Amsterdam & Cleveland’s Impressive 4* Debut

Delighted with Amsterdam’s 4* debut which saw him finish in the top 20, narrowly missing out on a rosette. He impressed everyone with his pleasure and pizazz in all five phases of the event. Here is is – bright as a button on the last day of his first 4* – at the final Ground Jury inspection before showjumping a superb round.

Cleveland gave Jesse a great feel over a very technical track, that saw almost half the competitors not make it through to the final phase. They were up on the time at the half way mark – the second water.  An excellent jump into the water when an unlucky catching of a bell-boot on their second stride ….and it was all over – from 1st place to wet boots.

Both Cleveland and Amsterdam arrived safely back to England, ready for their next campaign.



Badminton 2017 is Underway

Badminton 2017 is underway with Jesse and his New Zealand ex-racehorse Kaapachino accepted into the original 2017 Badminton start list of 85 athletes. Badminton is the world’s second largest sport event and is renowned for being the toughest 4Star cross-country. Eric Winter  Badminton’s 2017 newly appointed cross-country course designer and has built a cross-country course  creating a media storm, described  as the biggest and toughest Badminton course ever!

Jesse felt it was “the Badminton we have grown up knowing was in the UK”. “Now we are here and get a chance to ride it,” said the former Waikato rider. “This is why we move ourselves to the other side of the world to be amongst the best, to compete at the biggest, and to have a horse like Kappy to do it on is just a privilege.”

‘I Spye’ Wins Major Young Event Horse Title

Thrilled to have my super horse I Spye win this prestigious Young Event Horse event.

From a field of 50 competitors I Spye won the Dubarry Young Event horse at the Gatcombe Festival of British Eventing.

I Spye joined my team as a four year old and from day one I have rated him as a horse with outstanding talent for the future. Very gratifying to have a panel of international judges agree.

Also very pleased for Sam, my New Zealand working pupil, who I allowed ride I Spye so I could compete Gigilo VK for my wonderful owner – Jane Bell. Giggle VK went into the final phase of judging in second place, one mark from I Spye, but sadly got pipped to 9th place for the final section of judging – a top 10 place still a credible result for Jane and her promising young horse.


This hugely popular competition has been integral to Burghley Horse Trials for nearly 30 years and is still acknowledged as the shop window to view potential ‘four star’ horses at an early age.
Open to four and five year olds, the aim of the Series is to encourage breeders and trainers to produce and present the type of young horse which will be considered to be the best material to make a world class three day event horse.
The judges look for an athletic, loose moving horse with a promising jumping technique and attitude which, with correct training and production, will develop physically and mentally into a strong three day eventer.
The winner is that with the highest overall marks from four sections:
I Dressage Out of 30
II Jumping – 1.05m for 5 year olds – Out of 40
III Conformation (12 marks) & Quality (8 marks) – Out of 40
IV Suitability & Potential – 1 – 10
Dressage: each horse performs a simple dressage test to demonstrate obedience, suppleness and, correct, elastic and regular gaits. Marks are not awarded for individual movements.
Jumping: follows immediately after the dressage. Judges are looking for a bold athletic horse with good technique.A horse should not necessarily be penalised for knocking down one fence (or even a four year old having one refusal), providing he learns from his mistake.However, a fall of horse or rider or three cumulative refusals will result in elimination.
Conformation and Quality: assessed in hand. The horses’ build and type should enable them to withstand the demands of the sport in terms of soundness, speed and stamina.
SuitabilityandPotential: the top ten highest scoring horses from sections I – III are invited to come into the Ring to be assessed on potential international quality. The horses are brought into line in the order that the judge sees their potential.Ten marks will be awarded to the horse that the judge selects first, 9 to the second, 8 to the third, etc down to 1 mark to the tenth horse.These marks are added to those from the previous 3 sections to establish the winner
One horse per 15 starters at today’s event will qualify for the Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse Finals which take place at the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials on Friday, 2 September.

Amsterdam wins ‘Fox-Hunter’

I was delighted with Amsterdam’s win Showjumping.

We decided to open up some gears to win the ‘Fox-Hunter’ from a field of 37 experienced show jumpers – a lot of fun showing those show jumpers how we eventers handle jumping against the clock!!

My super talented five year old  I-Spye also pleased with a double clear in his class.

Waikato Rider Chasing 2016 Rio Olympics Place

Waikato equestrian Jesse Campbell seeks Olympic spot for New Zealand team – Ian Anderson. Waikato Times

Jesse Campbell has been handed a major responsibility with the New Zealand three-day event team.

The Waikato equestrian recently got another call-up to a Kiwi team – this time one that will compete in a crucial three-star meet in The Netherlands this week that has signficant implications on New Zealand’s participation at next year’s Olympic Games.

The youngest member of the NZ Eventing High Performance squad has taken his mount Kaapachino to the Boekelo Nations Cup Championship as the Kiwi team attempts to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Campbell is joined in the team by Jonelle Price aboard Cloud Dancer II, Tim Price on Xavier Faer, Blyth Tait on Xanthus III and Dan Jocelyn on Dassett Cool Touch, with one combination to miss out.

After their disappointing World Games effort last year, Boekelo presents the NZ team with their next chance to qualify for the Olympics – instead of having to rely on  individual riders’ FEI rankings.

The advantage of NZ qualifying through this week’s event would mean their team for Rio could include a reserve – an option not available to teams who qualify through the ranking system and something treasured by equestrian teams often at the whim on how their mounts come through, travel, quarantine and vet checks.

Equestrian Sports NZ high performance eventing coach Erik Duvander said while the Boekelo event would allow him to “sign off the Olympic qualification” a little sooner than waiting on rankings, he was also focused on ensuring other horses were ready for upcoming four-star events in preparation for Rio.

“We need to be playing two games here – the Olympic qualifier and the Olympic campaign,” Duvander said.

The four-star event at Pau, France – which Campbell is also lined up to compete at – has a cross-country course designed by Frenchman Pierre Michelet, who will also oversee the Olympic course in Rio. “It is key our riders get out on his courses,” Duvander said.

“It is always a reasonably tough cross country at Boekelo and there is a strong field expected. However, the riders we have selected are all very strong and experienced, so we are relying on them to do well.”

Campbell recently won a three-star event in Ireland on former racehorse Kaapachino and made a bold showing in his four-star debut at the prestigious Luhmuhlen event in Germany in June.

“He’s a gorgeous horse, but not the most gifted horse,” Campbell said of Kaapachino.

“His conformation makes the jumping phase hard for him and his movement is not in the same league as the sport horses bred for the sport, but he is a horse with tremendous heart who tries incredibly hard for me.

“The fact he consistently achieves 75 per cent in his four-star and three-star dressage – a record for a NZ ex-racehorse – and the fact he consistently completes cross-country without faults and within the time, is testament to how hard he tries and the special nature of our relationship.

“He’s my best friend and there is no other horse I want to be riding for New Zealand at this crucial time.”

Campbell said rain forecast for Bokelo should make for a heavy, tiring course designed by Sue Benson, who designed the 2012 London Olympic Games cross-country course.

Almost 100 competitors have entered for Boekelo, including teams from Germany, Holland, United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia, Japan and the United States.

 – Stuff

My July 2015 update


Luhmuhlen International CCI4*

Luhmuhlen in Germany was such an incredible event for me where both my horses, Kaapachino in the CCI4* and Amsterdam in the CIC3*, were just brilliant. It was my first four star event and it more than surpassed my expectations.

Kaapachino had been pulled out of starting at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials in May when he was hospitalized with a serious bacterial infection, but we got him back on track and he felt absolutely incredible at Luhmuhlen. He performed one of the best dressage tests of his life scoring 75.50%, which put us at the close of the first day one place behind Germanys double Olympic gold medalist and World Champion. We set a NZ record, and at the close of the dressage phase were only .03 from Sir Mark and his London Olympic horse.

Words can’t express how proud I am of Kaapachino. He then cruised around the cross-country course like a machine, loving every minute of it to finish bang on the optimum time. It was great to win the Cross-Country Optimum Time prize and receive a pair of boots, generously sponsored by Ariat, for achieving this. The showjumping didn’t quite go to plan but Kaapachino still tried his hardest and we finished in a very solid 16th place in a competition packed with the best. The worlds top 10 riders were all vying for the winning prize. I am so lucky to have Kaapachino,my little thoroughbred, he always gives 110%.

Mr. Gary Harding’s ‘Amsterdam’ continues to really impress NZ Eventing High Performance and I. Luhmuhlen was his second CIC3* and he was stunning across country, and then jumped a beautiful and faultless clear in the showjumping. He has Olympic Games and four star written all over him and we will continue to campaign him very carefully with the bigger picture in mind.

Barbury Castle International:

My next major event was Barbury Castle International, which took place from July 9 – 12. Cleveland and Apart VD Hoefslag Z both ran in the CIC2*  and Amsterdam in the CIC3*.

I’m delighted with Amsterdam’s dressage development at 3*, he has improved since Luhmuhlen. Once we add power he will be outstanding. He show-jumped superbly, taking his first rail all season when we came off the steep Barbury bank. The ground was firm cross-country and I elected to not run him, a decision shared by many.

Apart VD Hoefslag Z put in a pleasing performance in all three phases at his first CIC2*, with a superb cross-country.

Cleveland won a highly competitive CIC2*. This was his second 2* and he won on his dressage score of 39.5. Cleveland came to me as a raw, stroppy young man. NZES reported after our win:

Campbell has taken the “sometimes tricky” eight-year-old slowly.  “He’s been hard work,” says Campbell. “He’s talented but a bit of a maverick, and I’ve had a few bloody noses on him. I’ve always believed in him, though. He’s a big beautiful horse.”

Cleveland’s win is a glimpse of his abundant talent. He too is a world class horse. I was very fortunate to have the NZ High Performance Horse Power Fund purchase a half share in Cleveland to allow me to find an owner for him.



The day after Barbury I took Jjamaica to Tweseldown for his first Novice run. He has had two 100 starts and this was quite a big step to compete Novice where the cross-country eliminated half the field. Jjamaica proved what a class horse he is. He was fourth after dressage and cruised the tricky cross-country like a true professional.


Camphire International

Amsterdam competed CIC3* and Cleveland his first CCI2* at Irelands Camphire International. The ground conditions for much of the event were horrendous, the worse I have encountered. I now know both horses can jump well in deep mud. Amsterdam coped brilliantly with the deep conditions. He gave me a great feeling, it was a valuable build up to his first CCI3*. Cleveland also impressed and claimed 3rd prize in the CCI2* finishing on his 42 dressage score.

Jesse Campbell

NZE High Performance Athlete



A personal best and NZ record for Jesse Campbell and Kaapachino

” Today was a very special day thanks my to my very special Kaapachino,  he tries so hard for me.

At our debut 4* he achieved 75.50% dressage,  an outstanding performance from my little New Zealand thoroughbred. I am so proud of him and so delighted he has had this chance to show the world what a fabulous little horse he is. There is no other horse I wanted to share my 4* debut with. Who would know he was hospitalized with a serious bacterial infection two months ago.

I also want to thank Erik Duvander, New Zealand Equestrian Sport, New Zealand Eventing High Performance. This achievement happened because of your input and belief in me. Thankyou also to my team:- my owners, sponsors, trainers, staff, special friends and my wonderful parents.

Thank you to everyone who has extended support to me on what has been an epic journey to get to this day. This is just the beginning” – Jesse

Watch Kaapachino’s Luhmuhlen 4* Dressage test

Our view of  Luhmuhlen 4* cross- country

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A superb beginning for two talented horses.

We had a brilliant day at Ascott under Wychwood on Saturday, with my young horse Jjamaica (Elmo) competing at his first affiliated BE100 and bringing home his first win. He did a beautiful dressage test and went into the showjumping in the lead. After a lovely double clear he won the class. He’s certainly a very eye catching horse and has gained plenty of comments on both his outings. Sue Benson calls him Black Beauty! I’m very excited about his future.

Sues beautiful young Falco IV was also in the lead after the dressage after performing a really super test and jumped a double clear. With just a few deliberate time faults because of his age and the firm ground, he finished seventh in his section. He gave me a great ride and this was only his second outing too and I am really pleased with him. Both boys will now go to Berkshire College this weekend for another B100 run before I head to Luhmuhlen on Monday.

Sue, a former international event rider, is one of the UKs  best known championship course builder and designed the cross country course at the 2012 London Olympic Games. She’s been course designing for 16 years working at Burghley,  Bramham, Thirlestane and Boekelo, and it’s a real honour and pleasure to be riding for her.

For the horses heading to the German 4Star at Luhmuhlen International training has been going really well with Kaapachino and Amsterdam. We’ve had some super jumping sessions with Grant Wilson and some great dressage lessons with Isobel Wessel. The gallops at Barbury Castle have been fine tuning their fitness, and I’ve been also been fine tuning  myself at the gym. For both the horses and myself our fitness preparation for Luhmuhlen began back in February.

Amsterdam will compete in the CIC3* and after a great performance at Houghton International, where he gave me a lovely feeling jumping a double clear, I’m really excited about riding him.

Kaapachino has also been going great guns, and I’m really excited about riding him cross country in the CCI4*. He was amazing at Houghton and skipped around the three star course there making it all feel very easy. Fingers cross for some good results at Luhmuhlen.


Jjamaica schooling xcElmo xc schooling