Sophie Scott has started the 2023-2024 FEI World Cup (NZ) Series as she left off last season – winning.
The Palmerston North 21-year-old and Waitangi Skynet, who won the series final for 2022-2023 season, jumped the only clear of the 12-strong series opener this afternoon at the Hawke’s Bay A&P Show in Hastings. “He’s such a good boy,” she said of her 15-year-old grey gelding. “He has come back in (for the new season) fresh and jumping so good. He was jumping out of his skin today.”
Waitangi Skynet, a warmblood-thoroughbred cross who is by Cassini II, joined Sophie in late 2021 and has been incredibly consistent. While he is New Zealand bred, he spent time in Australia where he did World Cups with James Arkins before coming home.
Today’s Graeme Watts (AUS) designed course certainly proved problematic enough with the treble in the first round proving the undoing of seven combinations, including two eliminations.
“I thought it was a nice course,” said Sophie. “We had one down in the first because I got in too close at an oxer and while that treble was a challenge for most in that round, it didn’t bother Sky.”
While the World Cup Series is her main goal with Skynet for the season, she wasn’t confident of taking the win after the first round. “I thought those on low faults all jumped the course really well, but it’s not over until it is over. I am just stoked!”
Nine came back for the second round with the best of the bunch Sophie and Emelia Forsyth (Clevedon) aboard Henton Faberge on four faults apiece. Right behind them were Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) aboard LT Holst Andrea, and Logan Massie (Dannevirke) with Bravado Ego Z on five faults each.
In the second round, faults came throughout the course. Sophie was second-to-last to go and showed all her class to go clear and leave the pressure on Emelia who had nothing to lose. Unfortunately, it wasn’t her day and she finished seventh.
Brooke looked on track to go clear when she had an unlucky rail at the last for runner-up on a total of nine faults. Coming in third was Vicki Wilson (Hawke’s Bay) aboard Millionaire VWNZ who added four to their eight from the opening round for a total of 12.
FEI World Cup Qualifier (NZ) – series opener: Sophie Scott (Palmerston North) Waitangi Skynet 1, Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) LT Holst Andrea 2, Vicki Wilson (Hawke’s Bay) Millionaire VWNZ 3, Julie Davey (Hastings) LT Holst Freda 4, Logan Massie (Dannevirke) Bravado Ego Z 5, Nakeysha Dickey (Waikato) Balboa NZPH 6.
20 October 2023