Kelt Capital Horse of the Year - A celebration of all things equestrian - New Zealand


Australian Olympian Peter McMahon has won New Zealand’s most coveted showjumping trophy. McMahon and his big flea bitten grey mare KS Genoa today jumped double clear to take the Bell Tea Olympic Cup at the Kelt Capital Horse of the Year Show in Hastings. It was heart-stopping stuff as 25 of the best combinations from both sides of the Tasman did their best in front of thousands to conquer the Leopoldo Palacios designed course – one of the biggest ever seen here. Only two went clear in the first round – and both were Australian. Rising young star Jamie Winning on Vangelo Des Hazelles and McMahon. Last year’s winner Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) and Dunstan Forest II dropped a rail as did Robert Steele (Hawera) Gospel. Twelve combinations went through to the second round. Clears were a little more prolific this time, with Samantha McIntosh (Waikato/Germany) and the stunning chestnut Selle Francais stallion Lindberg des Hayettes (owned by Steve Cohen) joined by three Australian combinations. McMahon was the last to go and while he rubbed one fence, nothing fell, giving him victory in the $750,000 class. The winner’s cheque for this 27-year-old former diesel mechanic turned professional rider is $150,000. McMahon, who had to have reconstructive surgery on his collar bone after breaking it in the practice arena at the 2008 Olympics, paid tribute to his wife Michelle Lang-McMahon, herself a former world championship rider. KS Genoa, a 14-year-old Holsteiner mare, is schooled on a lunge rein and walker, with McMahon only getting on for a couple of practice fences before going into the arena. “She’s best that way,” he said, he said of the sometimes rather difficult mare. BBC equestrian commentator Michael Tucker said the course and the money on offer was setting new standards around the world. “Leopoldo (Palacios) knows the world standard and he set a course worthy of the money and most definitely one of the biggest courses seen here,” he said. “His course today showed the ones who keep cool under pressure and the horses with scope.” New Zealand continued it’s domination of the tri nations winning the final day and taking the leg. The New Zealand team to compete in South Africa in the second leg next month is Robert Steele (Hawera), Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke), Ike Unsworth (Tauranga) and Simon Wilson (Waipukurau). Today wrapped up six very full days of competition at one of the largest sporting events in the Southern Hemisphere. Results – Bell Tea Olympic Cup for NZ Showjumper of the Year: Peter McMahon (Australia) KS Genoa 1, Wendy Schaeffer (Australia) Koyuna Sun Set, Julia Hargreaves (Australia) Copabella Haymen, Samantha McIntosh (Waikato/Germany) Lindberg des Hayettes (owned by Steve Cohen), Robert Steele (Hawera) Gospel =2, Team That Horse Simon Wilson (Waipukurau) Right Royal, Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Forest II =6.

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