The World Equestrian Games just got a whole lot closer for Samantha McIntosh, who has gained her Certificate of Capability (CoC) for the 2018 event.
The France-based showjumper is the first New Zealand rider to gain the necessary qualification, making her eligible for selection for the US-hosted event next year. “The CoC itself is not hugely exciting, but it is another box to tick off along the way forward and nice to have that done early,” said McIntosh. “Now I can just concentrate on getting results with my horses.”
The 41-year-old says her partnership with Check In 2 continues to improve . . . and the best is undoubtedly still to come. “We are now speaking the same language,” said McIntosh. “He has been hugely consistent this year and coming third in his latest two 3* grand prix with double clears both times, is just testament to his growth.”
It was those two efforts that gained them their CoC – the final confirmation of which is expected shortly from the FEI.
“He was less than half a second behind the winner in that last grand prix.” She is hugely thankful for the ongoing support of Mitch and Kate Plaw. “I am only able to campaign in Europe because of their fantastic support.”
Estina, who travelled from New Zealand to Europe with McIntosh, has also been in great recent form with lots of top placings.
But it’s still not all plain sailing. “The biggest struggle now is to get invites for the big shows.”
She is currently building Check In 2 and Estina up towards the 5* show in La Baule in May. Check In 2 will take the lead in her stable, with backing from Estina and Lady Gaga.
German-bred Check In 2 is by Bockmann’s Cordalme Z and out of Ilonka (sire Lord Pezi). The 14-year-old bay has been competing with McIntosh since September 2015.
Estina joined McIntosh in 2011. The 13-year-old bay mare is by Heartbreaker and out of Secret Love Wonderland (sire Achill/Libero H).
Lady Gaga is just 10. She is by Lazio and out of Zara-Marie (sire Pablo). McIntosh has a number of other horses in her stable too.
The McIntosh name has a long association with equestrian in New Zealand. McIntosh’s father Colin competed successfully in both eventing and showjumping, and rode for the nation at the Seoul Olympics, while her mother Penny Stevenson also rode at top level and is now a respected coach and former chair of selectors for ESNZ.
McIntosh came back to black in time for the 2010 World Equestrian Games after a nine years riding for Bulgaria, who she rode for at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. McIntosh has also competed at five European championships and three WEG. Aboard Royal Discovery, McIntosh placed 13th at the 2000 FEI World Cup final in Las Vegas. Her best team placing at European Championships, was in 1999 aboard Sport when she placed 10th.
McIntosh was based in Europe from 1996 through to 2012 before heading back to her New Zealand base. However, she went returned to Europe in 2014, and is currently based in Bordeaux.
It was McIntosh who was just pipped at the post by former pupil Isheau Wong (Chinese Taipei) in Germany at the Rio 2016 qualifier. McIntosh and Estina had three brilliant rounds, and were unlucky to take a rail in the second. That rail forced the jump-off, where McIntosh was clear in the jump-off, but missed out by 2.32 seconds to her opponent.
McIntosh is currently on the High Performance Squad with Check In 2.
The horse details:
Check In 2 - owned by Lakeridge Equestrian
Estina - owned by Lakeridge Equestrian
Lady Gaga - owned by Lakeridge Equestrian
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison
Photo by 1Cliphoto