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It’s round two of the Bayer New Zealand World Cup League on Sunday and with another quality field lined up for the class, it’s anyone’s guess who will snaffle those all-important points.
The premier showjumping class runs on Sunday – the last day of the three day APL Showjumping Waikato World Cup Show.
Locals will be keen to think they have a little hometown advantage. Katie McVean (Mystery Creek), who has won the last three New Zealand series and finished sixth equal at the world final in 2011, has two entered.
Dunstan Zimorena G has only just debuted in the league, with her first start in Hawke’s Bay in late October, with the other being Dunstan Delilah, younger sister to superstar Delphi.
Also entered is McVean’s World Champs team-mate Samantha McIntosh (Cambridge) who has both Claire and Estina on the card. Another claiming local status is Mathew Gilmour (Matangi) and his lovely European import Belize Di Cantero.
Catherine Cameron (Cambridge) is one never to be discounted and has two rather solid entries with her Lights Out and Campione GNZ.
But there are a slew of top-class combinations heading to Kihikihi with winning in mind.
Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke), another former Olympian, World Champs representative and World Cup finalist, won the opening round and has two entered this weekend.
Making the long trek north are Cantabrians Ross Smith and Susie Hayward who both have stunning stallions on the card in Quite Cassini II and Andretti.
The early season in-form Lisa Coupe (Kumeu) has her two entered in Ocean Wave and Bates Amaretto MVNZ, while former series winner Simon Wilson (Waipukurau) has Swinger. Feilding farrier Bernard Denton is bringing Horsesports Suzuki.
The World Cup series runs through until late January, with the victor having the chance to represent New Zealand at the world final next year.
Show president Kerry Willetts says the beautifully prepared Kihikihi Domain Polo Grounds make for near perfect footing and are a big attraction for the nation’s top riders.
It is free for people to head to the Kihikihi Domain to watch the excitement, and Willetts encourages people to pack a picnic and make a day of it for the premier classes on Sunday.
But the world cup isn’t the only big draw card on the schedule at Kihikihi Domain. Friday’s one star grand prix is a qualifier for the $15,000 1.45m jump being held indoors on Saturday night at the nearby Equidays, with the top 25 going through.
The Equidays APL grand prix, a great opportunity for New Zealand riders to compete indoors, is part of an evening extravaganza that includes all sorts of equestrian talent.
Bayer World Cup NZ League 2012-2013 Points (after one round): Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) 13 points, Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) 10, Simon Wilson (Waipukurau) 8, Lisa Coupe (Kumeu) 6, Susie Hayward (Canterbury) 5, Bernard Denton (Feilding) 4, Ross Smith (Canterbury) 3.