A quality field will line up for the second round of the Bayer New Zealand World Cup League on Sunday at the Showjumping Waikato World Cup Show.
Locals will be keen to think they have a little hometown advantage. Katie McVean, who has won the last three New Zealand series and finished sixth equal at the world final in 2011, has two entered.
Dunstan Zimorena G has only just debuted in the league, with her first start in Hawke’s Bay in late October, with the other being Dunstan Delilah, younger sister to superstar Delphi.
Also entered is McVean’s World Champs team-mate Samantha McIntosh who has both Claire and Estina on the card. Another claiming local status is Mathew Gilmour and his European import Belize Di Cantero.
Catherine Cameron is one never to be discounted and has two solid entries with her Lights Out and Campione GNZ.
But there are a slew of top-class combinations heading to Kihikihi with winning in mind. Maurice Beatson, another Olympic and World Champs representative and World Cup finalist, won the opening round and has two entered this weekend.
Making the long trek north are Cantabrians Ross Smith and Susie Hayward who both have stallions on the card in Quite Cassini II and Andretti.
The early season in-form Lisa Coupe has Ocean Wave and Bates Amaretto MVNZ, while former series winner Simon Wilson has Swinger. Feilding farrier Bernard Denton is bringing Horsesports Suzuki.
The World Cup series runs through until late January, with the victor having the chance to represent New Zealand at the world final next year.
Show president Kerry Willetts says the beautifully prepared Kihikihi Domain Polo Grounds make for near perfect footing and are a big attraction for the nation’s top riders.
It is free for people to head to the Kihikihi Domain to watch the excitement, and Willetts encourages people to pack a picnic and make a day of it for the premier classes on Sunday.
Bayer World Cup NZ League 2012-2013 Points (after one round): Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) 13 points, Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) 10, Simon Wilson (Waipukurau) 8, Lisa Coupe (Kumeu) 6, Susie Hayward (Canterbury) 5, Bernard Denton (Feilding) 4, Ross Smith (Canterbury) 3.