Takapoto rated highly by Aussie great
George Sanna has been to more international shows than most people and he’s clear that New Zealand’s Takapoto Estate Show Jumping is right up there with the best.
“It is just outstanding,” says George, who has brought his three Chatham Park riders to the event for the first time. “Takapoto Estate is equal to anything in Australia or on a world scale – it is just outstanding.”
A long-time friend of Mitch and Kate Plaw, the double Olympian has visited the site numerous times during its development. “It is amazing how beautiful it is and I am sure there is even more to come. Whatever is not perfect, Mitch has plans to make it perfect – knowing him as I do, he won’t rest until it is.”
George has brought with him Amelia Douglass who is just starting to compete in the bigger classes, Kate Hinschen, who he says has been one of the leading young riders in Australia for some time, placed second in the World Cup (Aus) Series and won a qualifier; and Amber Fuller, who has worked for George for some years and is the current senior Australian championship.
Amelia was a late starter but George says she is “massively on the up and up”. “She is already jumping in Grand Prix . . . she only started seriously competing at 15 or 16.”
Chatham Park is a fairly new operation established by Hamish Douglass who was motivated to do something for both the sport and is daughter Amelia. “He put these three (riders) together for a privately funded training competition yard,” says George. “Hamish is really enthusiastic about the sport and he approached me to privatise the business I had. At that time I had a lot of clients and riders, but that’s all changed. It is great that we can really focus on the high end of the sport and are not spread too thin.” The big plan of course, includes the Olympic Games and World Equestrian Games.
“Hamish and Mitch both do things for the sport – it is incredible.”