John Cottle Horseman
Where Riding Abilities Reach New Heights


Welcome to my world. A world which has at its centre a love of horses; a passion for riding excellence and achievement; and a competitive spirit and desire to perform regardless of your level or experience. I have spent my life around horses and people with an affinity for equines. It has been rewarding and engaging. I now want to offer the opportunity for others to engage with the wonderful joys of horse riding and competition.

I have had the pleasure of representing my country, New Zealand, at three Olympic Games.  I was selected for four but, because of the boycott of the Moscow Games, the team didn’t compete.

John is available for coaching during the next School Holidays.

Click HERE for full details. 

I have won the Horse of the Year title 6 times, Grand Prix Rider of the Year 13 times, have produced 6 Olympic horses, was twice Show Jumping Personality of the Year and have been inducted into the Horse of the Year Hall of Fame. 

I have also been a national coach and selector, coach for a number of international teams and Chef D’Equipe for New Zealand teams at a number of international events.  

Some have also called me a trail blazer in terms of how I competed internationally by basing myself in Europe for key events.  In fact I was the first New Zealand rider to base myself in the Northern Hemisphere—a tradition that the likes of Sir Mark Todd, Andrew Nicholson, Blyth Tait and also a host of show jumpers have followed.

I’ve also been one of the first New Zealanders to train horses in this country for sale in the international market. 

I have trained and produced six horses that have competed at the Olympic level including: 


    Second Mate: competed for Japan, Montreal 1976


    Footman: competed for Japan, Los Angeles 1984


    Arturo: competed for New Zealand, Los Angeles 1984


    Ups & Downs: competed for New Zealand, Seoul 1988


    Challenger: competed for Japan, Seoul 1988


    Monopoly: competed for Canada, Barcelona 1992


I am currently based at a 50 acre property in Ardmore, South Auckland. It is about a 30 minute drive from central city Auckland and near the International Airport and most major transportation routes.

The property boasts an all weather riding and training arena as well as trails and tracks for schooling or hacking purposes.

I believe that learning from someone who has been at the top of their sport is a unique and wonderful opportunity.  I was fortunate to learn from some of the most respected riders when I was making my way in the equestrian world.  I feel an obligation to continue that tradition and also expose people to a sport I love.


  • Private and Group Riding and Show Jumping lessons

  • Special Young Rider tuition and clinics

  • School based coaching and training

  • Full livery and agistment

  • Professional schooling of horses and ponies

  • Grazing and facility use (limited)

  • Private lessons and mounts provided for people who don’t have a horse or pony of their own

  • International coaching and program development




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