By Sally Reid
Some beautifully-bred New Zealand Hanoverians, Warmbloods and sport horses made their mark at New Zealand’s Horse of the Year show, although two of the biggest titles were won by Thoroughbred geldings. Unsurprisingly, the most prominent breeding establishments were New Zealand Performance Horses and Matthews Hanoverians; Xtreme Sport Horses and Waitangi Sport Horses were two other studfarms with very good results.
One New Zealand-based stallion was particularly well represented among the winners: the licensed Holsteiner Cassiano (Cassini x Calypso II x Maestoso xx). Fürstenball, Untouchable M, and the NZ Sport Horse Double J Repicharge were also prominent and, of course, no equestrian event here would be complete without its share of successful Anamour progeny.
Paradise NZPH (Barbarian), a New Zealand Sport Horse bred by NZ Performance Horses, was the standout dam, with three high-achieving offspring.
The six-day show is the most significant event in New Zealand’s equestrian calendar, and almost marks the end of the competition season, attracting around 1,600 riders, many with multiple horses.
First winners – jumping
The show’s first class, the IRT 1m40, isn’t a title-decider, but it attracts top horses and warrants attention. It had (for this country) a huge field – 70 competitors – over a tough course designed by Germany’s Walter Deeg. Only seven qualified for the jump-off, among them the eventual winner of the Olympic Cup (see below), and the wonderful, overseas-bound Windermere Cappuccino (Corofino II).
The overall winner was Bandito NZPH (Consul de la Vie Z -– Manon des Souches x Arpege Pierreville), a very impressive eight-year-old New Zealand Sport Horse gelding who tackles every course with care and flair, and who closely resembles his famous sire. He was bred by New Zealand Performance Horses and is owned and ridden by the stud’s training manager, Canadian Alex Loiselle. Bandito’s dam is a French-bred Selle Français imported by NZPH...
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