McVean and Dunstan Delphi dropped a rail in the jump-off of the 1.55m grand prix which featured the top 30 World Cup combinations, putting them in fourth place, just ahead of Ludger Beerbaum (Germany) on Charman. The class was won by Dutch rider Albert Zoer on Sam.
McVean and Delphi were right on the money until the rail fell, when she slowed Delphi down a little.
Two rails in the World Cup 1.60m class early on Monday morning (NZ time) cost McVean and Delphi dearly and saw them finish well down in the 39-strong class, which was won by Denis Lynch aboard Abbervail van het Dingeshof.
Aboard Quinto II van Bessemeind's, she was leading the 1.50m speed class right to second to last combination when Finn Nina Fagerstrom and Talent beat their time by .06 of a second, sliding them into second place.
It has been a big three days at the indoor show. McVean and Delphi were one of 42 combinations vying for a spot in the World Cup class.
Her mother Vicki said Katie had received many positive comments about her riding and the horse.
"The best riders in the world are there as it is the last one before the final. This has been a wonderful start for her in Europe."
Helping her are Kiwi riders Tom Gadsby and Zoe Shore, whose family are part owners of Delphi.
Just a week ago McVean won the Olympic Cup at the 2011 Horse of the Year Show and within an hour was on a plane back to Europe to prepare for this show.
McVean will ride in the World Cup final in Leipzig, Germany, April 27 to May 1.