Toni McIntosh joins Wallie Niederer as he celebrates 14 years of outstanding service.

ESNZ is pleased to announce that Toni McIntosh has been appointed as the new Convenor at Fiber Fresh NEC Taupō.  A former Grand Prix and World Cup showjumper, Toni is a local coach who currently owns an equestrian events company that operates a number of showjumping events. Together with her husband Colin, they also coach showjumping in Auckland, at several locations across the Central North Island, and in Christchurch. 

Toni and Colin have been living just north of Taupō since COVID-19 thwarted their plans to alternate their year between Hawaii, California and New Zealand, for six months at a time. 

“When someone throws you a lemon, you just have to make lemonade,” laughs Toni.  “There was a danger that, if we left New Zealand, we might never get back here.  So, we decided it was time to stay here.”

She had previously spent 20 years in America running a hunter, jumper business on the West Coast and in Canada with 50 horses in training, and says she saw a real gap between a practice day, a show day, and coaching when she returned to New Zealand.

Toni concedes that she has “big boots to fill” following the last 14 years of outstanding service by Wallie Niederer who is stepping down from his role.

“Wallie has been amazing.  I’m very honoured to get the job, and really want to make NEC very accessible to all equestrians across all disciplines.  And I’m lucky I have a great support crew around me,” says Toni.

“I want to develop the international taste of equestrian here in Taupo, but make sure that the grass roots riders are catered for.  We can do everything here, carriages, western riding, pony club.  I really want to get all the disciplines working together for a greater good.  I’ve got all inspired from being immersed in the international scene for the last 20 years, it would be great to get the Aussies coming back over again, and other countries coming to Taupō too,” says Toni.

Toni still keeps a keen eye on the international circuit with step-daughter Samantha currently in the ESNZ High Performance squad.

“It’s been very exciting and fabulous having Samantha back with us for 18 months.  Now she’s chasing her dreams to get to the Olympics.  So, yes, we plan to go to Paris to support her.”

But for now, Toni, who lives “literally seven minutes away” says her focus will be on the NEC where she will work with the NEC Committee plans to further develop the outdoor facilities, increase and improve horse accommodation, and revamp the booking system.  And that’s just for starters.