NZ World Cup League Kicks of in HB
NZ World Cup League Kicks of in HB
The best of New Zealand showjumpers will tomorrow (Friday) line up for the opening round of the Country TV World Cup (NZ) Premier League at the Hawke’s Bay A and P Show in Hastings.
With 21 on the card, it is believed to be a near record number of starters.
While there will be plenty of eyes on former series’ winners Katie Laurie (Mystery Creek), Maurice Beatson Dannevirke) and Simon Wilson (Waipukurau), there will also be lots of interest in the baby of the field, 18-year-old Georgia Massie (Dannevirke).
It’s a big move up for the teen, but she says her mind was made up after jumping Larinium LS in the Norwood Gold Cup at the Horse of the Year Show in March.
“He jumped so well there,” says Massie.
It was the icing on the cake to a brilliant season.
“I will see how things go tomorrow before I make any big plans for the rest of the season.”
She knows jumping the jumps is only half the game.
“What goes on in your head is the biggest challenge with a class like this,” she says. “I practice de-stressing myself before big classes.”
Trained by her big brother Logan, Massie says she’s hugely grateful for the support of her family when it comes to chasing her equestrian dreams.
Five-time series winner Laurie has her stunning grey stallion Dunstan Casebrooke Lomond and Dunstan On The Point Eve entered.
Her preparation for the opening round has been meticulous and meant she travelled around 1452 kilometres back and forth between Gisborne and Mystery Creek last weekend to ensure Lomond had a good run in an arena similar to the Hawke’s Bay grounds.
Eve had her lead-up at Foxton, a little earlier and Laurie is confident both will head into the class primed and ready.
Laurie, who won the series last year, is New Zealand’s best-performed finisher at the a World Cup final with her sixth equal in Sweden in 2011 aboard Dunstan Delphi.
Helen McNaught-McFarlane (Taupo) and her quirky grey Carnutelabryere have been the combination to go head-to-head with Laurie over the past two seasons, and in the 2015-2016 season won the final but placed second in the series.
“The World Cup series is certainly our priority for the season,” says McNaught-McFarlane.
“Roger Laplanche is a great course builder and while I am not expecting to push everyone too hard for the opening round, I am sure it will be strong enough.”
Carnutelabryere has come back into work well for the new season.
“He is looking the best ever I think and has come out looking fantastic.”
Beatson who represented New Zealand in a World Cup final previously has two on the card with Conyers and Schimmel Warrior, both of whom have plenty of mileage at top level.
Conyers was actually brought to New Zealand as a four-year-old dressage horse, but his father Concorde’s jumping lines proved too strong and he made the switch.
Simon Wilson brings McMillans Midway Smooth Dude out for his first World Cup start.
“I am happy with him at the moment but you never know how things are going to go when you move up another level,” says Wilson. “It is a big test that next step and will be a tough ask.”
Also entered are Samantha Morrison (Tauranga) aboard Biarritz, husband and wife Brooke and Oliver Edgecombe (Waipukurau) on LT Holst Aunty Annette and Ultra Blue NZPH respectively, Lily Tootill (Auckland) and Ulysses NZPH, Rachel Malcolm (Cambridge) on Equador MVNZ, Daniel Blundell (Ocean Beach) on Lavello, Mathew Dickey (Oakura) on Quango, Tess Clark (Auckland) on Sinatra II, Sam Peters (Whangarei) on Zabambi and Lucy Fell (Opiki) on Tinapai.
The New Zealand league runs over six rounds, with the best four to count for each rider.
Following Hawke’s Bay, the next two rounds will be held indoors, at Mystery Creek (November 4-6), followed by Feilding (December 2-3). Competition then moves back outdoors for Taupo (December 15-17) and Dannevirke (January 6-8) with the grand final at Waitemata (January 14-15).
The winner of the New Zealand league has the opportunity to represent the country at the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping 2015/2016 Final which is being held in Omaha, Nebraska, in the United States, from March 29-April 1, 2017.