McIntosh makes Olympic cut

Showjumper Samantha McIntosh (left) has qualified for the Tokyo Olympics with New Zealand team Tom Tarver, Daniel Meech and Bruce Goodin. Photo – Libby Law Photography.

Cambridge equestrian rider Samantha McIntosh has secured a place at next year’s Olympic Games after a stellar run at the FEI Group G Olympic Qualifier in the Netherlands.

Riding aboard the very dependable Check In 2 owned by Takapoto Equestrian, the showjumper was one of only two riders – the other being Kiwi team mate Tom Tarver – to clear both rounds inside the time allowed.

New Zealand led at the end of the first round with four fault rounds from Samantha McIntosh and Bruce Goodin (aboard Backatorps Danny V) and five faults from Daniel Meech with Fine. In the second, Bruce had a single rail with clean slates from Tom Tarver and Samantha to secure the win.

Chef d’equipe and trainer Helena Stormanns 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,” she said.

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,” she said.

2020 will be Samantha’s third Olympic Games, but her first for New Zealand. Having adopted dual New Zealand-Bulgarian citizenship in 1998, she rode for Bulgaria at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games. She returned to New Zealand in 2011 and built up her own horse stable in Cambridge. Last year she was part of the first New Zealand team to win the FEI Nations Cup.

“Now the big job is ahead of us,” said McIntosh. “Let’s go Tokyo!”

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