Mitavite Partner Rider:
Eventing & Showjumping
Clarke is one of New Zealand eventing’s high achievers. Clarke represented NZ at WEG in 2010, where he was a member of the bronze medal winning NZ team. Based in the UK for the past few years, Clarke is now based in New Zealand where he has had a stunning run of success in recent times. Clarke has recently taken a role with NZ Eventing coaching and mentoring young event riders.
What type/s of riding do you do?
My sport is eventing but I can often be seen at showjumping shows when I have a weekend off eventing!
Introduce your horses:
Balmoral Sensation - By Senator VDL (KWPN) out of Aberzaane (NZ Thoroughbred by Aberlou) bred by David Goodin. Ritchie’ is a 16.3hh grey Gelding who is currently competing at 3star level. He is the current NZ Eventing Horse of the Year and National Three Day Eventing Champion. His favourite things are bucking and squealing at the bottom of the gallops and purple shampoo (he needs a lot of it!).
Call Me Al - New Zealand Thoroughbred by Traditionally out of Ideal Miss bred by The Oaks Stud. 'Al’ is a 16.3hh Bay gelding owned by Heather and Alan Cato. He is at 2star level currently and his best result so far is placing 7th in a field of 120 at the Osberton CCI** Three Day Event in England. He will hopefully move up to 3star level later in 2014. Al is a gentleman to handle but not always to ride! And he loves it when Heather brings him carrots.
Quainton Labyrinth - German Sportshorse by Lancelot Quainton out of Carnaby bred by Quainton Stud in England. ‘Bryn’ is a 6yr old 17.2hh bay gelding who was imported from England in 2013. He is competing at 1 star level and his best result so far is 11th in the CCI* at the NZ National Three Day Championships. He also placed 5th in the Burghley Young Event Horse class in England in 2013. Bryn has an enormous personality and is scared of cows. He is facing his fear this winter as he is turned out on Mum and Dad’s farm with a herd of young bulls!
Sportsman II - New Zealand Thoroughbred by His Royal Highness out of Sports Model, bred by Peter Meyers. ‘Sporty’ is a 16.3hh 8yr old Chestnut gelding owned by Rhys and Antoinette Powell. He was a showjumper with his breeders, the Meyers, until February 2014 and has turned many heads in his short Eventing career to date! His best result to date is winning the CNC* at Kihikihi International which was only his second 1* competition. Sporty doesn’t like going through small gateways and he likes listening to Iggy Azalea!
In Disguise - NZ Sporthorse by EuroSport Centavos (Escudo) out of Flow Gate (NZ TB) bred by Janene Maxwell. ‘Zac’ is a 16.1hh 4yr old brown gelding owned by his breeder Janene Maxwell. Zac’s mother Flow Gate is also the dam of Incognito who jumped double clear around Burghley 4star in 2011. His best results to date are winning the 4 & 5 year old class at Puhinui in April 2014 and placing 3rd in the National Young Event Horse Championship at Taupo. Zac is the best behaved horse on the yard despite being the youngest!
Cavorts - New Zealand Thoroughbred by Van Nistelroy. Taxi’ is a 6yr old 16.1hh Chestnut Thoroughbred owned by Kay Buckley. His best result would be placing 2nd in the CCN105 at Puhinui Three Day Event 2013 just behind Amazing Spy who is now eventing in the UK with Mark Todd. Taxi is a gentleman to handle and usually to ride although his name possibly alludes to the fact that his riders have been know to have to ‘hail a taxi’ to get a ride home from time to time!
Where did your love of horse-riding begin and when did you get started within your discipline?
I was coerced into going for a ride down to the river with my sister and her friends on a little black pony called Tom when I was 12. I loved it so much I rode the pony home (quite far) and have been riding ever since! I was drawn to eventing right from the start. I borrowed (stole) my sisters good pony a few months after first starting and went to Southern Teams Pony club team event in Invercargill and was placed 2nd in the Junior class and after that I was hooked. I was very proud of the fact that I finished the cross county 60 seconds inside the time!
Did you have any horse-riding role-models as a beginner rider?
Although I didn’t know any of them at this stage, I was obsessed with watching Eventing videos and reading the books. Mark Todd and Blyth Tait were my early heros and I watched Pippa Funnell’s video The Road to the Top so many times it literally broke. Vaughn Jefferis has been my coach for many years and has been a great mentor. I could not have got to where I am now though without the enormous support and guidance given to be by Mum and Dad.
What have been some of your greatest achievements within your discipline?
2010 FEI World Equestrian Games - Team Bronze Medal. What an amazing first Championship Team experience! Riding on the team with Mark Todd and Andrew Nicholson and coming away with a medal.
011 FEI World Cup Eventing Champion – Winner. Wins at Kihikihi and Sydney World Cup Qualifiers and 6th place at the French Qualifier at Haras Du Pin with Orient Express secured my biggest win to date. A big thrill.
What are your aspirations for your riding career? Where do you see yourself in the future?
My aspirations are to be the World and Olympic Champion and my focus is on building the right team of both horses and support staff to make that happen.
Which Mitavite feeds and/or supplements do you use?
I use three types of Mitavite feed depending on the horses nutritional/energy requirements and those are: Munga, Economix Active and Formula 3. I also use Performa 3 oil to add condition and shine. Most of the horses on my yard are on Munga and Economix Active which I find gives great condition without heating them up. I often have the top level horses on Formula 3 for additional energy when they are doing a lot of work.
What is your all-time favourite Mitavite product and why?
My favourite product is Formula 3. Orient Express ate Formula 3 throughout his career in NZ and Australia and when he went to America his condition and temperament was always spot on. I really missed this product when I moved to England!
What has your experience as a Mitavite Partner Rider been like?
I have been very lucky to be a partner with Mitavite for 10 years now. I realised very early in my career that Mitavite was the best horse feed available and approached Cam Price about a sponsorship. It was the beginning of a long relationship with the Price family and Mitavite and one that I hope carries on for another 10 years!
Do you have any advice for beginner / aspiring riders?
Buy Pippa Funnell’s DVD ‘The Road to the Top’ and ‘Mark Todd 20 years of cross country.’ Two amazing riders and inspirational stories.