By Sally Reid
Photography: Cornege Photography
Weather and the withdrawal of the hot favourite definitely influenced the outcome of this year’s NZ FEI World Cup final at Woodhill Sands, although the win itself was an exciting one, as the victor in the both the series final and the series itself was the smallest horse in the field!
The super-powered 15.2hh (157 cms) gelding Carado GHP (Caretino - Only You V x Corrado I) is owned and ridden by the youngest (and quite probably tiniest) rider in the class, 18-year-old Annabel Francis, in her first World Cup season.
Carado GHP is a 14-year-old German Holsteiner from Stamm730B, bred by Bernd Fritsch in Wyk-auf-Foehr. His bloodlines are all about performance, with Cor de la Bryère and Caletto II on both sides of his pedigree, plus a double cross of Capitol I on his dam’s side. He has two half-brothers by Claudio: Clovis van de Helle who competed up to 1m40 for Juan Pablo Betancourt of Colombia, and Grand Slam who was also with Betancourt but is now competing up to four-star level for Mexican Frederico Fernandez.
Carado – a very well-travelled boy – arrived in the Southern Hemisphere in 2010, having been imported to Australia from the Czech Republic by Olivia Hamood; he was an unbroken three-year-old colt at the time but has since been gelded. Hamood broke him in and produced him on her own.
She took him back to the Northern Hemisphere in 20122-1313 as a five-year-old, when she was invited to spend a year training with Ludo Philippaerts in Belgium. “He went to a handful of shows over there and then I brought him home again,” Hamood says.
Back on Australian soil, the gelding went from strength to strength. Among his many notable results are the 2016 Australian Championship Grand Prix, and two prestigious Boneo Park Cups (2016 and 2018).
Carado was sold to Annabel Francis at the end of 2018, and two months after his arrival in New Zealand won the Gold Tour Final at Takapoto Estate against a top field. According to Hamood, “I miss him so much, but it’s so exciting to see him doing so well. He was the cheekiest young horse ever.” The cheekiness continues, reports Annabel Francis, who says: “I love his character! He adores a crowd and likes to know everyone is watching him.”
Whether Francis and Carado GPH will travel to Goteborg for the World Cup final is far from certain – as are the travel plans of most people at present. “I’ll wait and see how it pans out,” she says. Meanwhile, the pair are ranking high in the ESNZ Premier League (GP) series.
Weather, and hot favourite withdrawal
But, back to the New Zealand final, the weather and the favourite’s withdrawal. Windermere Cappuccino (Corofino II - Vespa x Voltaire II), winner of the previous two series and leader in the pre-final rankings by 10 points, did not compete: a precautionary decision by his disappointed rider Tegan Fitzsimon after a jumping incident the previous week. The 10-year-old gelding has been a star since his young-horse series (all of which he won). He is currently leading the ESNZ Premier League series by more than 20 points, and missed out on the World Cup 2021 series win by just four points, finishing in second place... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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