Katie McVean and Dunstan Daffodil won the $50,000 Silver Fern Stakes for the second consecutive year at the New Zealand Horse of the Year Show in Hastings today.
McVean and Daffodil had a brilliant double clear in front of a packed grandstand, but it was not enough to give New Zealand victory over Australia in the Tran-Tasman Test.
New Zealand went into the second test one up on the visitors after victory at Hawera earlier in the month, but this time a single time fault proved the difference at the end of the class.
Australia led New Zealand by just a point after the first round, and despite some great rounds, the team could not close the gap.
Kiwi chef d’equipe Richard Sunderland was “gutted”.
“I was very impressed with our team but gutted to lose by a point, especially after such a convincing win at Hawera,” he said.
McVean, the team captain, was pleased with the efforts of her team – albeit disappointed.
“Daffodil was pretty fiery out there though,” said the 25-year-old from Mystery Creek who had saved her star horse for this class and Sunday’s Olympic Cup.
“She adores it! It keeps her happy and settles her down. So while she was a bit wild out there, that’s usually when she jumps great.”
It was a tight tussle in the Ponies! Six Bar competition, with Georgie Urquhart and My Dreamworks winning the day after clearing 1.45m.
CRT Silver Fern Stakes: Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Daffodil 1, Brook Dobbin (Australia) Advisor 2, Evie Buller (Australia) Yalambi’s Landor, Tim Clarke (Australia) Caltango, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) My Gollywog =3, Simon Wilson (Waipukurau) Swinger 6, Brett Warren (Australia) Cheezy Z 7.
Mitavite Trans Tasman Test: Australia (Brett Warren, Brook Dobbin, Evie Buller and Tim Clarke) 20 faults 1, New Zealand (Katie McVean, Simon Wilson, Lisa Coupe and Bernard Denton) 21 faults 2.
Ponies! Six Bar: Georgie Urquhart (Fairlie) My Dreamworks 1, Hannah Bodle (Morrinsville) Mister Brumby and Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) Kabo Silver =2, Anna Cooper (Kamo) Howzat Cracka Jack 4, Lucy McLean (Marton) Little MacIntosh and Caroline Kennedy (Cambridge) The Pony Express =5.