The cream of New Zealand’s showjumping crop head to Feilding this weekend for the third round of the POLi Payments FEI World Cup, being held at the Feilding Industrial, Agricultural & Pastoral Show at Manfeild.
Leading the charge is Tegan Fitzsimon with 10-year-old Windermere Cappuccino and eight-year-old Campari. Windermere Cappuccino has won both the World Cup qualifiers this season and looks strong as he defends back-to-back series crowns.
But it is a very classy field lining up in Feilding. Young gun Annabel Francis (Taupo) may only have five starts to her credit but she is most certainly one to watch for the future. On Saturday she lines up on her imported mounts La Quinara, who is 10, and Carado GHP, who is 14.
Two-time New Zealand World Cup final winner and current holder of the Olympic Cup, Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau), has 13-year-old LT Holst Andrea entered while a former winner of the cup, Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) is in on Fiber Fresh Veroana.
Olympian, World Cup finalist and World Champs representative Maurice Beatson is in the mix with nine-year-old Central Park who is in his first season at this level.
Melody Matheson (Havelock North) and 11-year-old Cortaflex Graffiti MH are always dangerous, as is Robert Steele (Dannevirke) aboard LT Holst Bernadette. Simon Wilson (Waipukurau), another previous Olympic Cup winner, rounds out the field with 11-year-old McMillans Ariados.
The Feilding World Cup qualifier is being held in the indoor arena and show organisers have put plenty of effort into improving the surfaces at the 2020 show. The class is set to get underway around 4.30pm on Saturday. Gary Sinclair is designing the course.
Each World Cup win is worth 30 points, with just the best four results from the six qualifiers to count towards the final series standings.
The winner of the New Zealand league usually has the chance to represent the nation at the Longines FEI World Cup Final which is scheduled to be held March 31-April 5, 2021, in Gothenburg Sweden, but with a global pandemic whether it goes ahead or not is uncertain.
Feilding marks the half-way point in the series, and will be followed by Taupo (December 19) , then Dannevirke (January 10) with the final at the Waitemata Show at Woodhill Sands in Auckland (January 17). Both the Feilding and Taupo rounds will be held indoors with the outdoors rounds all counting towards qualifications for selection for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The Feilding Show runs from Friday through to Sunday and includes both showjumping and show hunter series classes.
The leaderboard –
Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) 60 points, Annabel Francis (Taupo) 52 points, Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) 38 points, Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) 33 points, Logan Massie (Dannevirke) 17 points, Melody Matheson (Havelock North) 12 points, Kimberley Bird (Ashburton) 6 points.
By Diana Dobson
3 December 2020