By Sally Reid photography: Pegasus Communications
New Zealand’s year-long Superleague Eventing Series came to a close last month, and was another victory (by an almost laughable points margin) for the NZ Warmblood Balmoral Sensation (Senator VDL - Aberzanne x Aberlou xx) and Clarke Johnstone. The brilliant pair won every competition they entered this season.
Their victories included the Adelaide 4* in Australia, the NZ National CIC 3* at Kihikihi and NZ Eventing Horse of the Year, finishing the series on 178 points. They did not contest the Puhinui 3* in Auckland or the National CCI 3* title in Taupo. They are now in Europe, aiming for WEG selection.
In second place with 110 points was the consistent Shaw Lee xx (Le Palliard xx - Surpize Deal xx x Prized) for Emily Cammock. These two have been in great form all season, but did not compete at the National CCI 3* as the horse was recovering from an injury.
Third went to a New Zealand Sport Horse who is attracting major attention: the gorgeous young For Fame (For Edition - Craighaven Tarmac x Waingata). He has made a sudden impact at three-star level and finished the series on 106 points for Nick Brooks. The 10-year-old gelding had his first CIC3* start in the title class at Horse of the Year in March, in which he finished second behind Balmoral Sensation. He was third at his second (the National CIC 3* at Kihikihi), and second at his first CCI3*, the national three-day championship at Taupo, over what was possibly the toughest cross-country track ever seen at that venue, and in shocking weather. For Fame was bred by Jo Howard, whose choice of For Edition (Forsyth x Leggiero x Kronpriz) brings the blood of the fabulous For Pleasure into his pedigree on the stallion side. His dam, Craighaven Tarmac, was a winning showjumper for Jo Howard.
An Australian-bred Warmblood mare, Just de Manzana (Just de Pomme - Northern Winfield x Skies Above) and Jessica Woods finished fourth on 103 points. Just de Manzana’s breeder is unrecorded, but she competed to three-star level in Australia. She won the 2018 South Island championship and finished third in the NZ national three-day event at Taupo in May. Her pedigree is wonderful: Just de Pomme’s sire, Jus de Pommes, is the only stallion who’s ever achieved double Olympic gold, while his dam (Herma) is by the legendary Nimmerdor. Just de Manzana’s own dam is an Australian Warmblood by Skies Above (Ferdi - Elchbraut x Edgar), a UK-bred Hanoverian. So, this mare could add some very nice genes to the New Zealand breeding scene...