New Zealand jumpers have missed out on a team slot for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games after finishing third in the FEI Group G Qualifier in Valkenswaard last night.

Phillip Steiner and his New Zealand bred mare Cassina Dior were the best of the Kiwis, jumping clear in the opening round but picking up four time penalties, and then a rail and a single time penalty in the second to finish on a two-round total of nine.

ESNZ high performance jumping general manager Oliver Edgecombe said Phillip’s efforts would surely be a boost for onshore based riders. “The other teams were just better today,” he said. “It comes down to good horsepower and that is something we have to look at for the future if we want to be more competitive at this top level. We need a bigger pool of quality horses if we want to do well.”

New Zealand struggled from the start, and never really looked to threaten Australia and Japan who went through on 23 and 32 faults respectively to become the 10th and 11th teams for Paris. New Zealand finished on 46, with China on 59.

Clear rounds inside time were thin on the ground, with only Lauren Balcomb (AUS) aboard Verdini d’Houtveld Z and Yuko Itakura (JAP) on Stakkatisa PS finishing with clean slates in the opening round. There were none in the second.

For the Kiwis, Daniel Meech and Donjon D’Asschaut had eight in the first and their 16 fault second round was the team drop score. Richard Gardner and Calisto 5 had 12 and eight for their two rounds, with Tom Tarver aboard Fiber Fresh Popeye picking up 12 and nine. The 1.60m class was New Zealand’s only chance to qualify a team for the Paris Olympic Games. Attention will now turn to qualifying an individual, which will be determined by FEI Group G rider rankings.


Donjon D’Asschaut (by Vigo Cece out of Inschallah II vt Asschaut who is by Nonstop) – owned by Darragh McCarthy and Ian
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

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