Trans-Tasman jumping test on Sunday

Katie McVean and Dunstan Daffodil
Katie McVean and Dunstan Daffodil. © Jane Thompson

A new showjumping event in New Zealand called the Holy Grail is on this weekend, with many of the best Australasian riders vying for honours at the Church Road Winery in Hastings.

The  is set to be enjoyed by hundreds in the stunning boutique setting in Hastings.

New Zealand has named a team for the first of the Mitavite Trans Tasman two-test series: Katie McVean and Dunstan Daffodil, Samantha McIntosh and Estina, Ross Smith and Quite Cassini, and Luke Dee on Ombudsman, who recently won the New Zealand World Cup final.

They will take on Australia’s Alison Rowland on Bickley Brook Bella, Rory Hovelle  on Yalambi’s Val d’Isere, Sharon Slater on Ulixes and Tom McDermott on Romantic Dream.

As well as the senior test, young riders from each side of the Tasman will also go head to head. New Zealand has named Logan Massie on Kiwi Ludo, Rosie Commons on Glenara Chandon, Bridget Hansen on Shakespeare NZPH and Melody Matheson on Cheltenham.

The Australians have sent Jack Maunder on Cyra, James Arkins on Dreamtime Invader, Nicole Bruggeman on Blusta and Sarah Beale with Alpha Centuri.

The Holy Grail is a new initiative, but director Kevin Hansen is hoping it will become an annual clash.

The action gets under way at 11.15am, with the Trans Tasman senior test at 3.15pm. The day also includes a dressage display from Jody Hartstone and her Lusitano stallion Ali Baba.

The second Trans Tasman Test is at the New Zealand Horse of the Year next Friday (March 15) as part of the Hawke’s Bay Today Friday Night Extravaganza.


Tickets for Sunday are $12, from the Hawke’s Bay Showgrounds Horse of the Year office from 9am on Saturday, or for $15 at Church Road Winery, 150 Church Road, Taradale, Hawke’s Bay, on the day.




This article has been written by a contributor to

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