Eventing gossip, no sorry, news!

Eventers are going in all directions and one even takes a chook with him! All the news on kiwi eventers.

Lauren Alexander with her spectacular hair
Lauren Alexander is disappointed she can’t compete in the Mongol Derby this year

While the ESNZ eventing season has finished here in New Zealand, there are still plenty of competitions going on both here and internationally. There are over 400 horses and ponies competing this weekend at the Rangiora Pony Club One Day Event, there’re also good entries at McLeans Island for the Canterbury Dressage 2016 Pryde’s Easifeed Winter Series & Rangiora Equestrian Supplies YR Series, and it is the third competition of the Equissage Unregistered Dressage Winter Series 2016 at Tielcey Park. Then there is show jumping at Papatoetoe Pony Club with the Veterinary Associates (PPC) Winter 2016 series and plenty of other activities for riders for the long weekend. Good luck to all competing!

Travel News

Many riders have headed or are about to head overseas.  Lauren Alexander is one who will soon be packing her bags for a European horse experience. She’d been planning to compete in the Mongol Derby this year, but unfortunately this isn’t going to happen. However, look out next year, Mongolia! The beautiful young redhead is coming your way for sure!  This year, Lauren will be spending a bit of time in the UK, at Jock Paget’s yard, and in the Netherlands, taking in some dressage. Have a great trip, Lauren!

Chloe Phillips-Harris competing in the NRM CCI3* at Taupo recently
Chloe Phillips-Harris competing in the NRM CCI3* at Taupo recently

NZ eventer, Chloe Phillips-Harris is an adventurer of epic proportions. She is currently in Kazakhstan and it is well worth checking out her Facebook page for the most beautiful photos of an incredible country. As she says on her page, “not everything always goes smoothly.” She had quite an adventure getting into the country for a start. “Even I couldn’t have planned that Kazakhstan and all its embassies had not had it brought to their attention that New Zealand was not a province of Australia, and on arrival – despite having all paperwork – they tried to deport me. When that didn’t work I got a complimentary 24-hour stay in the airport on detention and investigation by the KGB into being a foreign spy. Luckily I finally got cleared, my passport stamped and now am enjoying my home in the mountains for the next two weeks.”

chicken-differentiationNow for some travelling chook news. Joe Meyer, the Kiwi eventer based in Florida, USA has taken the cake for the best stowaway story of the year so far, when one of his chickens decided it wanted to go with the team and hid in the truck. She was undiscovered until they reached their destination. While Joe is quite famous for making frozen margaritas and BBQs, we wonder if perhaps he was hoping to make omelettes this time.


Eventing NZ has an administration job going while Eliza Reidel finishes her maternity leave. Nicky Felton has held the fort for the last six months, but there’s a gap for the next six months, so if you like going to meetings and dealing with the technical side of eventing, then this could be the job for you. You can even work from home and the eventing season doesn’t start for a while, but then you will have the AGM to organise – that’s coming up soon. Part of the AGM is the election of the Board members and apparently there are two positions up for re-election.  It is not clear on the advertisement whether Todd Gloyn and Angela Lloyd are standing again, but if you think you can make a difference, then put your hand up. It’s a voluntary job and not always the easiest of roles but someone has to do it!

ESNZ also made the tough decision to stop publishing The Bulletin. The magazine has been going for many years, but has cost the Federation a lot of money over the last few. Our own NZ Horse & Pony moved away from doing event coverage a while ago, instead focusing on an equestrian lifestyle theme and leaving the event coverage for our website and social media. As such, we are always interested in receiving information about your event and while we may not be able to attend every horsey competition in the country, we are happy to look at posting your reports and photos on our website. Email Jane if you want to know more.


Katharine Van Tuyl and Sunny: confident (Image: Libby Law)
Katharine Van Tuyl and Sunny off to Adelaide (Image: Libby Law)

There are a few eventers who are hoping to head to Adelaide for the wonderful Australian 3-Day Event. This is held on November 3-6, and includes 4*, 3* and 2* competitions. Katharine Van Tuyl is aiming Double J Sunshine for the 4* and is fundraising now.  Check out her Facebook page for more details.

We’re thinking of putting a tour group together to combine attending the event with a few other fun things, like visiting the Barossa wine region, checking out some great restaurants, and perhaps even a couple of other horse-related activities for a week or so. Let us know if you are interested by emailing jane@horseandponymag.com and we can begin making a firmer plan. It’s a great competition, right in the middle of the beautiful city and travelling to these events is always more fun in a group.

Official Travel

Campbell Draper looking good just one fence before their pine-tree incident
Campbell Draper looking good just one fence before the pine-tree incident

Other travelling eventers include Jenny and Campbell “Pine-tree” Draper.  Jenny is a member of the Ground Jury (in the 1* and YR classes) at the Tattersalls Horse Trials this weekend, as part of the FEI Development programme for officials. Campbell was supposed to be bag-carrier, but with his sore ribs after his close encounter with the Taupo Pine Tree, he may not be fulfilling his main duties that well. After “Tatts” in Ireland, they are off to the UK to attend beautiful Bramham horse trials as well.

There are also a number of Kiwis competing at Tatts (Alice Montgomery, James Avery, the Prices, Dan Jocelyn, Tim Rusbridge, Jock Paget) and we will be bringing you coverage via Libby Law’s photos as they come to hand. It’s a great event; a great craic, and the sun is even shining there at the moment! You can watch it on livestream on this link.

Repairs & Maintenance

Samantha Felton at the Taupo trot up
Samantha Felton at the Taupo trot-up

Some eventers use this time of year for training their young horses, with plenty taking part in the Beyond the Barriers Dunstan X Factor challenge for off-the-track thoroughbreds, judged at Equidays October 14-16.  Others do more teaching, and many offer school programmes. However, Samantha Felton will be heading off to hospital to undergo some repairs: she’s due to have surgery to get a plate taken out of her collarbone. We hope it goes well, Sam, and wish you the very best.