Katie McVean showed it's all in the breeding when it comes to super jumpers, with another victory yesterday in the FEI World Cup New Zealand Series in Gisborne.
Her win on Dunstan Delilah - a first for the 8-year-old bay - was the third home-bred horse out of her father's top jumper Flower Power to win a World Cup round.
The combination had four faults in the first round, and were lucky not to add another rail to the tally after nudging a couple other jumps, but they jumped a stunning snippy clear round in the second to take the honours.
McVean knew if she took a sneaky inside turn between the third and fourth fences in the second round, she'd be able to slice seconds off the fastest time to date in the round, which had been set by Luke Dee (Ocean Beach) aboard Ombudsman, who ended up second.
"It was a nice course out there," she said.
McVean says Delilah doesn't like to go too fast, as it's likely to rattle the youngster.
"I have to keep her relaxed - it is only her first year at this level."
It's a completely different story with Dunston Zimorena G, on whom she finished third.
"She loves going fast - the more I push her, the higher she jumps."
The 9-year-old European import arrived in New Zealand as an unbroken "feral red head" 5-year-old.
But McVean was glowing after her efforts yesterday.
The combination rode the second round like they owned it, adding nothing to the eight faults they had picked up in the opener.
Dee gave it his all too, and almost pulled off the win of his career after notching a brilliant clear in the second round, but had to settle for the blue ribbon when McVean stopped the clock nearly four seconds faster than him.
But the 19-year-old was rapt to finish the two challenging rounds with just four faults.
"It was a good challenging course and I am very happy with him," he said of his 12-year-old horse. "He's performing well and it's great to be heading to the Horse of the Year Show in that kind of form."
Both McVean and Dee will compete in Tauranga on Thursday evening in the World Cup series final.
In the pony grand prix, Melanie Weal (Te Awamutu) notched her 75th win aboard Hopeful Illusion - their 23rd in the pony grand prix division.
- The Dominion Post
Does the All Blacks' 24-21 win over England strike a psychological blow ahead of next year's World Cup?Related story: (See story)