Three of New Zealand’s top female riders will battle it out in the final of the Bayer FEI World Cup tomorrow at Woodhill Sands.
Three time NZ series winner Katie McVean, who was first and second in the penultimate round at the weekend, has Dunstan Kiwi Iron Mark and Dunstan Springfield entered, with Samantha McIntosh also on two with Argento and Estina, and Susie Hayward on Andretti.
It is expected that one of the trio will be toasted as the 2013-2014 series champion on Sunday night.
McIntosh is at the top of the leaderboard with 72 points, including wins at Feilding and Taupo, while McVean and Hayward have had one apiece but have been very consistent.
McVean is in second place on the leaderboard on 67, with the 2012-2013 series victor Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) in third on 65 and Hayward fourth on 60.
Beatson won’t be at the final, opting instead to save his horses for the long trek south for the Ride the Rhythm and Canterbury and National championships later this month.
With points and a half up for grabs in the final (30 for the winner, 26 for second, 23 for third, 20 for fourth, 18 for fifth, and continuing down from there), there is plenty at stake, but working out the likely winners is tricky because just the four best rounds from each rider count.
Also entered on Sunday at the Waitemata World Cup Final Festival are Luke Dee on Ombudsman who won the series final last year, Logan Massie on Kiwi Ludo, Melody Matheson on Cheltenham, Jake Lambert on Quality NZPH and Jono Smith on SP Vision.
It is the first time Showjumping Waitemata hashosted a world cup final. President Emma Blair says a new and improved warm-up arena will please many competitors and it complements the excellent footing in the competition arenas. Irrigation of the grass ring is well under way and the show also has some new jumps.
It is hoped there will be live streaming on the internet, and Country TV is expected at the show.
The New Zealand series started in October in Hawke’s Bay, with four of the six rounds qualifiers for the 2014 World Equestrian Games in France.
The series winner has the opportunity to travel to Lyon, in France, for the world final in April.
World Cup points after five rounds (best four to count): Samantha McIntosh (Cambridge) 72, Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) 67, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) 65, Susie Hayward (Canterbury) 60, Luke Dee (Ocean Beach) 52, Jake Lambert (Cambridge) 34.