Jumping season gets under way
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.
Cambridge rider Oliver Croucher on Waitangi Wi Fi at The Farmer Audi 1.35m Classic show jumping at Tauranga Racecourse last year.
Te Awamutu rider Emily Hayward-Morgan rides AP Ninja in the Norwood Gold Cup during 2017 Horse of the Year in Hastings.