It would be a dream come true for Sophie Scott (Palmerston North), pictured aboard Waitangi Skynet, to go double clear on both her mounts at the FEI World Cup (NZ League) Series Final in Auckland this weekend. Photo by KAMPIC
The points couldn’t be closer for the FEI World Cup (NZ League) Final, being held at the Archibald & Shorter North Shore Show Jumping World Cup Festival in Auckland on Sunday. There’s just seven points between Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau), Sophie Scott (Palmerston North) and Julie Davey (Hastings) and with points-and-a-half on offer, you’d be a brave person to pick a winner.
The series is New Zealand’s highest ranked, with the winner having the opportunity to travel to represent the nation at the world final in Riyadh in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in late April.
Last year’s series winner Phillip Steiner (Tauranga) took his mare Cassina Dior to the United States to compete in the final and are now eying the Paris Olympic Games. The New Zealand series is run over four qualifiers and the final, with just the best four results to count.
The Show Jumping Waitemata hosted final at Woodhill Sands is renowned as one of New Zealand’s most beautifully presented shows and this year has Canadian Peter Holmes designing the course. The world class designer is ranked FEI Level 3 and can be found laying the courses and challenging the riders at some of the biggest shows in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
The World Cup final (NZ league) is a Paris Olympic Games qualifier so will be built right up to the 1.55m specs required for riders to gain a MER (Minimum Eligibility Requirement).
Brooke Edgecombe rides LT Holst Andrea, Waikato Show, Takapoto, 2 Nov 2023
Photo: Cornege Photography
Brooke Edgecombe is entered aboard LT Holst Andrea, who has twice won the final but yet to claim the series. They head into the class in solid form with a first, second, third and fifth from their four starts. “Andrea has certainly been consistent and as much as I would love to win both the final and the series, I won’t be putting any pressure on myself,” says Brooke. “You have to ride each round as it is – final included – and the series will take care of itself.”
Sophie Scott rides Waitangi Skynet, HB A&P Show, Hastings, Friday, October 20, 2023
Photo: KAMPIC / Kerry Marshall
Sophie Scott won last year’s final aboard Waitangi Skynet but she is also starting her new mare Benrose Stellar. “The dream would be to go double clear on both,” says the 22-year-old. Stellar had her first World Cup start last weekend at Dannevirke and placed second. “I was so stoked with her,” said Sophie. “It is so tight – it is anyone’s game. I will just be sticking to what we always do.”
It is her first time to Woodhill Sands and she’s looking forward to it, hopeful her previous two efforts in the series which saw her finish third, then second, will continue an upward trajectory.
Julie Davey rides Just D. Taupo NEC Jumping Christmas Classic. Saturday 16 December 2023. Photo: Libby Law Photography
Julie Davey is also making the trek to Helensville for the first time with her two mares, both of whom are in their first full season of World Cup competition. Julie and Just D won the qualifier at Taupo in December while LT Holst Freda, who is the daughter of Brooke’s LT Holst Andrea, has finished no worse than fourth in her four starts.
“I would really like both to place in the final – that would be nice,” says Julie. “It would be disappointing to do the whole season and not do that.” It’s been a challenge keeping the horses at top level, fresh, happy, healthy and fit in the hot Hawke’s Bay weather. “That’s the biggest challenge for us.”
Also on the 13-strong card is Olympian and previous series winner Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) aboard Central Park, who won the qualifier at Waikato (Takapoto) this season. Oliver Edgecombe (Waipukurau) is entered aboard Takapoto Tinka who had just a single World Cup start, as have Jake Lambert (Cambridge) aboard Takapoto Alaid de Chez Nous, but the mare has previously competed at World Cup level with Olympian Samantha McIntosh. Logan Massie (Dannevirke) is starting Florence, while Kathryn Loiselle (Norsewood) is in on Haupouri Drama NZPH, Samantha van Lierde (Cambridge) will have her first World Cup start of the season on Cadillac NZPH, Vicki Prendergast (Matamata) has entered aboard her homebred Selena C, with Carissa McCall (Auckland) on debut with Picasso MVNZ.
FEI World Cup (NZ League) Series leaderboard (after four rounds – best four to count): Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) 67 points 1, Sophie Scott (Palmerston North) 63 2, Julie Davey (Hastings) 60 3, Logan Massie (Dannevirke) 47 4, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) 43 5, Kathryn Loiselle (Norsewood) 31 6, Vicki Wilson (Hawke’s Bay) 21 7, Vicki Prendergast (Matamata) 18 8.
Live Streaming information to follow.
WHAT: FEI World Cup (NZ League) Series Final
WHERE: Archibald & Shorter North Shore Show Jumping World Cup Festival at Woodhill Sands, Auckland
WHEN: January 13-14 with the final on Sunday January 14, 2024
ENTRIES AND RESULTS: www.evoevents.co.nz
11 January 2024