Taupō teen Annabel Francis has added another solid win to her tally with victory in the POLi Payments FEI World Cup Qualifier at the Central and Southern Hawke's Bay Showjumping Championships in Dannevirke on Sunday.
Ten riders lined up to be challenged by course designer Roger Laplanche in the MetalForm -sponsored last qualifier of New Zealand's highest-ranking series, with the final this weekend in Auckland.
Five combinations sat on four faults apiece, including Francis and her mount La Quinara,
who had a rail at the first jump, and Carado GHP, her nominated horse for the very valuable series points.
In the second round, only Francis and La Quinara managed to leave everything up.
"My plan was for a fast clear to put the pressure on the others and we did just that," said 18-year-old Francis.
"She is so brave and has so much scope. I wasn't sure I had done enough at the end of our round given there were three very good combinations to follow us."
Earlier in the round, Francis had opted to retire aboard Carado GHP.
"It just wasn't his day."
This is Francis's second World Cup qualifier win aboard La Quinara.
Dannevirke riders Robert Steele and Logan Massie were placed fourth and fifth respectively, with Massie lying sixth on the leaderboard, Steele seventh and Maurice Beatson 10th.
Roger Laplanche's course had ridden well but included a few lines that proved too challenging for some.
The Dannevirke A&P Showgrounds was packed out for the three-day championships, with close to 550 horses and 340 riders competing.
Main results: Showjumping, POLi Payments FEI World Cup Qualifier (sponsored by MetalForm): Annabel Francis (Taupo) La Quinara 1, Emelia Forsyth (Clevedon) Henton Faberge 2, Melody Matheson (Havelock North) Cortaflex Graffiti MH 3, Robert Steele (Dannevirke) LT Holst Bernadette 4, Logan Massie (Dannevirke) Bravado Ego Z 5, Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) Windermere Cappuccino 6
POLi Payments FEI World Cup leaderboard (after five rounds – best four to count): Tegan Fitzsimon (West Melton) 72 points 1, Brooke Edgecombe (Waipukurau) 62 points 2, Annabel Francis (Taupo) 61 points 3, Melody Matheson (Havelock North) 55 points 4, Briar Burnett-Grant (Taupo) 46 points 5, Logan Massie (Dannevirke) 45 points 6, Robert Steele (Dannevirke) 40 points 7, Samantha McIntosh (Cambridge) 31 points 8, Simon Wilson (Waipukurau) 27 points 9, Maurice Beatson (Dannevirke) 26 points 10.
For full results visit www.main-events.com