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McVean Europe Bound

McVean Europe Bound

Top New Zealand showjumper Katie McVean heads to Europe this weekend with her horse Dunstan Delphi in her bid to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics.

The 24-year-old from Mystery Creek will settle her nine-year-old Delphi (co-owned by the McVean and Shore families) into a barn in Holland before getting back on a plane to head home in time to defend her Bell Tea Olympic Cup NZ Showjumper of the Year title at the Horse of the Year Show in Hastings next month.

Her travel plans made a little easier thanks to support from SPARC via their recent high performance funding, which included $50,000 for showjumping dedicated toward the Olympic qualifier in Aachen on July 9-10.

She will fly into New Zealand the day the show starts and leave the evening it finishes, just in time to make the trot up of the World Cup show at s-Hertogenbosch back in Holland.

It's the lead in to the World Cup final in Leipzig, Germany, April 27 to May 1, where McVean, who rode at the 2010 World Equestrian Games and the 2008 Beijing Olympics, will represent New Zealand after winning the series earlier this month in Tauranga.

She and her team of half sisters Delphi and Dunstan Daffodil totally dominated the series, leaving little look-in for the rest of New Zealand's top onshore combinations.

McVean says she is a little disappointed not to have Delphi for the Horse of the Year Show – which runs in Hastings from March 15-22 – but says there was no way the mare could compete and be in top form to compete at the very challenging world final.

Instead she will start Daffodil at the show, where she defends both the Lady Rider of the Year and Olympic Cup, and she's looking forward to the show.

“Having just Daffodil in the big classes is a whole new thing to look forward to,” she says.

“She can be a bit hot but she is a really nice ride in the ring. She's probably taken a year longer than Delphi to step up and we really only pushed her to jump bigger because she is so brave.”


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