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Katie McVean underlined her dominance of New Zealand showjumping today (Sunday) with a convincing win in the final of the New Zealand World Cup series at the Bayleys Tauranga Showjumping Championships.
She was a comfortable winner with her World Equestrian Games horse Dunstan Delphi, and finished third with Dunstan Daffodil, who picked up just a single time fault in the opening round of the class.
McVean's series win – her second on the trot – gives her the opportunity to represent New Zealand at the world final in Leipzig in Germany in April.
“Winning the series this year is huge for me because I really wanted to go to the final,” says 24-year-old McVean. “She's done Spruce Meadows and the World Games and now I feel she is ready for the World Cup final – last year, she just wouldn't have been.”
Her Tauranga outing was just her second since her return from the World Games in Kentucky last year.
“She has a lot of her spark back now and is fitter and ready to go.”
McVean plans to head to the 2011 Horse of the Year Show in Hastings in March to defend her Show jumper of the Year title and will fly out with Delphi the weekend after. She is still undecided whether she will also take Daffodil.
“I'm trying to get an invitation to the Hermes Show in the middle of Paris, which would be two weeks before the World Cup final and would be a good ease in for Delphi.”
Ten combinations started today's class in Tauranga, with just McVean on Delphi and Bernard Denton (Gisborne) on Suzuki going clear inside time to progress through to the jump-off.
McVean (Mystery Creek) was first out and sent a very clear message to Denton – 'try if you like, but you'll have to be good to beat this'..
She and Delphi flew the course, galloping into the final fence a big oxer and causing plenty of breath-holding ring-side. But they needn't have worried, the combination didn't touch a thing and stopped the clock at 40.91..
“As I was doing it I remembered we'd done the same in the speed class on Thursday night – and had it down, but Delphi learned from that and knew she had to jump it clear.”
Denton gave it his all but took two rails and was six seconds slower.
The water jump proved a challenge for a couple of combinations over the technical John Vallance (Australia).
In the pony grand prix Melanie Weal (Te Awamutu) and Hopeful Illusion headed home a 20-strong field, none of whom managed to jump the first round clear. Instead Weal and Meg Lambert (Cambridge) aboard Co Calico, who each had four faults in that first round, jumped off for top honours. Both took a rail in the jump-off but Weal was faster.
World cup final (NZ series): Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Delphi 1, Bernard Denton (Gisborne) Suzuki 2, Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Daffodil 3, Catherine Cameron (Cambridge) Kahurangi Valentino 4, Lucy Akers (Mystery Creek) Tinapai 5, Billy Raymont (Australia/Ocean Beach) Nicalette NZPH 6.
Final points for the series: Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) 60 points 1, Phillip Steiner (Tauranga) 37 points 2, Lucy Akers (Mystery Creek) and Bernard Denton (Gisborne) 36 points =3.
Marks and Ewen 1.3m: Vicki Wilson (Northland) Wurlitzer 1, Tess Williams (Gisborne) Alltech Walnut Brown 2, Kirsten McLeod ( Gisborne) NZ Josef 3, Rosie Commons (Auckland) Glenara Chandon 4, Lucy Olphert (Tauranga) Don Quattro 5, Sarah Beal (Pukekohe) Y-not 6.
Tauranga City young rider: Danielle Maurer (Auckland) Blue Rinse 1, Rachael Bentall (Hastings) Kiwi Brave 2, Amy Collinson (Auckland) Gifted 3, Hannah Burnett-Grant (Taupo) Winston Darco V 4, Amanda Wilson (Northland) Showtym Viking 5, Stephanie Anderson (Cambridge) I Reckon 6.
Cushionride seven year old: Lisa Coupe (Kumeu) Bates Amaretto MVNZ 1, Billy Raymont (Australia/Ocean Beach) Quickstep NZPH 2, Phillip Cross (Pukekohe) Nirvana 3, Catherine Cameron (Cambridge) The Mighty Quinn 4, Mandy Goosen (Taupo) Qualine De Kergane 5, Amanda Wilson (Northland) Showtym Viking 6.
Pony grand prix: Melanie Weal (Te Awamutu) Hopeful Illusion 1, Meg Lambert (Cambridge) Co Calico 2, Elle Phillips (Waikato) Guess Once More 3, Rebecca Van Tiel (Auckland) Guthrie 4, Nakeysha Lammers (Waikato) Hakuna Matata 5, Rebecca van Tiel (Auckland) Tui Gold 6.