EQUITANA Auckland jumping star presenter Bruce Goodin was part of a very special team in The Netherlands overnight, helping New Zealand secure a team qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games…
Bruce and Backatorps Danny joined forces with Samantha McIntosh aboard Check In 2, Daniel Meech on Fine and newcomer Tom Tarver aboard Popeye to head home five other countries to take the win.
The four-time Olympian was very happy with the result. “It’s a huge thrill for us,” said Bruce. “We missed out on a team place at the last two Games but we came here with three experienced riders and one newcomer in Tom who had never been on a team at this level before. For him to come out with a clear in the second round was really something. I am very proud of all our team and thankful to Helena (Stormanns) our chef d’equipe.”
Tom and Samantha were the only two riders in the 22-strong field to come home clear and inside time over the two rounds. New Zealand had the lead at the end of the first round with four fault rounds from Bruce and Samantha, with five from Daniel and Tom’s 12-fault effort the drop score.
In the second, Bruce had a single rail and with clears from Tom and Samantha, there was no need for Daniel to jump. Chef d’equipe and trainer Helena was very pleased with the efforts of the four riders. “Tom was fantastic in that second round, Samantha brilliant, Bruce’s horse jumped great . . . it was absolutely spot on,” said Helena.
The riders too were buzzing. Samantha said she was rapt with the team’s result in heading home riders from the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, the Republic of Korea and the Philippines. “It was a great team and we all did fantastic rounds. Today we brought home the back but now the big job is ahead of us – let’s go Tokyo!”
Those sentiments were reiterated by Daniel too. “I am really proud of my teammates,” he said. Bruce tipped his cap to the newcomer in the team – Tom, who had only headed to Europe in the last few months. “It’s a great day,” said Bruce. “I am so proud of the team, especially Tom – what a legend.”
New Zealand had to finish in the top two placings to secure the Tokyo berth, and while the Kiwis were favoured coming into the Valkenswaard Group G qualifier, they took nothing for granted.
“These qualifiers are tricky things,” said Bruce. “It is all or nothing. You can come in with good form and still miss out – you have to get it right on the day.”
Bruce will be holding a masterclass at EQUITANA Auckland as part of Saturday Jumping Day along with other education sessions across the event.
Results – New Zealand 17 faults 1, The People’s Republic of China 47 faults 2, Hong Kong 58 faults 3, Chinese Taipei 62 faults 4.
WHAT: FEI Group G Olympic Qualifier
WHERE: Valkenswaard, The Netherlands
WHEN: August 13, 2019
The horse details –
Backatorps Danny V – owned by Backatorp Ryder AB
Fine – owned by the NZ Fine Group
Check In 2 – owned by Takapoto Equestrian
Popeye – owned by Tom Tarver and Lucia Voss
CAPTION: Star presenter Bruce Goodin (second from left) with his teammates Tom Tarver, Samantha McIntosh and Daniel Meech and the runners-up from China. Photo by FEI/Libby Law Photography