Anna Trent wins trip to World Cup jumping final

January 26, 2009

Anna Trent won yesterday's World Cup (NZ) series in the most tense of finishes at the Larsen Sawmilling Equestrian Championships in Gisborne, booking a place to the final in Las Vegas in April and a berth in the New Zealand tri-nations team to take on Japan and South Africa.

Joining the 23-year-old from Hawke's Bay on the tri-nations team will be Simon Wilson (Waipukurau), Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) and Robert Steele (Hawera).

When the final points for the eight round series were tallied, Trent and Wilson were tied on 55 points from their best four rounds. The crown went to Trent on count back - she had three wins to Wilson's two.

Fifteen started the final and with rails falling freely throughout the Gerrit Beker (Tauranga) course it took nine to go before the first clear round was achieved. Bernard Denton (Gisborne) on his beautiful little chestnut mare Suzuki ended up the only combination to go clear and in doing so won the final round - in just their third world cup start for the season.

It was a popular local win.

Catherine Cameron (Cambridge) had two mounts start in the class, bagging 12 faults on Kahurangi Valentino and four on Kahurangi Tardak to earn her second place.

Trent was second to last to go and looked to be heading for a lovely clear round until the first of the double - the last jumps on the course, when an unlucky rub saw her pick up four faults and relegating her to third in the class.

As series leader going into the class, Wilson had the luxury of being last to go but two dropped rails left him out of the money.

Trent, who rides for New Zealand Performance Horses, now needs to sit down and work out the logistics of getting to Vegas for the April final.

For NZPH, which is owned by former All Black captain David Kirk, Sydney based Gordon Fell and Ocean Beach's Warwick Hansen, the win is a big one.

"It proves purpose-bred horses are the way of the future for New Zealand," says Hansen, who was so confident Trent would win that he booked tickets to the World Cup final a week ago.

NZPH breeds Selle Francaise horses who are purpose bred for showjumping.

"To win a series like this is an important one for the blood line and shows the consistency of NZPH horses."

But the final will be a challenge for even the best of combinations.

NZ Olympic vet and World Cup (NZ series) vet Tim Pearce says there is nothing harder for New Zealand combinations than the World Cup, which is held indoors. New Zealand rarely has indoor events.

"It's the degree of technicality and consistency of competition that is so hard for our horses and riders. The World Cup is certainly the hardest of the championships we attend."

Trent is more than aware of the challenges ahead and says she and Muskateer will be doing a power house of training before they fly out.

"It's incredible," she says, "and I know this horse is capable of rising to the challenge."