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NZ National Young Horse Jumping Championships 2022

Icarus – 5yo winner under the saddle of Jesse Linton

By Sally Reid
Photography: Jessica Pijlman

The 2022 National Young Horse Jumping Championships in Hastings once again provided a close look at the type of talent now being produced by New Zealand breeders. Indeed, many of the youngsters had bloodlines that would be quite at home in a European sales catalogue.

Three of the four age-group champions were sired by stallions based in Europe, while the fourth was sired by a German-bred stallion who now lives here. However, there was plenty of locally-bred blood involved too, and it was cheering to see that there is still a place for Thoroughbreds in Kiwi jumping rings.

Mares to the fore in 4yo group

Two beautiful bright bay mares topped the ranks of the four-year-old contenders. Both are very nicely bred and exciting prospects for future years as competitors and, all being well, dams. The champion, with no faults over her three rounds, was Lulu MSNZ (Carrera VDL - Our Secret NZPH x Ramirez) bred by Bini Newsom of Tauranga, and owned and ridden by Jeremy Whale of Diamond Lodge, who describes her as “a cracker for the future”. Lulu was also the winner of the four-year-old style prize. “Jeremy has done an outstanding job with her, and we’re excited to see what’s next for Lulu,” a proud Bini Newsom posted on Facebook.
Whale has owned the mare since she was three and has produced her entirely by himself; he describes her as being wise beyond her years. “Most four-year-olds are a bit spooky out there, but not her. She sees a jump and just jumps it. She is like riding an older horse.”The championships were just the third outing of Lulu’s life, and she was brought into work only four weeks before the show.
Her dam, Our Secret NZPH (Ramirez - Victoria’s Secret x Aberlou xx) was bred at New Zealand Performance Horses, and was a competent jumper herself. New Zealand readers – in fact, anyone with a knowledge of old eventing pedigrees – will recognize the name of Lulu’s damsire, Aberlou xx. He was the father of three-, four-, and five-star winners, most notably Blyth Tait’s Olympians, Messiah xx and Delta xx, as well as Torcida who was sold to Germany and competed in Nations Cups in eventing.
The reserve four-year-old title went to Matthews Hanoverians’ lovely Graffiene MH (Graf Top - Ballerina MH x Bonifatius) bred by Judith Matthews, owned by Angela Miller, and ridden by Jesse Linton. The gorgeous Graffiene is a three-quarter sister to Graffiti MH, who died tragically young but was a superstar from the get go, with excellent performances as a young horse and later at Grand Prix and World Cup. The two mares are by the same sire, and Graffiene’s dam, Ballerina MH, is the daughter of Graffiti’s dam Elodie (Earl x Weltmeyer).

Champion 5yo – Lulu MSNZ, ridden by Jeremy Whale

There was a three-way tie for third between two geldings and a mare. One of the geldings, Kentucky ECPH (Kannan - Picarla x Pioneer), was bred by East Coast Performance Horses and is ridden and owned by Ike Baker. The other gelding and the mare were both bred by Double J Stud and are by same sire, who was also bred at Double J. The mare, Double J Lyric (Double J Repicharge - On Tune NZPH x Fetiche du Pas), is owned and ridden by Hannah Steen, while the gelding, Double J Prospect (Double J Repicharge - Smarties x Lux Z) is owned and ridden by Kim Best. They were not the only progeny of Double J Repicharge to do well at these champs: Double J Odin was reserve champion six-year-old (see below)... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber