Taupo was full of Christmas cheer over the past few days with the Fiber Fresh National Equestrian Centre hosting the Christmas Classic. The World Cup qualifier was the show case of the weekend, with Julie Davey taking the win aboard the delightful Just D. Full story can be read here- https://www.nzequestrian.org.nz/2023/12/just-d-lightful-stars-in-taupo-world-cup/
Following the same Philippa Howells built track (just a couple of holes lower) was the Fiber Fresh FEI CSI 1* 1.40m where Sally Steiner was triumphant aboard Cartoon NZPH, jumping the only double clear. Last to go in the second round, the combination attempted an inside turn, but Cartoon took offence to the timers. Whilst leaving the audience’s hearts in their mouths, quick thinking Sally had to opt for plan B and go around. “I knew I was never going to be faster than the 4 faulters, so only another clear would be good enough”. Despite their minor miscommunication mid course, Cartoon and Sally crossed the timers just half a second inside the time allowed to take the win!
Sally was very complimentary of the Taupo group, especially Toni and Colin McIntosh who have done a great job in tidying the place up and keeping the grounds good. Jo Bell is a long standing member of the small Taupo group, along with partner Geordie Bull, Cathy Vernell and Toni and Colin McIntosh. Jo commented that the group wanted to keep the 1* track the same as the World Cup in order to encourage people to step up. Jo was thrilled with how the show ran with just under 400 horses coming through plus numerous members of the public coming to celebrate 50 years of the Equestrian Centre. While the novelty events were a huge success with crowds swarming to watch Tara Gower clear 1.64m in the 2 fence challenge, and three ponies jump 1.62m to jointly win the 6 bar competition, the National Series classes also made for some thrilling competition.
Emily Oliver ended her season on the biggest high. Not only did she win the AMS Saddlery Pony Grand Prix on Doctor Jones with the only clear round, she also took out the Mainland Coachwork Junior Rider by jumping the only double clear with Double J Sunshine.
Liv Teixeira aboard Lafayet Ego Z were the best in the FMG Young Rider. Only two combinations qualified for the jump off with both going double clear. Sam Carrington and Double J Hurricane were first out and set the standard with a swift time of 39.17, but Liv and Lafayet were all guns blazing and zipped around in 38 seconds to take out the class.
Donna Atkinson headed a three way four fault jump off in the Dunstan Horsefeeds Amateur Rider with The Joke Maker, and Deanna Horsburgh with Entourage NZPH topped the table in the Harrison Lane Pro Am, finishing just ahead of Helen McNaught on Double Whoopy.
Tegan Fitzsimon guided the Bini Newsom bred Lulu MSNZ (Carrera VDL x Our Secret NZPH/ Ramirez) to victory in the East Coast Performance Horses 5 Year Olds with the only double clear. In the same manner, Samantha Carrington took out the NZPH & A1 Equine Reproduction 7 Year Olds with Double J Odin (Double J Repicharge x Ophelia NZPH/Barbarian).
The Great Lakes is a monumental class at the Taupo Christmas Classic and no-one was more thrilled to win it than Kate Hewlett, who had had it in her sights for many years. Riding her long term companion Capatino GNZ, she emerged triumphant in a six horse jump off in this prestigious class, kindly sponsored by LT Holst.
Jo Bell finished off by saying how everyone was so complimentary about the lovely, relaxed atmosphere with plenty of people offering help to set up the courses. The McIntosh’s bring the international flair to the show and are always looking to help and improve whilst encouraging top level competition. We are very grateful to them.
Down south, Nelson held their Show Jumping Summer Show, and indeed, the last show of the year. Chairwoman Linda Cotton was thrilled with how their boutique show ran. “ We had torrential winds in the build up to the show, but the grounds held up well and we were treated to some nice weather over the show itself. We are a small boutique show and so we were thrilled with the entries. We were especially thankful for the out of towners that came to support us”.
Helen Ensor may have pulled the wrong horse out of the stable, but that didn’t stop her winning the Harrison Lane Pro Am! It was Takapoto India’s first attempt at that level, and it couldn’t have gone much better! Phoebe Howson and Dallas NZPH topped the FMG Young Rider class, as did Sophie Smith aboard SS Darcy in the Dunstan Horsefeeds Amateur Rider and Mitchell Cowan with My Centastage in the Mainland Coachwork Junior Rider.
Goldfinch GNZ (Eurocommerce Pennsylvania x LS Dream On/Distelfink) and Nicholas Grant were the only clear round to take the win in the NZPH & A1 Equine Reproduction 7 Year Olds.
We congratulate everyone for a successful first half of the season and look forward to next year. In the meantime, we wish you all a Happy Christmas and we will see you all in 2024!!
For full results go to www.evoevents.co.nz
The Jumping Team – 18 December 2023