By Diana Dobson
New Zealand’s top showjumpers are again chasing valuable points in the second qualifier of the Bayleys Real Estate FEI World Cup Series, this time at the APL Showjumping Waikato Festival of Jumping at Mystery Creek.
It is the second of seven events where the riders have a chance to gain points and glory, with the overall series winner having the opportunity to represent New Zealand at the world final next year.
Rose Alfeld (Leeston) heads into the qualifier at the top of the leaderboard after her second-placed efforts in the opener at Hawke’s Bay. Katie Laurie (Mystery Creek) won that first event on Breeze but has chosen to gain her points in the league across the Tasman.
This will be just the third World Cup start for Alfeld and My Super Nova.
“The horse feels really good,” says Alfeld, who is enjoying life on the road in the North Island for the time being. “I plan to do as many World Cup starts as feels right for Super Nova. He was amazing at Hawke’s Bay. It was quite a big track and we’re looking forward to this weekend.”
Victory could have been theirs at Hawke’s Bay’s opening qualifier, had they been .05 of a second faster or left the last fence up.
However, that’s showjumping and Alfeld continues to look to do better at their next outing.
This weekend’s Gerrit Beker-designed qualifier is indoors at Mystery Creek, which will challenge many a combination.
Also on the card this weekend is Laurie with both Breeze and Carissa McCall’s Esteban MVNZ. By her own admission, her announcement that Breeze was retiring to the mare’s paddock after the Hawke’s Bay competition was a little premature.
“I got over-excited to retire her to breed but she felt so good after Hastings,” said Laurie.
The family are planning to get the mare in foal in the coming months but until then she will continue to compete at top level.
Former series winner Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) has entered Mandalay Cove at Mystery Creek, with current Olympic Cup holder Lily Tootill (Karaka) lining up on Ulysses NZPH and new combination Helen McNaught-McFarlane (Taupo) aboard Ngahiwi Ned Kelly.
Tess Clark (Gisborne) is on Sinatra II, Melody Matheson (Hastings) on Graffiti MH, Samantha Morrison (Tauranga) on Biarritz, Samantha Peters (Whangarei) on Zabambi, William Willis (Karaka) on Dollar Roll MS and Glen Beal (Auckland) on Sacramento.
The class is scheduled to start on Sunday afternoon and will be livestreamed through jxsport.tv .
The New Zealand league has seven qualifiers – Hastings (already completed), Waikato (November 7-12), Hawera (November 17-19), Feilding (December 1-2), Taupo (December 14-17), Dannevirke (January 5-7) and the final at Waitemata (January 9-14). Just the four best rounds will count for each rider.
The leaderboard (after one qualifier) –
Rose Alfeld (Leeston) 20 points, Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) 17, Samantha Morrison (Tauranga) 15, Lily Tootill (Karaka) 13, Clarke Johnstone (Matangi) 12, Tess Clark (Gisborne) 11, Robert Steele (Dannevirke) 10, Melody Matheson (Hastings) 9, Lucy Olphert (Tauranga) 8, Lucy Fell (Longburn) 7.
WHAT: Bayleys FEI World Cup Qualifier
WHERE: APL Showjumping Waikato Festival of Jumping, Mystery Creek
WHEN: November 12, 2017