New Zealand clinched the FEI Jumping Nations Cup title in Abu Dhabi ©Getty Images

New Zealand won the team event at the first International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Jumping Nations Cup of the season in Abu Dhabi

Samantha McIntosh, riding 15-year-old Check In, clinched the victory for New Zealand as she won a jump-off against Ireland’s Shane Breen, on 11-year-old Laith, after the two countries had been tied on 12 faults following the first two rounds at the Al Forsan International Sports Resort.

McIntosh put in an excellent performance to register a time of 40.16sec with no faults in the jump-off, comfortably beating Breen, who clocked in at 51.79 with 17 faults after hitting the third fence on the course.

Following her win, the 42-year-old admitted she was astonished by her victory.

"It’s ridiculous," she said.

"It was like watching a movie.

"Honestly, I never thought we could do it."

McIntosh added that she was impressed by the performance of her three team-mates, two-time Olympian Daniel Meech, Richard Gardner and Bruce Goodin.

"He [Gardner] doesn’t have a lot of experience and nor does his horse [Calisto] but they have been together since Calisto was young and they know each other inside out," she said.

"He believed in his horse and he was very grateful to get the chance to show what they could do.

"As for Goodin, he’s the rock of our team.

"He borrowed this horse [Backatorps Danny V] and was riding it for the very first time at this show.

"He’s just amazing!”

Italy secured third place in Abu Dhabi thanks to their total time of 328.86 after eight runs.

The second leg of the FEI Jumping Nations Cup 2018 series is due to take place in Ocala in the United States tomorrow where teams from the North/Central America and Caribbean League will battle it out in the first of three qualifiers in their region.