Jump­ing sea­son gets un­der way

Waipa Post - - Sport - BY DIANA DOB­SON

As this edi­tion went to press to make to­day’s dead­line fol­low­ing Labour Day, New Zealand’s premier jump­ing se­ries was get­ting un­der­way at the Hawke’s Bay Royal A&P Show in Hast­ings.

The New Zealand World

Cup League is part of an in­ter­na­tional se­ries that cul­mi­nates at the Longines Jump­ing FEI World Cup Fi­nal in Gothen­burg, Swe­den in April, where the best from each league around the globe go head to head.

Fri­day’s class is the first of six be­ing held around New Zealand, with rid­ers count­ing their best four scores to de­cide the win­ner, who will have the op­por­tu­nity to rep­re­sent New Zealand at the world fi­nal next year.

Fol­low­ing Hast­ings, the New Zealand se­ries will con­tinue at the Eg­mont A&P Show (Novem­ber 16-18), Feild­ing (Novem­ber 30-De­cem­ber 1), Taupo¯’s Christ­mas Clas­sic (De­cem­ber 13-16), and the Cen­tral and South­ern Hawke’s Bay Showjump­ing Show (Jan­uary

4-6), with the grand fi­nale at the Waitem­ata¯ World Cup Fes­ti­val in Auck­land (Jan­uary 10-14).

A solid field lined up to the chal­lenge of the Roger La­planche-de­signed course on Fri­day — in­clud­ing Olympians, for­mer se­ries win­ners, New Zealand World Cup rep­re­sen­ta­tives, Olympic Cup vic­tors and more. We will keep read­ers posted with re­sults and stand­ings over the se­ries.

Waipa¯ hopes rest with Te Awa­mutu rider Emily Hay­ward and AP Ninja and Cam­bridge new­comer Oliver Croucher and Wai­tangi Wi Fi.

It is Oliver’s first time at the com­pe­ti­tion, but Emily and AP Ninja have nine World Cup starts to their credit, fin­ish­ing all but one in the top nine and three on the podium.

Spear-head­ing the 18-strong field is Melody Mathe­son (Hast­ings) and Graf­fiti MH who won two World Cup rounds last year.

“Graf­fiti is look­ing good and def­i­nitely ready for the World Cup start af­ter her win­ning per­for­mance at Fox­ton,” said Melody.

“I am pretty happy with how she is go­ing and con­fi­dent we can pull off a good re­sult.”

Mau­rice Beat­son (Dan­nevirke) and Man­dalay Cove will be ones to watch. The for­mer Olympian has pre­vi­ously won the se­ries and also rep­re­sented New Zealand at the world fi­nal.

Man­dalay Cove has been jump­ing World Cup classes since De­cem­ber 2016 and twice been on the podium.

“We’ll be hop­ing for a good one,” says Mau­rice.

“Man­dalay Cove is start­ing to get a bit more ex­pe­ri­ence now.”

For­mer Olympic Cup win­ners Lily Tootill (Karaka) aboard Ulysses NZPH and Clau­dia Hay (Toko­roa) aboard Euro Sport Cen­tavos both have pre­vi­ous form that makes them dan­ger­ous al­though it will be Cen­tavos’ first World Cup start.

Lily and Ulysses NZPH won a grand prix start at the week­end and come into the World Cup in high spir­its.

Miss­ing from the 2018-2019 se­ries is last sea­son’s win­ner Rose Alfeld (Lee­ston) whose horse My Su­per Nova has been out for most of the year af­ter an in­jury in March and she has no plans to rush him back be­fore he is ready.

Photo / An­drew Warner

Cam­bridge rider Oliver Croucher on Wai­tangi Wi Fi at The Farmer Audi 1.35m Clas­sic show jump­ing at Tau­ranga Race­course last year.

Photo / Kerry Mar­shall-Getty Im­ages

Te Awa­mutu rider Emily Hay­ward-Mor­gan rides AP Ninja in the Nor­wood Gold Cup dur­ing 2017 Horse of the Year in Hast­ings.

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