Jesse Campbell On Team Mission in Holland

Marlborough’s Jesse Campbell re-routes to Boekelo

Tagged: Boekelo International Horse Trials, Jesse Campbell, New Zealand, Rio 2016 and filed under: Eventing

Marlborough-based event rider Jesse Campbell will represent New Zealand as part of the Nations Cup team competing at Boekelo in Holland later this week.

The New Zealand Eventing High Performance selectors have asked Jesse to re-route his New Zealand-bred, ex-racehorse Kaapachino from Pau CCI4* to Boekelo CCI3* in order to help his country gain qualification for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio after they failed to do so at last year’s World Championships.

New Zealand could qualify for Rio through individual riders FEI rankings. However, if New Zealand qualify at Boekelo they will be able to travel a reserve to Rio, an option not available to the teams who qualify through FEI rankings, and a definite advantage to the NZ team who will arrive in Brazil a week before the Games begin.

Jesse said: “It is a tremendous honour to be asked to ride on the New Zealand team. Kaapachino is a gorgeous horse, but not the most gifted. His conformation makes the jumping phase hard for him and his movement is not in the same league as the horses bred for specifically for eventing, but he is a horse with a tremendous heart who tries incredibly hard for me.

“The fact he consistently achieves 75 per cent in his four star and three star dressage tests – a record for a NZ ex-racehorse, and that 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.”

Jesse’s recent form has stood in him good stead for selection. At Millstreet in Ireland in August, he won both the CIC3* and CIC2* with Kaapachinao and Cleveland respectively.

He said: “Both horses were amazing and if Kaapy (Kaapachino) can reproduce that form it would be great. The forecast for Boekelo is for some rain and the conditions in Holland’s low lying flats will be heavy, which is very tiring for horses competing on these long format international tracks. Sue Benson, who designed the 2012 London Olympic Games cross-country course, is the course designer and it will be a true international test of accuracy, courage and endurance.

Other countries competing include Germany, Holland, United Kingdom, Sweden, Australia, Japan and the US. The UK-based Australian riders have been in red-hot form of recent times, and the US is fully funding a team to fly from the US to Boekelo.

The competition is shaping up to be a battle of the best.


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

Double victory for Campbell

Jesse Campbell claimed both the CIC3* and CIC2* titles at the inaugural Drishane Castle International Horse Trials at the world famous Millstreet in Ireland. His victories were decisive, he and Kaapachino posted a winning dressage score of 74.74% in the CIC3*which gave them a five mark lead on the international field, that included Olympians and their Rio prospects. Jesse’s  clear showjumping and a cross-country track where time  was an influential  factor for those who wanted to be on the podium, meant Jesse and Kaapachino had 10 marks in hand when they entered the cross-country start box for their perfectly timed cross-country.



Jesse Campbell wins the Eventing Ireland CIC** with Cleveland. Pictured with Noel  Duggan (IRE) Eric Lieby (FRA) and Sandy Phillips (GBR) Photos Courtesy Millstreet/Drishane International Horse Trials

Jesse claimed the CIC2* title in similar style with Cleveland, a young horse he has produced since basing himself in the UK as a member of the New Zealand Eventing High Performance squad.  They won the dressage with a 72.85% score which gave them a 5 point lead on their nearest competitor, and completed the cross-county bang on the optimum time. They were one of only three competitors to complete the newly built Mike Etherington-Smith designed course within the time allowed.

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Double triumph lifts Campbell’s Olympic claims


Double triumph for Jesse Campbell in Ireland keeps him in Olympic contention – Ian Anderson, Waikato Times


Libby Law

Jesse Campbell and Kaapachino continue to impress


Kiwi equestrian Jesse Campbell continues to push his case for Olympic selection with a double victory in Ireland. Campbell claimed wins in the three-star and two-star classes at the Drishane Castle International Horse Trials at Millstreet. The Waikato three-day eventer rode Kaapachino to victory in the three-star class, seeing off a high-quality field that featured a number of international entries and likely competitors at next year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The combination posted an impressive dressage score of 74.4 per cent to grab an early lead over the field and they backed that up with a clear show-jumping round and a faultless cross-country showing. Campbell’s winning score of 44.3 penalties saw him head home fellow Kiwi and Rio Olympic hopeful Tim Price, who took second on 47.6 points after recording the fastest cross-country round on Bango.

The 25-year-old also teamed up with Cleveland – a young horse he has produced since being based in England as a member of the NZ Eventing High Performance team – to put in a similar dominant performance to win the two-start title.   The combination had the best dressage score of 72.85 per cent, to lead by five points. They completed the cross-country right on the optimum time and were one of only three competitors to complete the newly-built Mike Etherington-Smith croos-country course within the time allowed.

Campbell’s efforts in front of NZ EHP coach Eric Duvander will have furthered his standing as one of the country’s best young eventers. He made a good showing on Kaapachino in his four-star debut at the Luhmuhlen International Horse Trials in Germany in June and won the two-star D section at the Barbury International Horse Trials in England recently on Cleveland. Campbell also has Amsterdam as a key mount in his quest to be part of the NZ three-day event team to compete in Rio.

Ian Anderson

Waikato Times

Views from Lyneham Heath Equestrian

I love going to Lyneham Heath Equestrian, and I’m delighted to be an ambassador for this great training venue.

Lyneham Heath Equestrian.

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The facilities are superb with over 200 cross-country jumps, including three water complexes, set in 130 acres of classic Cotswold hedged grassland.

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An olympic cross-country designer and year round maintenance makes Lyneham Heath Equestrian one of the best British training venues for all levels of eventing. To book your training sessions and to view the Lyneham Heath Equestrian exceptional training venue go to:

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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

Here’s my debrief on Houghton International

I was so pleased with my four horses at Houghton International. Kaapachino, the most experienced of my horses,  was back to his consistent best and the other three once again showed their world class potential. I couldn’t be more happy.

Talking Point was awesome. Despite heading into the dressage arena during the most torrential downpour, he held it together really well to perform the best test he has ever done.

Cross country he was brilliant. It’s the first time I have really pushed him and he made it feel so easy. He has such a big engine and just cruised all the way.  He finished the day with a clear showjumping to give us fourth place in the CCI2*.

Cleveland was the first to go in the CCI2* dressage and did a really classy test. Although you could argue that had he gone later he would possible have benefitted in the marking, his flat work is exceptional and I was pleased. Across country we had a glance off at an arrow head which was also part of the 3* course but when I represented him, he locked on and jumped it beautifully before jumping clear showjumping. He’s a top level horse for the future and at only eight years old, he will have come on leaps and bounds from his Houghton experience.

Amsterdam was incredible in the CIC3*. His dressage is improving all the time. We’re focusing on establishing very firm foundations so while his test was very accurate, I didn’t at this stage ask for any power which will come later. He then jumped a beautiful double clear giving me an incredible spin across country. His next competition is Luhmuhlen CIC3*.

Kaapachino loved every single second of his cross country in the CIC3* and gave me such a great ride around. He was so happy he felt awesome. He was a little tense in his dressage and had a fence down showjumping, and another pole too which was really unlucky but not his fault at all. He’s such a champion.

I will be taking some of my younger horses to Ascott under Wychwood on June 6 and Berkshire College on June 13, and then, on Monday, June 15, leave for Luhmuhlen with Kaapachino and Amsterdam.

Best Wishes,


Today was brilliant at Houghton International……..! (read more)

Today was brilliant at Houghton International where all four boys went really well.

I am still on an adrenalin high and couldn’t be happier.  

I’d gone to Houghton with high hopes for all my horses, but when it actually turns out the way you hope it leaves you with a great feeling.

Cleveland was my first ride of the day in the CCI 2* and he made a green mistake at fence five which was entirely down to rider error. This meant I didn’t make the same mistake again on my second horse Talking Point, who made the cross country feel really easy and finished nine second inside the time. I had such a fun ride on him and we both really enjoyed ourselves. Despite our early blip, Cleveland was absolutely superb for the remainder of the course and really enjoyed himself finishing full of confidence. I was delighted with how both horses stepped up the grade in their first CCI 2*.

Amsterdam show jumped clear and was then superb cross country finishing with just eight time penalties which was brilliant. He was world class today, really locking on to all the jumps. This was his first CIC 3* and I really couldn’t be more happy with him. He’s such a superstar.

Dear Kaapy had two fences down show jumping, a down hill jump caught his out, and then across country he made it feel like he was jumping around an intermediate course – he absolutely flew! He feels better than ever and is such a professional.

Talking Point and Amsterdam have their final stages tomorrow with an early morning trot up and then show jumping.

Exciting final preparations for Houghton International

Very excited to be taking four horses to Houghton International.

Amsterdam May Talking Point May

Amsterdam competes in his first 3 Star, Cleveland and Talking Point in their first CCI 2 Star, and Kaapachino will have a CIC 3Star run as preparation for his 4Star debut at Luhmuhlen in three weeks time. Here’s some photos of the four boys during their final training session at home before we head to Houghton this week.

Kaapachino May Kaapachino-May Talking Point-May 15Amsterdam-May

They have been working extremely well and I can’t wait for the competition to begin.