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Our riding team is led by New Zealand's top ranked professional rider Samantha McIntosh, who is currently competing as a full-time professional with her team of horses based at Arcachon in Southern France.
She provides mentoring and leadership to Takapoto's two professional riders who train and live fulltime in New Zealand: Managing Rider Jaime Tiller and Young Rider Oliver Croucher.
Jaime and Oliver are based at the Penny Stevenson Sport Horses Equestrian Centre at Chestnut Glade, Cambridge.
Samantha comes from a show jumping family, with her mother Penny Stevenson an internationally known show jumping instructor and father Colin a former Olympian (Seoul 1988).
Sam has based herself and competed in Europe since she was 18 years old and in her early years rode under the Bulgarian flag. During this period Sam rode at Sydney Olympics and a World Cup final in Las Vegas, European Championships at Arnhem, Manheim, Hickstead, Donaueschingen and San Patrigano. She then rode at the World Championships in Jerez and Aachen and after that changed back to the kiwi banner at Kentucky.
After reverting her nationality back to NZ and relocating back to her hometown of Cambridge in New Zealand, she spent three years building up her own sports horse stable, ran her team of show jumpers and became very involved in coaching. Using her extensive knowledge gained from her years in Europe, she coached and mentored aspiring show jumping riders from Junior to Grand Prix level.
Three years later, fresh after winning the World Cup series in NZ, Sam headed back to Europe, still keen to make her mark in international showjumping with her mare Estina. She is now based in Arcachon, just south of Bordeaux, with her team of show jumpers.
Sam competed for New Zealand in the FEI Nations Cup in 2017. In 2018, she was part of the team of four New Zealand riders that won the FEI Nations Cup in the UAE, the first time a New Zealand team has won it.
In recent years she has enjoyed significant success with her horse Check In (bred and ridden until 12 yrs by Gilbert Boeckmann) with the stallion taking her back up to Championship level.
Her little mare Estina has been a highly consistent side-kick for Check In at the big events often placing in the speed classes. Sam also rides Alaid which she considers to be her up-and-coming future star with huge potential.
Jaime has been working for Takapoto since mid 2017 as the Event Manager for Takapoto Estate Show Jumping and also runs Takapoto’s New Zealand based stables.
Prior to her employment with Takapoto, Jaime trained and competed successfully abroad. From 2006-2010 Jaime traveled to Germany four times during the NZ off-season to further her knowledge and experience. In Germany she was based three times with Florian Meyer zu Hartum and once with Axel Wockener and Markus Renzel. Jaime has competed internationally in Australia, India, Canada and Germany.
Jaime has competed in two World Cups in NZ but her main passion is producing young horses, with her proudest achievement being winning the Leading Rider at the Young Horse Championships in 2018.
Jaime has run several top shows around the country including the Harcourts Albany Show Jumping, Harrison Lane Matakana Magic and Lexus Karaka Spectacular. Now she focuses solely on the annual Takapoto Estate Show Jumping event held each February-March.
In 2013 she completed a BSc Sport and Exercise Science at Massey Albany, a double major in psychology and sport and exercise science. She also has an Honours Diploma in Exercise Prescription from the New Zealand Institute of Sport.
Oliver began riding for Takapoto as Young Rider in August 2018. Hailing from Rotoura, he started riding at age 10 and progressed through Show Hunter and Pony classes then Junior and Young Rider.
He has been selected for the New Zealand Young Rider team twice, with the team winning the Trans Tasman Young Rider Test series in 2018.
Ollie has competed in the Junior Rider series since 2013 before stepping up to Young Rider in 2016.
His best results include placing fourth at Horse Of the Year in the Junior Rider of the Year, then sixth in the Young Rider of the Year class in 2017. Ollie has been competing in the Grand Prix series since 2017 with multiple placings.
The highlight of Oliver's career so far is placing third in the 2017-18 Young Rider Series as well as winning the 1.40m at the Christmas Classic 2018.
In 2018, Ollie worked for highly regarded former Olympian and British Show Jumper Michael Whittaker at his stables in Nottingham. Ollie then traveled to Arcachon to train with Takapoto Horse Programme Manager Sam McIntosh for three weeks.