by Diana Dobson

DELPHI DELIGHT   Katie McVean produced the fairytale ending to a dream season today (Sunday) when she rode off with the Bell Tea Olympic Cup for Showjumper of the Year at the Kelt Capital Horse of the Year Show in Hastings. The 23-year-old from Mystery Creek swept aside nerves and pressure to pocket the $40,000 winner’s cheque aboard Dunstan Delphi, her eight-year-old mare bred by her father Jeff McVean. Nineteen started the class over the Leopoldo Palacios (Venezuela) designed course. Fences were impressive, some up to 1.6m, and the course technical and challenging for both horse and rider. Faults were aplenty with the thousands of spectators having to wait until Beatson and the lovely Zibbibo, the 16th combination to go, notched the first clear round. They nudged plenty and Beatson had to work hard over every jump but he left the slate clean. Then just two later Australian Jono Berry and the warm blood stallion Yandoo Quincy Z rode a perfect round leaving everything in place. Palacios changed the course for the second round, and 11 combinations with 12 faults or less came back to try and stake their claim on the $200,000 prize purse. Billy Raymont (Australia) and Kiwi horse Cortaflex Levitation NZPH made up for their fault-filled first round and went clear. Beatson and Zibbibo couldn’t repeat their feat of the first round and dropped two rails. Earlier in the round, aboard Apollo van Evendael Beatson found himself in all sorts of trouble as the horse reared up moments after entering the ring, dropping him on the turf before his round had even started. They did their round and added four faults to their earlier four. McVean and Delphi followed Beatson and Zibbibo and in a heart-stopping round with the spectators riding every jump with her – along with her very nervous father Jeff and grandfather Len. Berry and Quincy found themselves in double figures very quickly and the celebrations started in the Kiwi camp. McVean, who last won the Olympic Cup in 2008 aboard Dunstan Forrest II, was a popular winner. Mum Vicki figured it was her plan to stand in exactly the same spot she had done when her daughter won on Forrest. Dad knew it was because his favourite horse – who is known as Princess at home and is treated as such – is destined for stardom and granddad Len, a former Australian Olympic selector, said he had every confidence his granddaughter could pull it off. Meanwhile the rider herself was just stunned – despite the win coming in a season that has seen her win all the majors, including the New Zealand World Cup series and the national showjumping championship, among plenty of other wins. “It is going to be hard to keep a horse as good as Delphi,” says McVean. “She is just unbelievable. I’m just lucky dad retired when he did and put Flower Power into foal.” In the 3* eventing a cool head and plenty of talent gave defending champion Jonathan Paget the edge. Paget and Clifton Promise, who won the title for the second consecutive year, will soon be packing their bags to fly to America where they will compete in the prestigious Rolex Kentucky Horse Trials, CCI4* next month.  All 15 combinations passed the trot-up today for the CIC3*. The showjumping started in reverse order and led to a shuffling of places. Last to go was overnight leader Alice Montgomery (Central Districts) who came in with a rail in hand after Paget dropped one during his round. With the pressure on, Montgomery and Gordon were put to the test, but three rails down pushed them to a score of 72.5 and fifth place. Jenna Mahoney (Central Districts) and Santos followed a great cross country round yesterday to take one rail and finish in second place. Jody Hartstone (Raglan) and her new stallion Whisper won dressage horse of the second consecutive year. In the endurance Michael Wakeling (Tamaranui) and Iti took both the junior 90km ride and the overall prize for the fittest horse. Stunning scenery and record numbers made the 2010 class one to remember for many, with competitors riding through beautiful vineyards and farm land. Former Hawke’s Bay Scotsman Alex Lothian (Timaru) aboard Zion headed home the open senior 90km field by a comfortable 30-plus minutes ahead of Hillary Webb (Hunterville) on Wintridge Keepsake. Lothian arrived with only one place in mind and was true to his word. Things were a lot closer in the junior 90km ride, with Wakeling and Iti less than two minutes ahead of Amanda Walton (New Plymouth) on her younger horse Sir Cae. It was a flat out gallop for the line in the open senior 40km ride with Kelly Gammie (Auckland) beating home Keith McLeod (Auckland) aboard his horse. Just seven seconds split Gammie on Tahiri Scimitar, with McLeod on Majestic Star. Today marked the end of another successful Horse of the Year Show. Show director Kevin Hansen was an exhausted but happy man as the tents started coming down and the trucks rolled out of the Hawke’s Bay Showgrounds.   Results – Showjumping, Bell Tea Olympic Cup: Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Delphi 1, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Zibbibo and Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Apollo van Evendael =2, Billy Raymont (Australia) Cortaflex Levitation NZPH 4, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Jedi Warrior 5, Chris Harris (Christchurch) Zilco Te Peka Luciano, Team Horse Sales NZ Simon Wilson (Waipukurau) Swinger, Catherine Cameron (Cambridge) Kahurangi Valentino =6. Rider of the year 14 and under: Freya Gordon (Havelock North) Millbank Idaho 1, Laura Hutterd (Stratford) Spot You later 2, Emily Fraser (Takapau) Chrialka Daffodil 3, Jessica Sonne (Blenheim) Moonlight Glow 4. Five year old of the year: Kyle Timm (Auckland) R Mister Berg LC 1, Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Springfield 2, David Nickalls (Morrinsville) Henry Higgins II 3, Kim Best (Otane) Gibbles 4. 1.35m horse of the year championship: Ike Unsworth (Tauranga) Whittaker MVNZ 1, Anna Stephen (Martinborough) Constantine 2, Rachel McGregor (Auckland) Kabo Benny Boy 3, Gary Werth (Otorahonga) Ricaralos 4. 1.25m horse of the year championship: Jackie Jermyn (Hamilton) Dolcetto 1, Jennifer Leslie (Drury) Macavee 2, Danielle Maurer (Auckland) Argento 3, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) Schimmel Warrior 4. Child rider of the year 13 and under: Jamie Dee (Gisborne) Mr Aranui Dazzle and Melanie Weal (Te Awamutu) The Phantom Warrior =1, Anna Sophia Doering (Auckland) Skip the Chrome and Sophie Gow (Albany) CH Wildfire =2, Melanie Weal (Te Awamutu) Miss Tint and Jack Webb (Hunterville) Aye Aye =3, Jessica Sonne (Blenheim) Moonlight Glow and Nakeysha Lammers (Hikurangi) Hakuna Matata =4. 1m pony championship: Elle Phillips (Hamilton) Fruitalishas 1, Melanie Weal (Te Awamutu) Miss Tint 2, Pryor Collier (Te Teko) Little General 3, Kalah McKay (Levin) Step It Up 4. NZ speed horse of the year: Megan Stacey (Te Puke) Shimmerman 1, Catherine Cameron (Cambridge) Kahurangi Valentino 2, Lisa Coupe (Kumeu) Bates Kahurangi Vin Rouge 3, Donna Smith (Te Kawhata) Wynyard Mr Checkers 4, Stephanie Anderson (Waikato) I Reckon 5, Tom Tarver Priebe (Kawerau) Pick Me NZPH 6. Eventing, CIC3*: Jonathan Paget (Auckland) Clifton Promise 60.4 penalties 1, Jenna Mahoney (Central Districts) Santos 63.6 2, Clarke Johnstone (Waikato) Incognito 69.2 3, Elizabeth Brown (Waikato) Henton Attorney General 72.1 4, Alice Montgomery (Central Districts) Gordon 72.5 5, Heelan Tompkins (Taranaki) Major Difference 79.3 6. CIC2*: John Twomey (Waikato) Highly Recommended 49.4 1, Clarke Johnstone (Waikato) KS Secrets 50.4 2, Anne-Marie Styles (Auckland) Opera Groove 51.1 3, Chloe Davidson (Auckland) Eskimo Joe 57.5 4, Elizabeth Brown (Waikato) Push Play 57.8 5, Todd Gloyn (Central Districts) Repent 63.4 6. Novice: Elizabeth Brown (Waikato) Farbio 32.9 1, Heelan Tompkins (Taranaki) Up N Go 44.2 2, Katherine Gillaly (Central Districts) Brogan 46 3, Donna Smith (Waikato) Clifton Otto 46.3 4, Nick Brooks (Waikato) Tangleton 48.3 5, Hayley Pickmere (Auckland) Irishmore 62.8 6. Young rider: Jesse Campbell (Waikato) Too Swish 36.1 1, Jessica Woods (Waikato) Too Predictable 36.3 2, Tayla Mason (Wellington) Just Joop 37.4 3, Jesse Campbell (Waikato) Kool Kappuchino 37.6 4, Holly Morrell (Auckland) Antara Whisky Mac 39.3 5, Courtney Tyler (Waikato) Vettori 40.3 6. Show hunter, show hunter horse of the year: Lucy Akers (Palmerston North) Kiwi Motto. Category A pony of the year: Shanae McKay (Levin) Dario. Category B pony show hunter of the year: Lucy Allen (Morrinsville) Llandovery King Cole. Category C pony show hunter of the year: Lily Tootill (Auckland) Magpie. Junior show hunter of the year: Laura Madden (Papakura) King Croft. Amateur show hunter of the year: Kate Hewlett (Kerikeri) Silk Stockings. Showing, supreme hack of the year: Natacha Otto (Te Awamutu) Regal Romar. Junior rider of the year, 12 and under: Renee Faulkner (Papakura) Boots and All. Intermediate rider of the year 13-16 years: Ashley Duncan (Rotorua) Final Touch. Paced and mannered pony of the year: Amanda Clayton (Waipukurau) Glenmoor Sam I Am. Rising star saddle hunter horse of the year: Susan Morgan (Whangarei) Cudlic Countess Endurance, 90km, open senior: Alex Lothian (Timaru) Zion 5 hrs 38 mins 20 secs 1, Hillary Webb (Hunterville) Wintridge Keepsake 6.10.08 2, Petra Deacon (Cambridge) Saamen Dance Away 6.42.06 3, Tina Plastow (Wellington) Alladin La Ish 6.57.11 4. Junior: Michael Wakeling (Tamaranui) Iti 5.36.30 1, Amanda Walton (New Plymouth) Sir Cae 5.38.42 2, Stacey Jones (Tamaranui) Makahiwi Pandora 6.08.48 3, Leanne Ireland (Marton) Alshar Blue Levi 6.29.20 4. Fittest horse: Michael Wakeling (Tamaranui) Iti. 40km, open senior: Kelly Gammie (Auckland) Tahira Scimitar 2.28.38 1, Keith McLeod (Auckland) Majestic Star 2.28.45 2, Harry Prasiti (Tauranga) Aspen Hills Hope and Glory 2.58.21 3. Dressage, dressage horse of the year: Jody Hartstone (Raglan) Whisper 1, Vanessa Way (New Plymouth) KH Arvan 2. Young rider of the year: Rebecca Goldsbury (Waipukurau) Glenturret. Level 6/7 horse of the year: Kallista Field (Wainuiamata) Waikiwi FE.  

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