Katie McVean holds all the cards going into the second day of the NZ National Jumping and Showhunter Championships in Christchurch today.
The 23-year-old from Mystery Creek and her FEI World Cup NZ League Final winner Dunstan Springfield lead the prestigious McMillan Equine Feeds NZ Senior Horse Grand Prix after a sizzling speed round on Thursday night where rails down are turned into seconds.
Just eight started the first round of the gruelling three-day competition at the NEC McLeans Island, with McVean taking full advantage of starting last, jumping clear in 76.66 seconds to nab the lead from Logan Massie and Kiwi Ludo, who finished in 78.43. McVean is also third on Dunstan Kiwi Iron Mark after producing the fastest round against the clock but paid for it with one rail down.
McVean sits on 0 penalties, just 0.89 of a penalty in front of Massie with Dunstan Kiwi Iron Mark on 1.57, and Vicki Wilson on Ngahiwi Showtym Premier fourth on 2.25 faults. Overall, just over two rails separate the entire field.
The Fiber Fresh One Star Horse Grand Prix is much more clear cut after Invercargill’s Nicole White and Cricklewood Ace blitzed the field with a sensational round almost 10 seconds clear of her nearest rival.
Jumping first, White set the time to beat in a scorching 59.78, which none of the 15 others managed to even come close to. Vicki Wilson and Showtym Levado were the closest but had two rails down, dropping her to fifth.
White starts today with more than a rail in hand over Simon Wilson and Midway Smooth Dude second on 4.25, McVean on Dunstan Lucca third on 5.19, and Claire Wilson fourth on Tipsey on 5.76.
The first rounds of the other championship classes also get under way today, as well as the second rounds for both the Senior Horse Grand Prix and One Star Horse Grand Prix. Faults are carried over with the finals on Sunday.
McMillan Equine Feeds NZ Senior Horse Grand Prix Day One: Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Springfield 1, Logan Massie (Dannevirke) Kiwi Ludo 2, Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Kiwi Iron Mark 3, Vicki Wilson (Hikurangi) Ngahiwi Showtym Premier 4, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Schimmel Warrior 5, Susie Hayward (Ashburton) Andretti 6.
Fiber Fresh One Star Horse Grand Prix Day One: Nicole White (Invercargill) Cricklewood Ace 1, Simon Wilson (Waipukurau) Midway Smooth Dude 2, Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Lucca 3, Claire Wilson (Waipukurau) Tipsey 4, Vicki Wilson (Hikurangi) Showtym Levado GNZ 5, Vicki Wilson (Hikurangi) Showtym Cadet MVNZ 6.