It was a Katie McVean trifecta in the Bayer NZ Lady Rider of the Year at the New Zealand Horse of the Year Show in Hastings yesterday.
McVean had four horses in the class, notching the only three clear rounds of the 60 starters, and then having the luxury of choosing which of her trio would be the winner.
It took 27 combinations before the first McVean clear came over the Leopoldo Palacios (Venezuela) designed course.
Her first out was Dunstan Zimorena G, who had a rail at what turned out to be the bogey fence - a little red style. Twenty-seven other combinations garnered faults at the same fence.
"After that I was a little more careful," says 26-year-old McVean, who on Wednesday won the Virbac VetSearch Norwood Gold Cup aboard Dunstan Springfield (owned by Chele Clarkin, Sarah Milne and McVean).
Then followed three clears from McVean aboard Dunstan Springfield, Dunstan Zehrenland and Dunstan Zasjany D. No jump-off was needed, and McVean nominated Springfield to be the winner.
"He has been having such a good show and tried so hard today ... he really deserved it."
McVean says the Horse of the Year Show is now over for the eight-year-old.
It is the fourth time McVean has won the Lady Rider crown - last year she triumphed on Dunstan Zimerena G, in 2010 on Dunstan Daffodil and in 2007 on Dunstan Hairy McClairy.
Samantha McIntosh (Cambridge) and Estina were fourth, Jaime Campbell (Auckland) fifth, and former Lady Rider winner Lucy Akers (Opiki) sixth.
McVean plans to start Dunstan Delilah and Dunstan Kiwi Iron Mark (owned by June Berrington) in the McMillan Equine Feeds Silver Fern Stakes tonight and the JB Olympic Cup on Sunday.
Meanwhile, McVean has been named in the New Zealand team to start aboard Dunstan Delilah in the Mitavite Trans Tasman Test tonight, along with Samantha McIntosh (Cambridge) on Estina, Ross Smith (Canterbury) Quite Cassini and Luke Dee (Ocean Beach) on Ombudsman. The senior team was beaten in the opening test at Showjumping's Holy Grail at the weekend, and will be looking to right the record.
Meanwhile, the young rider team head into tonight's test with a victory already on the board.
Chef d'equipe John Cottle has named Jake Lambert (Cambridge) on Quality NZPH, Melody Matheson (Hastings) on Cheltenham, Bridget Hansen (Ocean Beach) on Shakespeare NZPH and Logan Massie (Dannevirke) on Kiwi Ludo (owned by Annette Scott and Massie).
The arrival yesterday of Sir Mark Todd sent a real buzz through the grounds.
The Horse of the Year Show continues through until Sunday, when the winner of the $200,000 JB Olympic Cup will be found.