New Zealand’s Bayer FEI World Cup series has come to an end, with Katie McVean winning the final at Woodhill Sands on Sunday, and Samantha McIntosh taking out the series.
McVean – a three-time series winner – prevailed in the final aboard Dunstan Springfield with a double clear round.
Eleven started the prestigious class, with just three going clear in the first round – McVean on Dunstan Springfield, McIntosh on Estina and Logan Massie on Kiwi Ludo.
Eight came back for the second round over the Gerrit Beker-designed course, in which McVean was the only one to leave everything up for the double clear and victory.
She and the big rangy chestnut won the penultimate round last weekend in horrible gusty conditions, and made short work of a big and challenging course.
“He was just awesome,” said McVean of the horse who is known as Bart at home, and was one she had to be convinced to take from breeder Sarah Milne.
“He was pretty ugly as a baby.”
But he has grown into a star and his win was just his third world cup class start.
“I have been very careful with him. He is still only young and has heaps of jump in him,” she said.
Her original plan to take him to Canada in the coming winter has been shelved for a year as McVean and Jackson Laurie prepare for the arrival of their first child.
McVean was also third on Dunstan Kiwi Iron Mark, a horse who is surely due for a good luck turn.
“I went fast in the second round with him to put the pressure on the others and he had an unlucky rail … one day it will all come together for him I am sure! He jumped 95% of the course awesome!”
Meanwhile, series winner McIntosh was just as pleased with the efforts of her two horses, despite opting not to bring back Argento back for the second round.
“I wanted to concentrate on Estina, and it proved the right thing to do,” she said.
Throughout the six rounds, McIntosh and her horses haven’t finished worse than fourth. All but one set of the points came from Estina.
“She is just so much more settled and is working with me a lot more … it all takes time.”
As winner of the New Zealand series, McIntosh has the opportunity to ride at the world final, which is in Lyon, France, in April. However, she says it is unlikely she will go.
“The horses just haven’t had enough indoor mileage, and it is probably just a season too early for them … it is a tough call though but I just think it is asking too much.”
McIntosh rode at the 2000 world final in Las Vegas for Bulgaria and finished 13th. She had won the Central European League and took Royal Discovery to the United States for the final.
To win the New Zealand series is very special to this full time rider.
“I didn’t set out thinking I could win the series, but the further we got, the more it became another goal for me.”
Bayer World Cup (NZ series) final: Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Springfield 1, Samantha McIntosh (Cambridge) Estina (owned by Lakeridge Equestrian) 2, Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Kiwi Iron Mark (owned by June Berrington) 3, Luke Dee (Ocean Beach) Ombudsman 4, Logan Massie (Dannevirke) Kiwi Ludo (owned by Annette Scott and Massie) 5, Jono Smith (Auckland) SP Vision 6.
Bayer World Cup Series (best four rounds): Samantha McIntosh (Cambridge) 87 points 1, Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) 78 2, Susie Hayward (Christchurch) 67 3, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) 65 4, Luke Dee (Ocean Beach) 64 5, Jono Smith (Auckland) 41 6, Jake Lambert (Cambridge) 34 7, Logan Massie (Dannevirke) 33 8, Erin Clark (Bay of Plenty) 15 9, Bernard Denton (Feilding) 12 10.
Country TV Pony Grand Prix: Nakeysha Lammers (Northland) Airborne Magic 1, Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) Pioneer Jade 2, Sharnaye Lammers (Northland) Watch Me Move 3, Ella Poole-Crowe (Whangarei) Gizbo 4, Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) Kabo Silver 5, Antoine Ogilvie (Pukekohe) Little Flicker 6.
Seven Year Old: Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Carol 1, Samantha Peters (Northland) Zambambi 2, Bridget Hansen (Ocean Beach) Turn It Blue NZPH 3, Juan Pablo (Clevedon) LC Samson 4, Joy McNeil (Northland) Bella VI 5, Sam Peters (Northland) Triumphant NZPH 6.
Mitavite Munga Six Year Old: Jake Lambert (Cambridge) Miss Cassinei, Luke Dee (Ocean Beach) Ulysses NZPH, Luke Dee (Ocean Beach) Unlimited NPZH =1.
Canterbury Equestrian Five Year Old: Ike Unsworth (Tauranga) Veroana and Cherie Jaques (Waikato) Black Gem =1.
STH and LG Forge Pro Amateur Rider: Michelle Wakeling (Muriwai) BMW Littorroan 1, Emma Gaze (Auckland) Jitter Bug II 2, Josh Barker (Morrinsville) Anubertha 3, William Willis (Auckland) Indoctriole 4, Nicola Peat (Auckland) Varzuga 5, Lucia Voss (Whakatane) STH Get Over It 6.
Telford Young Rider: Bridget Hansen (Ocean Beach) Shakespear NZPH 1, Rosie Commons (Auckland) 42 Below 2, Logan Massie (Dannevirke) Kiwi Ludo (owned by Annette Scott and Massie) 3, Luke Dee (Ocean Beach) Ombudsman 4, Melanie Weal (Te Awamutu) Appleton 5, Lily Tootill (Karaka) Ngahiwi Cruise 6.
Caledonian Amateur Rider: Megan Schischka (Waitemata) Hollywood Wannabe 1, Kirsty Gradwell (Henderson) Ngahiwi Kapka 2, Amy Gravatt (Whangarei) Ake Ake 3, Rachel Holdsworth (Te Awamutu) Ngahiwi Legend 4, Sarah Lauder (Waitemata) Brookvale Valentino 5, Chanel Hargrave (Auckland) Carbon 6.
KiwiSpan Junior Rider: Kimberley Bird (Ashburton) Ngahiwi Summer 1, Lily Tootill (Karaka) Phoebe Nimmerdor 2, Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) Ngahiwi Telephonic 3, Kimberley Bird (Ashburton) Wenrose Vertigo 4, Laura Lush (Auckland) Macavee 5, Emily Hayward-Morgan (Te Awamutu) Yandoo Lady Gold 6.
Horse Grand Prix (one star): Vicki Wilson (Hikurangi) Showtym Cadet MVNZ 1, Glen Beal (Auckland) Solano 2, Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Zimorena G 3, Paula Mussen (Pukekohe) KK Tane Mahuta 4, Phillip Steiner (Tauranga) Renaissance NZPH 5, Vicki Wilson (Hikurangi) Showtym Levado GNZ 6.