Estina All Class
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Samantha McIntosh may be an Olympian and a World Champs rider but her victory today in the World Cup at the Royal A and P Show New Zealand in Feilding is a first.
Aboard the nine-year-old Belgian imported mare Estina, McIntosh (Cambridge) headed home 12 other combinations. While Estina can be a tricky ride, tonight she was superb.
“I think the Australian tour over the winter months really helped her grow up a lot,” said McIntosh. “She is a handful, but when she is good, she is very good!”
The combination have been knocking on the door for a while, but the double clear remained elusive . . . until tonight.
McIntosh and Estina are heading into their third season together.
“It's cool it all came together today.”
While McIntosh has no real plans to chase the New Zealand World Cup series, most of the classes are at the “better” shows.
“I prefer to choose courses that suit my horse and her development, so we will see.”
With her other mare Claire out for the rest of the season with injury, McIntosh has recently paired up with Argento who she sees as another potential top horse.
“I would like to have a crack at a world cup with her too.”
Today though, the day belonged to Estina. In the first round, just Estina and former multi-series winner Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) and Dunstan Kiwi Iron Mark (owned by June Berrington) who were clear. Last season's series' victor Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) and My Gollywog had a single rail to carry four faults through, as did current series leader Susie Hayward (Canterbury) and Andretti.
Eight combinations came back for the second round which saw just McIntosh and eventual second place-getter Beatson go clear over the Gary Sinclair (Wellington) designed course – McIntosh in 66.56 seconds, and Beatson in 62.89 but with four faults.
McVean and Iron Mark were the fastest in the against-the-clock round with their 57.72, but paid for their speed with eight faults..
New Zealand Bayer World Cup Series (third round): Samantha McIntosh (Cambridge) Estina 1, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) My Gollywog 2, Katie McVean (Mystery Creek) Dunstan Kiwi Iron Mark 3, Susie Hayward (Canterbury) Andretti 4, Jake Lambert (Cambridge) Quality NZPH 5, Tim Myers (Hawera) Pick Me NZPH 6.