The gongs have been handed out at Eventing NZ’s annual dinner and AGM.
Clarke Johnstone won the top prize, Sporting Achievement of the Year – an award for the rider who has made a significant impact and/or achievement in eventing in New Zealand in the last season. And there is no question that Clarke’s campaign for Rio, run largely from New Zealand, with a successful trip to Adelaide and then an impressive Badminton debut, is a clear winner! Let’s hope now he can cap it off with the fantastic Olympic performance that we know he and Balmoral Sensation are capable of.
The Best North Island Event was the Matamata Horse Trials, a new competition which was held at Denise and John McGiven’s Morgan Rd property in Matamata.
The best event on the mainland was the South Island Three-Day Event held at McLeans Island, Christchurch.
The ‘biggest oops’ award went to Campbell Draper for his close encounter with a Taupo pine tree. Was his prize a load of firewood, we wonder? Campbell claims he received the “Conservation award for my work with trees.”
The Stickability Award: who defied the laws of gravity? This year it went to Amanda Pottinger for narrowly escaping a swim in the water jump at the NRM Taupo 3DE. There were a few good contenders, but Amanda’s save was amazing, captured brilliantly on film by Barbara Thomson, and Amanda went on to win the NRM CCI3* class.
Volunteer of the Year Award went to Susan O’Brien.
Susan (with her partner Kevin Sapsworth) volunteers at so many events, where her roles vary from secretary to TD to steward. She also holds the role of ESNZ Head Steward.
Not only is she supremely knowledgeable about the sport, but as a former top rider, she is also able to communicate well with competitors, even in times of stress and high emotion!
And Dedication to the Sport of Eventing Award went to course designer, course expert, pony club official and man of many other roles, Bing Allen.
And finally, we understand Todd Gloyn has been re-elected as Eventing chairman.