gardner on Calisto 5, line up against teams from Australia, Japan and China with the top two going through. Daniel and Tom both rode for New Zealand at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Samantha McIntosh and Hagrano P.M.S are the reserve combination.

ESNZ high performance jumping manager Oliver Edgecombe says there is plenty riding on the 1.60m Grand Prix class which goes at 10.00pm on Tuesday evening (NZ time). “We’ve got a solid team there, and now it is up to each of them to put in their best performance to ensure we are one of those two teams that qualify for Paris,” he said.


Three-time Olympian Daniel Meech has had 10-year-old Donjon D’Asschaut, a Selle Francais, since late 2021 and have competed up to 4 level. Tom has competed the Kiwi bred 13-year-old Fiber Fresh Popeye at international level since 2018, winning New Zealand’s FEI World Cup Final in 2019 before heading offshore where they have competed up to 5* level.

Richard first brought the 15-year-old Calisto 5 out in 2016 and in the ensuing years have been part of successful New Zealand nations Cup teams as well as competing up to 5* level.
Phillip and the New Zealand bred 11-year-old mare Cassina Dior were the nation’s representatives at the FEI World Cup Final after winning the New Zealand league.

The qualifier is being held at the Tops International Arena in Valkenswaard, in The Netherlands, with the course designed by Peter Schumacher (GER). “It was good for our combinations to get in this arena 10 days ago as part of their build-up.”

The horses will be inspected on Monday, with an arena familiarisation of just 90 seconds each later in the day, and competition on Tuesday.

Donjon D’Asschaut (by Vigo Cece out of Inschallah II vt Asschaut who is by Nonstop) – owned by Darragh McCarthy and Ian O’Grady
Cassina Dior (by Diarado out of Prinzess VI who is by San Patrignano Cassini) – owned by Phillip and Sally Steiner
Calisto 5 (by Colman out of Tiffany I who is by Quintero) – owned by Gestüt Jennissen, Gut Nechen Agrar GmbH and Richard Gardner
Fiber Fresh Popeye (by Cardento 933 out of Cufflink V who is by Lio Caylon) – owned by Tom Tarver and Lucia Voss
Hagrano P.M.S (by Hasso P.M.S out of Gratiella who is by Granulit) – owned by Lucia Voss

CLICK HERE FOR LIVESTREAM – FEI TV Clip My Horse @ 10pm Tuesday, July 18 (NZ time)

By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photos by Libby Law/ESNZ