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New Zealand’s new jumping champions overcome adversity

Campari (Corofino II - Lilliana x Littorio)with Tegan Fitzsimon

By Sally Reid
Photography: Cornege Photography

If it isn’t Covid putting a stop to things these days, it’s an extreme weather phenomenon. New Zealand’s four-day National Show Jumping Championship show did go ahead as planned, but was brought to an early close by torrential rain, and the last day of competition – Sunday, when the big titles should have been decided – had to be cancelled.

The cancellation meant that the final two rounds of jumping for the Rutherford Cup Premier Grand Prix Championship did not take place; the title was instead awarded on performances in Rounds A (speed), B and C, which were held on Thursday and Saturday.
The winner was a 15-year-old Holsteiner-Thoroughbed gelding, Waitangi Skynet (Cassini II - Pétanque x Polly xx x Aberlou xx), who also finished third overall in the recent World Cup series, following victory in the Hastings leg.
Skynet was bred by Joss Bayly of Waitangi Sport Horses in Northland. He is owned by Sophie and Tania Scott, and ridden by 20-year-old Sophie, who posted on Facebook after his win: “Mr Consistent, Waitangi Skynet was outstanding as per usual, jumping clear all weekend and winning parts A, B and C to claim the NZ National Premier League title for 2022. Winning the Rutherford Cup was pretty special. So lucky to have a horse like him on my team.”
Like his sire (a full brother of Cassini I), Skynet is a big, handsome grey with a powerful presence. He has also competed in Australia, where he was owned by James Arkins and had Grand Prix and Puissance wins. It’s a shame that he can’t have a crack at the HOY title this year: The show has been cancelled because of (you guessed it) Covid!
Reserve National Champion was the three-time NZ World Cup League winner Windermere Cappuccino (Corofino II - Vespa x Voltaire II). This exceptional little horse was just a whisker away from the win, with only 0.5 of a penalty separating him from Waitangi Skynet. He was bred by the Parkes family of Blenheim, who own him in partnership with Tegan Fitzsimon.
Third place went to the current NZ Horse of the Year, the Holsteiner mare LT Holst Andrea (Casall - Palaune x Lavaletto). She was bred in Germany by Hans-Joachim Gerken, and is from Stamm 2067. She is owned by Ewen Mackintosh of Lake Taupo Holsteiners and her rider, Brooke Edgecombe. To clarify: Andrea’s HOY win was in 2019 as the show has not been held since then.
Fourth place went to the lovely Hanoverian mare, Henton Faberge (For Edition - Galatoire x Genius), bred and owned by Henton Lodge, and ridden by Emelia Forsyth.

Grand Prix Championship

This was won by a gelding who many will now be keeping a closer eye on: The nine-year-old Campari (Corofino II - Lilliana x Littorio), who is the first horse ever bred by his owner, Penny Tapley. Campari is ridden by Tegan Fitzsimon and is a stablemate of Windermere Cappuccino. Both are by the late, great Cappuccino II... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber