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Posted by Equestrian Australia on 16/03/2013.

Australia seals the two test series against New Zealand

Tom McDermott & Romantic Dream 

Photograph:Nicol Taylor

Australia's leading show jumpers haves convincingly won the two test series against New Zealand in Hastings, New Zealand.

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On Friday night at the NZ Horse of the Year 2013 Test event Australia made the score two – nil after an excellent competition in front of a record 5000+ crowd, over a testing but solid track designed by Olympic Course Designer Leopoldo Palacious from Venezuela.

Developing the sport of jumping in Australia and New Zealand includes many parts and at the top of the tree is team jumping in the form of Nations Cup competition, and the current Ttest event series held in Hawes Bay, NZ has been an integral part of both nations development for the World Equestrian Games in August 2014.

Following victory in the first test at Church Road Winery last weekend, the Australian Selectors named an unchanged team to match the Kiwi team on their home turf.

At the end of the first round the teams were evenly matched with Australia on 10 faults and New Zealand on 14. The single clear round from local rider Luke Dee and Ombudsman was a quality effort and this combination turned out to be the star of the night with the only double clear round in a performance showing a high degree of maturity well beyond his 19 years.

Samantha McIntosh, who competed successfully in Europe for 15 years, is rebuilding a team of horses in New Zealand and she opened the class with Estina having only a rail down at the skinny vertical by the in-gate at number 2, but was the first to end up on the wrong side of Palacious’s tight time allowed and finished with 5 faults.

Alison Rowland on her 10 year old mare Bickley Brook Bella again led the Australian team and despite looking in top form following up her double clear last weekend had a rail down at the turn back to number 7, and they too didn’t match the Course Designer’s expectation for time and followed the Kiwi score of 5 faults.

The course was 12 fences with a vertical one stride oxer double, and an oxer (1.45x1.5m), one stride vertical (1.50m) and two strides to a oxer (1.45x1.50m) treble. The first line with the skinny gate by the entrance was encouraging but careful, turning to a solid triple bar, around a large beer dray wagon to a 1.50m vertical at fence 4.

A turn back to a square oxer and 6 or 7 strides to the first combination did force some riders to make their decision early. Turning to a 1.55m vertical over a liverpool and 8 strides to a 3.2m water didn’t cause any major problems and allowed a little time to be made up. The track turned from the water to a large oxer in front of the packed grandstand, before an optional turn to make up time to a 3 rail white style vertical sitting at 1.50m. The turn in option really was necessary, however it left the horses unsighted until about 3 strides out.

The final line of the treble combination did cause the appropriate amount of faults down to the last 1.50m vertical, and with many riders pushing to make the time allowed it did result in a few faults. The course was just not over from beginning to end and a very good example of a Nations Cup track.

New Zealand’s new young sensation combination Luke Dee followed Alison Rowland and produced a clear round much to the delight of the parochial crowd (nothing like a Kiwi v Aussie sporting event to fire up the Tasman rivalry). Australia’s next rider was Western Australian Stud master Rory Hovell riding his 10 year old stallion Yalambi’s Val d’Isere and he completed the round in a very workmanlike manner with no jumping faults only to be penalised by the timekeeper with 1 fault.

Ross Smith and his stallion Quite Cassini jumped an extravagant round with simple rails and a time fault for 13 penalties, and the door had opened for Australia’s number 3 rider Sharon Slater and her consistent Ulixes. This combination were making an impressive start to the round, however getting too deep to the vertical liverpool collected four faults and some time loss resulting in 2 time faults for a total of 6.

The final combinations came out for the first round and the star of the first two days of the show Katie McVean and her young horse Dunstan Kiwi Iron Mark had the front rail of the #5 oxer and a foot in the water with the almost normal time fault to finish on 9 penalties. Current Australian National Champion Tom McDermott on Romantic Dream were the final combination in the first round and they delivered the perfect no fuss round until rolling the last vertical but under the time allowed for just 4 faults.

Discarding the 13 score from New Zealand and the 6 penalty result from Australia left the teams on 14 and 10 penalties respectively and there was much anticipation for the second round.

Sam McIntosh returned and they never really combined at all on this round with rails at the triple bar, the liverpool and the combination resulting in a discard result of 17 faults. The competition was now there for the taking and Alison Rowland and Bickley Brook Bella delivered the first of a further 3 clear rounds for Australia, and all working out how to respond to the Course Designer’s time challenge.

Luke Dee stepped into the ring and also provided a class round to be the only double clear and the outright winner of the individual class the McMillan Equine Feeds Silver Fern Stakes conducted concurrently with the Trans-Tasman team event. His resolute performance under significant pressure certainly belied his relative inexperience.

Rory Hovell and Yalambi’s Val d’Isere had a very soft rail at the oxer following the water to finish on 5 faults, as they again didn’t quite make the time allowed but otherwise they delivered a very solid 2 round effort. Ross Smith had 2 rails and time for 10 faults with the very impressive jumper Quite Cassini.

Sharon Slater returned with Ulixes and also showed they had learned from the first round and delivered a perfect zero score and sealed the result for Australia. The experienced Katie McVean and Dunstan Kiwi Iron Mark were the final combination for NZ but could not better their first round score of 9 faults. This left the Kiwi team with 19 faults for the second round and an overall score of 33 penalties.

The final competitor was Tom McDermott and the Tripp family’s Romantic Dream and finished off the perfect score for Australia of a clear round and under time to add no further faults to the total team score and finished on 10 penalties – a resounding win for the Australian Team.

The FEI has recently introduced the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping competition and outside the Olympic and World Games, is the most prestigious competition with over 20 qualifiers around the world. It is most important that our countries make the most of opportunities to participate. Other Nations in our region are all Asian based and the quarantine regulations preclude us from travelling to and from the continent, meaning we have to foster and develop the standard of the Nations Cup format under the Trans-Tasman banner.

Australia will now set itself to compete in Nations Cup competitions in Europe before selecting a team for the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup final to be held in Barcelona, Spain in September this year.
Mitavite Trans Tasman Test: 

1. Australia: Alison Rowland, Bickley Brook Bella 5/0; Rory Hovell, Yalambi's Val d'Isere VDL 1/5; Sharon Slater, Ulixes 6/0 ; Tom McDermott, Romantic Dream 4/0) Total 10 penalties. 
2. New Zealand: Samantha McIntosh, Estina 5/17; Luke Dee, Ombudsman 0/0; Ross Smith, Quite Cassini 13/10; and Katie McVean, Dunstan Kiwi Iron Mark 9/9 Total 33 penalties 
McMillan Equine Feeds Silver Fern Stakes

Luke Dee Ombudsman 1, Tom McDermott Romantic Dream 2, Alison Rowland Bickley Brook Bella 3, Rory Hovell Yalambi's Val d'Isere VDL and Sharon Slater CP Ulixes =4, Katie McVean Dunstan Zimorena G 6.

Young Riders Trans Tasman – an innovation

In an exciting innovation this year the two countries held a Young Riders team competition on their own horses and following a comprehensive win by the young NZ team at the Church Road Winery test last weekend, Australia was also looking for revenge.

The impact of riding as a team is not recognised as different, until the riders have to ride for the team – and then the pressure shows. The difference of jumping in which order and the importance of each round to the end result really shows up and it did just that in the Young Rider competition.

The exacting and tough track designed by Leopoldo Palacious did not put as much pressure on the time but certainly provided for some accuracy and concentration from beginning to end and the 3 double clear rounds were all as a result of meeting the challenge.

In the end New Zealand won the Test with a team score of 4 penalties and double clear rounds from Bridget Hansen on Shakespeare NZPH, and Logan Massie and Kiwi Ludo. Australia’s James Arkins also delivered a double clear with Dreamtime Invader.

It is anticipated that a return Test series between the two countries will be held in Australia in September this year.

Telecom Young Rider Trans Tasman Test
1. New Zealand: Jake Lambert, Quality NZPH 4/8; Bridget Hansen, Shakespeare NZPH 0/0; Melody Matheson, Cheltenham 4/0; Logan Massie, Kiwi Ludo 0/0 Total 4 penalties 
2. Australia: James Arkins, Dreamtime Invader 0/0; Jack Maunder, Cyra 4/4; Sarah Beale, Alpha Centauri 8/9; Nicole Bruggemann, Bluesta 5 Ret Total 22 penalties. 
Dunstan Young Rider of the Year: Logan Massie (Dannevirke) Kiwi Ludo (owned by Annette Scott and Massie) 1, Bridget Hansen (Ocean Beach) Shakespeare NZPH 2, James Arkins (Australia) Dreamtime Invader 3, Tom McDermott (Australia) Quickstep NZPH, Katie Meredith (Canterbury) Rio Madrid and Melody Matheson (Hastings) Cheltenham =4
15 March 2013

Senior team wins second jumping test against NZ
Australia's senior jumping team which is in New Zealand for a two test series against the Kiwis will return home undefeated after winning the second and final event of the series at the annual Horse of the Year show on Friday.

The youngest member of the team, 19 year old Tom McDermott (Romantic Dream), finished in second and was the best placed Aussie on the day. The remaining three members of the Australian team were right behind him with Alison Rowland (Bickley Brook Bella) finishing in third and Rory Hovell (Yalambi's Val d'Isere VDL) and Sharon Slater (Ulixes) sharing fourth place honours.

After narrowly losing the first test, Australia’s Young Rider Team was hoping to tie the series but it wasn’t to be with the Aussies going down 22 penalties to New Zealand’s four.

Full report to follow...

Results –
McMillan Equine Feeds Silver Fern Stakes: Luke Dee (Ocean Beach) Ombudsman 1, Tom McDermott (Australia) Romantic Dream 2, Alison Rowland (Australia) Bickley Brook Bella 3, Rory Hovell (Australia) Yalambi's Val d'Isere VDL and Sharon Slater (Australia) CP Ulixes =4, Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Zimorena G 6.
Mitavite Trans Tasman Test: Australia (Rory Hovell, Yalambi's Val d'Isere VDL; Alison Rowland, Bickley Brook Bella; Tom McDermott, Romantic Dream; Sharon Slater, CP Ulixes) 10 faults (best 3), 0, total 10 1. New Zealand (Katie McVean, Dunstan Kiwi Iron Mark (owned by June Berrington); Samantha McIntosh, Estina; Ross Smith, Quite Cassini) 14 faults, 19, total 33 2.
Showjumping, Dunstan Young Rider of the Year: Logan Massie (Dannevirke) Kiwi Ludo (owned by Annette Scott and Massie) 1, Bridget Hansen (Ocean Beach) Shakespeare NZPH 2, James Arkins (Australia) Dreamtime Invader 3, Tom McDermott (Australia) Quickstep NZPH, Katie Meredith (Canterbury) Rio Madrid and Melody Matheson (Hastings) Cheltenham =4.
Telecom Young Rider Trans Tasman Test (second of two): New Zealand (Logan Massie, Dannevirke, Kiwi Ludo; Jake Lambert, Cambridge, Quality NZPH; Bridget Hansen, Ocean Beach, Shakespeare NZPH; Melody Matheson, Hastings, Cheltenham) first round 4 faults (best 3), second round 0, total 4 faults 1. Australia (James Arkins, Dreamtime Invader; Jack Maunder, Cyra; Sarah Beale, Alpha Centauri; Nicole Bruggemann, Bluesta) first round 9 faults, second round 13 faults, total 22, 2.
Fiber Fresh Feeds Junior Rider of the Year: Rebekah van Tiel (Karaka) Leeston Eagle 1, Lilly Tootill (Karaka) Ngahiwi Cruise 2, Emma Thurlow (Waverley) Mister Pirate 3, Rose Alfeld (Christchurch) My Super Nova 4, Melody Matheson (Hastings) Scottish Lad 5, Olivia Robertson (Queenstown) Tike Tane 6.
Saba Sam Shield: Northland (Nakeysha Lammers, Airborne Magic; Brooke Pullan, Terracotta Rose; Anna Cooper, Classic Cowboy; Tegan Newman, Watch Me Move) 16 1, Canterbury (Steffi Whittaker, Moonlight Glow; Molly Buist-Brown, Miss Mae West; Grace O'Sullivan, Tui Gold; Arabella Jarman, The Shepherd) 27 2, Ashburton (Emma Waite, Spring Brooke; Jaimee Bird, Showtym Image; Grace Percy, Madam Masala; Lucinda Askin, Buckle Up) 30 3.
Dressage, FEI Prix St Georges: Penny Castle (Manawatu) Magnus Spero 1, Vanessa Way (Taranaki) NRM Arawn 2, Abbie Deken (Taranaki) KH Ambrose 3, Charlott Bayliss (Waikato) JL Champs Elysee 4, Shiwon Green (Waikato) Da Vinci 5, Sophie de Clifford (Opiki) Cortaflex Ashbury Dolly 6.
Level 5 musical freestyle (title): Vanessa Way (Taranaki) NRM KH Allandro 1, Debbie Barke (Bay of Plenty) Lucrative SW 2, Gaylene Lennard (Waikato) Donzello 3, Thomas Oldridge (Canterbury) Teodoro 4, Holly Leach (Waikato) Devils Chocolate 5, Debra Cowen (Waikato) Knightsman 6.
New Zealand Performance Bred, Mare of the Year: Tracey Bublitz (Eltham) Bublitz Estate Romari Z. Supreme Led New Zealand Performance Bred of the Year: Helen Young (Taupiri) Floating Currency. Supreme Ridden New Zealand Performance Bred of the Year: Daniel Blundell (Auckland) Lexington.

8 March 2013

Australian teams to remain unchanged for second test against NZ

The National Jumping Selectors have announced the Australian Senior and Young Rider teams taking on New Zealand at Friday's Horse of the Year event will remain unchanged from last weekend's first test.

The Senior team is:

Rory Hovell- Val d’Isere
Tom McDermott – Romantic Dream
Alison Rowland – Bickley Brook Bella
Sharon Slater – Ulixes
Reserve; Jamie Kermond – Colthaga

The Young Rider team is:
James Arkins – Dreamtime Invader
Sarah Beale – Alpha Centauri
Nicole Bruggerman- Blusta
Jack Maunder – Cyra
Reserve: Kirsti Ansell- Balou

At the first round in the two test series Australia’s senior team were all class producing just four faults to New Zealand’s 24 in the first round. Clear rounds in the second by Slater, Hovell and Rowland secured the victory meaning McDermott, the final rider in the order, didn't need to contest the second round.

The Young Rider team were narrowly defeated by their Kiwi counterparts losing the first test by a single rail and will be aiming to tie the series and leave New Zealand with a win under their belts.

8 March 2013

Showjumping's Holy Grail A Huge Success

It's one apiece to New Zealand and Australia after a picture-perfect day at Showjumping's Holy Grail at Church Road Winery in Hawke's Bay today.

New Zealand took out the young rider trans Tasman test, with the Aussies securing the senior.

In the senior, World Champs hopeful Alison Rowland (Australia) aboard Bickley Brook Bella was the only combination to go double clear. Her team-mate Tom McDermott aboard Romantic Dream notched the only other clear of the round.

It was a different story in the second round, which saw clears from Rowland, Samantha McIntosh on Estina, Rory Hovell on Yalambi's Val d'Isere, Luke Dee on Ombudsman and Sharon Slater on CP Ulixes.

But it was all rather elementary, as the Kiwis carried 24 faults to the Australian's four into the second, where they added another four faults.

However, there were plenty of positives to come from the course, which was co-built by Gary Sinclair and Peter Cooke and praise from all angles for Kevin Hansen's vision in creating the event.

Cooke went as far as saying the venue and grounds were the best he had seen in a decade.

Australian chef d'equipe Ben Netterfield was rapt with the win, particularly as it was from a young crop of horses who were tilting towards the 2014 World Champs.

“New Zealand have already put on a wonderful show,” he said.

Kiwi chef d'equipe Richard Sunderland said it was disappointing to lose, but valuable experience for combinations not used to riding for a national team.

Young rider chef d'equipe John Cottle had more to celebrate. The second round saw a pressure-cooker clear round from team anchor Logan Massie (Dannevirke) on Kiwi Ludo. Ahead of him team-mates Bridget Hansen on Shakespeare NZPH and Melody Matheson on Cheltenham had also ridden brilliant clears.

The second and final round of the test series will be held at the Horse of the Year Show this week.

Mitavite Nations Cup Australia v New Zealand senior test: Australia (Alison Rowland, Bickley Brook Bella; Rory Hovell, Yalambi's Val d'Isere VDL; Sharon Slater, CP Ulixes; Tom McDermott, Romantic Dream) 4 faults 1, New Zealand (Katie McVean, Mystery Creek, Dunstan Kiwi Iron Mark; Ross Smith, Canterbury, Quite Cassini; Samantha McIntosh, Cambridge, Estina; Luke Dee, Ocean Beach, Ombudsman) 28 faults 2.
Telecom Nations Cup Australia v New Zealand young rider: New Zealand (Rosie Commons, Auckland, Glenara Chandon; Bridget Hansen, Ocean Beach, Shakespeare NZPH; Melody Matheson, Hastings, Cheltenham; Logan Massie, Dannevirke, Kiwi Ludo) 12 faults 1, Australia (Jack Maunder, Cyra; James Arkins, Dreamtime Invader; Nicole Bruggemann, Blusta; Sarah Beale, Alphe Centauri) 16 faults 2.

8 March 2013

Australia on a quest for Showjumping's Holy Grail

The long-standing rivalry between Australia and New Zealand will be on show at the weekend when the two nations go head to head in the first round of a two test Jumping series which kicks off on Sunday at the picturesque Church Road Winery in Hawkes Bay.

Showjumping’s Holy Grail is a new competition and a precursor to the prestigious Horse of the Year show which will take place on 15 March. These events form the two test Jumping series which will showcase Jumping’s top talent from both sides of the Tasman.

The Australian team of Sharon Slater (Ulixes), Alison Rowland (Bickley Brook Bella) Rory Hovell (Yalambi’s Val d’lsere) and Tom McDermott (Romantic Dream) will face tough opposition from the home team of Katie McVean (Dunstan Daffodil), Samantha McIntosh (Cambridge) Ross Smith (Quite Cassini) and Luke Dee (Ombudsman).

After Iast year’s series ended in a tie, both teams will be eager to record a decisive victory and with the current Australian Showjumping Champion in McDermott and 2012 winner of the Australian league of the FEI World Cup Jumping Series in Rowland, the Aussie team has the goods to go the distance.

In the young rider class Nicole Bruggerman (Blusta), Sarah Beale (Alpha Centauri), Jack Maunder (Cyra) and James Arkins (Dreamtime Invader) will take on Logan Massie (Kiwi Ludo), Rosie Commons (Glenara Chandon), Bridget Hansen (Shakespeare NZPH) and Melody Matheson (Cheltenham).

Ben Netterfield accompanies the Australian teams as Chef d’Equipe. Jamie Kermond (Colthaga) has been named reserve for the senior team while Amelia Clarke (Diamond B Jimmychoo) and Tegan Kidner (Federer) are reserves for the young rider team.

Annual Test events between Australia and New Zealand are an essential part of preparing riders for international Nations Cup competition because they simulate the experience of a major international meeting where each score counts to the team effort.

This upcoming series signifies the start of Australia’s campaign to develop horse and rider combinations for the 2014 World Equestrian Games.

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