Aussie raider Billy Raymont, who recently finished second in the Australian World Cup series, won the class on Nicalette NZPH and placed third on his own mount Stardom.
However, he was ineligible to take any points. Twenty-four-year-old McVean had to nominate which of her horses would win, and she chose Dunstan Daffodil, so got no points for her second placed finish aboard Dunstan Delphi over the John Vallance designed course.
Lucy Akers is walking on air after taking top points in the class with her fourth placing aboard Tinapai after a stunning clear round in 91.05 seconds, giving McVean and Daffodil the second-place points.
McVean and Delphi notched the fastest time of the night in the 12-strong class that saw dropped rails converted to seconds. They were the last combination to go and stopped the clock at 77.59 seconds, but they paid for their speed taking two rails meaning their final time was 85.99. It was Delphi's first outing in nearly a month.
Raymont was clear with Nicalette NZPH in 84.93 and had a rail with Stardom finishing on 88.90. He bagged $1500 for his win.
The final of the series is on Sunday at the Tauranga Racecourse.
The other class of the day at the Bayleys Tauranga Showjumping Championships was the Mills Reef Winery Classic that boasted a prize purse of $10,000, won by Adrian Bruce on the imported stallion Corofino II.
Twenty-two started the class with seven going through to the jump-off. Bruce and Corofino went double clear in 45.55, with second-placed Rachael Bentall (Hastings) and Kiwi Brave coming home in 46.88.
World Cup (NZ series) speed round: Billy Raymont (Australia/Ocean Beach) Nicalette NZPH 1, Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Delphi 2, Billy Raymont, Stardom 3, Lucy Akers (Mystery Creek) Tinapai 4, Katie McVean, Dunstan Delphi 5, Bernard Denton (Gisborne) Suzuki 6.
Points: Kate McVean 60 points, Phillip Steiner (Tauranga) 37 points, Lucy Akers 35 points, Ike Unsworth (Tauranga) and Bernard Denton 33 points, Adrian Bruce (Wellington) 27 points.
Mills Reef Winery Classic: Adrian Bruce, Corofino II 1, Rachael Bentall (Hastings) Kiwi Brave 2, Danielle Maurer (Auckland) Blue Rinse 3, Simon Wilson (Waipukurau) Cortaflex Right Royal 4, Claire Wilson (Waipukurau) Cortaflex Tipsey 5, Sally Steiner (Tauranga) Annandale Laughton's Legacy 6.