Katie McVean won the final World Cup Series round, but Samantha McIntosh bagged the overall series win at Woodhill Sands over the weekend.
Heading into the final round the series looked certain to go to one of the country’s three top female riders - McVean, McIntosh or Cantabrian Susie Hayward. The question was, which one?
Mystery Creek’s McVean, a three time series winner, won the final round aboard Dunstan Springfield at the Waitemata World Cup Final Festival.
But it was Cambridge’s McIntosh who took the overall series, with points from the best four World Cup rounds counting towards the final score. McVean had to settle for second place overall in the series and Hayward finished third.
Eleven started the prestigious class, with just three going clear in the first round – McVean on Dunstan Springfield, McIntosh on Estina and Dannevirke’s Logan Massie on Kiwi Ludo.
Eight came back for the second round and McVean, who recently announced she is expecting her first child with fiancé Jackson Laurie, was the only one to leave everything up for the double clear and victory.
She and Springfield also won the penultimate round at the Central and Southern Hawke’s Bay Showjumping Champs in Dannevirke the previous weekend.
McIntosh was second with Estina and McVean was also picked up third on Dunstan Kiwi Iron Mark.
Series winner McIntosh opted not to bring back Argento back for the second round and concentrated on Estina instead.
Throughout the six World Cup rounds, McIntosh and her horses haven’t finished worse than fourth. All but one set of the points came from Estina.
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, the former Olympian and World Champs representative 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.”
In other showjumping news, Equestrian Sports New Zealand Jumping has confirmed plans for three tests to be held in New Zealand in February and March this year to determine the Oceania Showjumping Champs for 2014.
Australia and New Zealand will go head to head in the three senior Oceania tests at Woodhill Sands on February 22-23, Tauranga at Mills Reef Winery on February 27, and Horse of the Year on March 21 in conjunction with the Silver Fern Stakes.