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It was a Katie McVean quinella today (Sunday) in the fifth round of the New Zealand World Cup qualifying series at the Central and Southern Hawke's Bay Show in Dannevirke.
Twenty-four-year-old McVean (Mystery Creek) won the class on her top horse Dunstan Delphi and finished second on Dunstan Daffodil.
It is the first outing McVean and Delphi have had since they represented New Zealand at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in October.
Delphi was the only one of nine starters to jump double clear in the very challenging class.
The McVean camp rounded out the top three with McVean's riding partner – and groom in Kentucky – Lucy Akers (Mystery Creek) and Tinapai placing third.
“Delphi was so good today but she's pretty tired now,” says McVean, explaining the Dannevirke Kevin Hansen-designed course will be one of the longest the World Cup competitors will face throughout the series.
“She had to try her little heart out.”
McVean will now rest Delphi until the World Cup round in Gisborne in late January, starting just Daffodil in Woodhill Sands next weekend.
“Daffodil did really well too and tried to keep up with her younger (half) sister.”
While Delphi was the only clear of the first round, with Akers, McVean on Daffodil, Ike Unsworth (Tauranga) on NRM Seremonie VDL and Philip Steiner (Tauranga) on Annandale Online NPZH all carried through four faults apiece.
With the pressure on, eight came through to the second round where six produced clear rounds.
McVean's win will give her a solid buffer ahead of her opposition on the series leaderboard as they head to the business end. The final will be held in Tauranga in the first weekend of February.
Earlier in the show Danielle Maurer (Auckland) and Blue Rinse scooped up more valuable points for the young rider leaderboard, putting her in an enviable position at the top.
Kalah McKay (Levin) and Kabo So Far took the honours in the pony grand prix.
World Cup (fifth round of the NZ qualifying series): Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Delphi 1, Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Daffodil 2, Lucy Akers (Mystery Creek) Tinapai 3, Bernard Denton (Gisborne) Suzuki 4, Philip Steiner (Tauranga) Annandale Online NPZH 5, Ike Unsworth (Tauranga) NRM Seremonie VDL 6.
Grand prix (one star): Simon Wilson (Waipukurau) Cortaflex Right Royal 1, Mathew Dickey (New Plymouth) Kiwi Guard 2, Julie Davey (Hastings) Air Hill Myka 3, Sally Steiner (Tauranga) Annandale Laughton's Legacy 4, Oliver Edgecombe (Waipukurau) Cortaflex Billistic 5, Ike Unsworth (Tauranga) NRM Wimbledon MVNZ 6..
Young rider: Danielle Maurer (Auckland) Blue Rinse 1, Rachael Bentall (Hastings) Kiwi Brave 2, Hannah Burnett-Grant (Taupo) Winston Darco V 3, Stephanie Anderson (Waikato) I Reckon 4, Mathew Dickey (New Plymouth) Kiwi Guard 5, Bridget Hansen (Ocean Beach) Nicalette NZPH 6.
Iverquantel amateur rider: Tim Finch (Waipukurau) Mr Munga 3 1, Simon Harrison (Wanganui) By Golly Ollie 2, Graeme Isaacson (Waipukurau) Lykon 3, Heloise Tolo (Wellington) Sirocco Twiggy 4, Lisa Nichol (Havelock North) Pharaoh 5, Amy Playle (Gisborne) Oscar Star 6.
KiwiSpan junior rider: Jake Lambert (Cambridge) O' So Happy 1, Megan Webb (Hunterville) Abernaki Chief 2, Henry Booth (Masterton) Getmshorty 3, Phoebe Topp (Wairarapa) Guy Smiley 4, Claudia Porter (Havelock North) Joia Hara 5, Tayla Mason (Wellington) Hula Rock 6.
Cushionride seven year old: Catharine Gillaly (Woodville) Black Tuxedo 1, Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Zimorean G 2, Jake Lambert (Cambridge) Quality NZPH 3, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Schimmel Warrior 4, Philip Steiner (Tauranga) Annandale Waitangi Triple X 5, Nigel Horton (Palmerston North) Miss Mopsie 6.
Mitavite six year old: Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Kiwi Iron Mark (owned by Melanie Purcell), Kim Best (Otane) Giggles, Robert Steele (Hawera) Rollup, Robert Steele (Hawera) Rolette, Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Springfield =1.
Astek Stud five year old: Bridget Hansen (Ocean Beach) Serene NZPH, Brooke Zander (Waipukurau) Horsesalesnz JJ Rumours, Jackie Jermyn (Cambridge) Circus, Natasha Brooks (Cambridge) Kapattack =1.
Pony grand prix: Kalah McKay (Levin) Kabo So Far 1, Meg Lambert (Waikato) Co Calico 2, Emily Fraser (Waipukurau) Tony the Pony 3, Luke Dee (Gisborne) Wild Thing 4, Melanie Weal (Te Awamutu) Hopeful Illusion 5, Nicole Watson (Taranaki) Mister Brumbie 6.