Twelve strong combinations will line up in Feilding in the third round of the New Zealand FEI World Cup League but missing from the start list are the two combinations who have so far notched wins in the nation’s most prestigious series.
However, picking a winner from the 12 who will be challenged by course designer Gary Sinclair, is a tough one. Olympian, World Champs representative and former World Cup series winner, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) has two on the card in his well performed Mandalay Cove who while nearly always in the top 10 has never won a qualifier, and the showy Gold Locks in just her second World Cup start.
Melody Matheson (Hastings) and Graffiti MH have twice won qualifiers over the past two seasons and seem to be growing with every outing. Young gun Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) who recently represented New Zealand at the Youth Olympic Games is in aboard Fiber Fresh Veroana who can lay claim to a win, a second and a sixth in their three starts.
Emily Hayward (Te Awamutu) lines up on Belischi HM. The combination have had two previous World Cup starts including a fifth at Hawera last month. Logan Massie (Dannevirke) and Intellect were third at Hawera.
Tom Tarver (Kawerau) and Popeye will have their first-ever World Cup start at Feilding, with a trio having only dipped their toes in the league once in Helen McNaught (Taupo) on Kiwi Bird, Fraser Tombleson (Gisborne) on his homebred Mea I and Nicola Hammond (Cambridge) on Carlo I.
Amanda Wilson (Hikurangi) is entered aboard campaigner Showtym Cassanova who had his first World Cup start in 2014 but this will be their first this season. It’s also the opener for Lucy Olphert (Tauranga) and Eve Saint Laurent for their 2018-2019 World Cup season but they showed good form in their two efforts last season including fifth place in the final.
All combinations are chasing valuable points for the series which culminates with the grand finale at the Waitemata World Cup Festival in Auckland in January.
Lily Tootill (Karaka) and Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) are tied at the top of the leaderboard on 29 with Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) right behind them on 28, Jasmine Sketchley (Northland) on 24, Logan Massie (Dannevirke) on 22, Melody Matheson (Hastings) on 21, Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) and Lucinda Askin (Ashburton) on 20 apiece and Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) on 17.
The World Cup class is set to go early evening on Saturday as part of the Marton Young Farmers Feilding IAP Show, with live scoring on Equestrian Entries.
Following Feilding, the series will continue to Taupo’s Christmas Classic (December 13-16), and the Central and Southern Hawke’s Bay Showjumping Show (January 4-6), before the final being held on January 14.
The winner of the series has the opportunity to represent New Zealand at the world final next year.
WHAT: FEI World Cup NZ League – third round
WHERE: Marton Young Farmers Feilding IAP Show, Manfeild Equestrian Park, Feilding
WHEN: Saturday, December 1, 2018
LIVE SCORING: www.equestrianentries.co.nz
29 November 2018