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NZ-bred showjumpers grace the European scene

Eldorrado MVNZ (Cardento - Solette VDL x Emillion), photo taken when he was still based in NZ – now in Belgium with Lieven Devos (BEL)

By Sally Reid
Photography: Courtesy Mount View Sport Horses and Annie Studholme

With his excellent international bloodlines, it’s not surprising that Eldorrado MVNZ (Cardento - Solette VDL x Emillion), is enjoying good form in Europe this season. The NZ Sport Horse is based in Belgium with Lieven Devos, and enjoyed a win and two seconds at Knokke CSI3* in July, another second at Bonheiden, and an earlier win in the three-star CSIO accumulator in Lisbon, following a strong second place at the same show. Earlier, in May, the pair had a very smart win in the Gold Grand Prix 1m45-1m50 at Zilveren Spoor, Belgium.

Eldorrado MVNZ is a 12-year-old gelding bred by Mount View Sport Horses near Tauranga, on New Zealand’s North Island. His dam, Solette VDL ster voorl keur (Emilion x Nimmerdor x Ladykiller xx) is from the excellent Holsteiner family Stamm 474a, and is a full sister to the stallion Edminton Z, who jumped at the top level with Jur Vrieling and is now in Italy. Vrieling also rode the super ‘elite’ status Bubalu (Baloubet du Rouet [SF] - Zancara [KWPN] x Nimmerdor), who is another from Stamm 474a. Solette’s dam, Colette pref keur, is a daughter of Nimmerdor and Shoraya prest pref keur (Ladykiller xx), a VDL foundation mare. So, there are definitely some ‘killer’ genes in Eldorrado’s background!
Another New Zealand Sport Horse in that part of the world – and one who arrived there more recently – is the Grand Prix jumper Ulysses NZPH (Cabdulla du Tillard - Quiet Time NZPH x Twist Kerellec). This 11-year-old gelding was bred by New Zealand Performance Horses, and is owned and ridden by Lily Tootill. The pair won the Olympic Cup (NZ Horse of the Year) in 2017, when Ulysses was just nine and Tootill herself was only 20. In June, they were fifth in the two-star CSI Bonheiden Grand Prix with clear jumping and less than a second separating them from the winner. They finished second in the two-star 1m45 Longines ranking class at Opglabbeek in Belgium recently, in a field of 73 and a jump-off of 17, going fast and clear but not quite fast enough to overtake the winners, Irishman Richard Howley and Seahorse Z. Ulysses NZPH and Lily Tootill have been selected for the ESNZ high-performance futures squad (see below).

Seven MH horses on national squads

As regular BN readers might remember, 2018-19 was an exceptional season for Judith Matthews and Matthews Hanoverians, with champions at all levels across the disciplines. Last month, no fewer than seven horses bearing the MH brand were selected by Equestrian Sport NZ for its elite national dressage and jumping development squads.
Popstar MH (Prestige VDL - Weltliebe x Weltmeyer), an eight-year-old gelding, is on the youth squad with Stephanie Baker, while seven-year-old Don Vito MH (Don Frederico - Adelheid x Anamour) and eight-year-old Bon Jovi MH (Bonifatius - Welkantje x Weltmeyer) are on the development squad. Both these geldings are owned and ridden by Wendi Williamson, who is going to be a particularly busy rider: She also has Decadance MH (Dacaprio - Adelheid x Anamour) in the futures squad, and the mare’s half brother Don Amour MH (Don Frederico - Adelheid MH x Anamour) in the high-performance squad...

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