Super racehorse tops Amateur Qualifier

Super racehorse tops Amateur Qualifier

Showcause is a well-established star on the race track but today he showed class as a showjumper, winning the second qualifier in the Amateur Tour with his doting owner Kelsey Leahy.

As a racehorse he won over half a million in stake money, was New Zealand Champion Stayer, and won a handful of group races including the New Zealand Cup, the City of Auckland Cup and the Avondale Cup. At eight, his racing days were over. At the same time, Kelsey was looking for a four-year-old bay or black gelding . . . she ended up with the eight-year-old chestnut Showcause.

“It all turned out for the best though,” said the Cambridge based rider who with husband Finbarr runs Armourcroft Racing Stables. She and Showcause are usually found on the eventing circuit and last year won the national one-day title at Kihikihi.

But she likes to add a little showjumping to the mix and had such fun at Takapoto last week she decided to return. They placed eighth in their first Amateur outing this week and while it qualified them for the final, Kelsey says she wanted to get the horse out for another jump on the fabulous footing.

“I tried to be more forward and positive today. He is not naturally quick but very good at tight turns.”

Their 68.81 second effort saw them swoop to the front of the 44-strong field, with second placed Kelly Smith (Foxton) aboard Corlinka stopping the clock at 69.98 and Paxton Conder (Whatawhata) aboard La Fonteyn rounding out the top three on 70.26 seconds.

“It is just amazing to win,” said Kelsey. “It is so nice to show you can get a thoroughbred off the track and do well. I am so proud of him. We have had four starts for four ribbons.”

She’s in two minds about tomorrow’s final. “I really don’t mind how tomorrow goes because I am just so happy with him but that said . . . we’ll be coming out to win!”


  1. Kelsey Leahy (Cambridge) Showcause (Australian thoroughbred by Giants Causway, out of Showella – owned by Kelsey Leahy)
  2. Kelly Smith (Foxton) Corlinka (warmblood by Corland, out of Cufflink – owned by Kelly Smith)
  3. Paxton Conder (Whatawhata) La Fonteyn (thoroughbred cross by Littorio, out of Tress Spider – owned by Paxton Conder)
  4. Zoe Shore (Ashburton) Saffron (by Cassini II, out of La Mioche – owned by Nicky Shore)
  5. Damien Churchill (Australia) Midway Detroit (stationbred by Tui – owned by William Lyles)
  6. Phillippa Corcoran (Cambridge) Cardrona (sport horse by Carrado, out of Craighaven Tarmac – owned by Phillippa Corcoran)

For full results, head to