The Eyreton Pony Club hosted 301 combinations, a good number of spectators, plenty of dogs, and lots of supporters over two days at their grounds in North Canterbury during the weekend.
There were some frosty starts required but things improved and the days turned out beautifully, making for very pleasant conditions for eventing, with really good footing. The backdrop of the snow-covered Southern Alps made for some beautiful photos and there was no ice on the water jump!
There are many riders vying for inclusion in their respective pony club’s Springston Trophy teams, with the Springston Trophy to be held in Oamaru in early October. The selectors will certainly have their work cut out deciding on the teams, going by the performances at Eyreton!
For others, it was their first start and the NZPCA’s First Start competitions were just the thing for those riders. The two classes, under-18 and 18-and-over were both over 50cm courses and involved a zone where the riders had to halt their horses. There were some interesting approaches to that! Two riders finished at the top of the under-18 field on their penalty points; Millie Bourgeois and Briar and Scarlett Hart and Brownie but it was Millie who was declared the winner thanks to her cross country results. Libby Thompson and Blue Springs Connie were third with Ella Smith and Pavarotti of Milton fourth.
In the over-18 first start class, it was a good win to Erika Dickson on the lovely Budweiser, with Nicola Culver on Arrow second and Nele Friedrich on Mystery Man third.
There were six classes for those wanting to jump over 80 cm fences, with winers of these being Tinesha Benson (Illywhacker 2), Kirsty Jacomb (Flora), Chelsea Barnett (Blue Springs Ace), Lily Peters (Amberleigh Prima), Grace Gormack (Rosewood Zakee), and Nicole Chapman (Starboy).
In the 65cm classes, winners were Graciey Donnithorne on Cavallo Picollo, Olivia Skidmore on Little Gun, and Isabella Wyllie on Goldridge Winchester.
The winner of the 110cm class was Jordan Shrimpton on Ka Pai Kiwi, who finished on her very good dressage score of 29.13. Rebecca Wardle and Dingmac Eccles won division one of the 105 class, with Maria Van Kuijk and Antara Whiskey Mac winning the other division, also finishing on their dressage score. Jamie Atkinson and Brackeneigh’s Roy won one of the 95cm classes with the other two classes being won by Sophie Thomas on Toffee Deluxe and Philippa Van Grondelle on Millicent Adelais.
A special well done to Hayley Turner and her lovely off-the-track thoroughbred St Louis. They finished midfield in a 65cm class – Hayley said the last time she competed was well over 15 years ago, in a two-star class at Taupo!
It was also good to see Natalie Powell out enjoying herself on her Frizzle Ma Nizzle, competing in the 65cms class. You may remember Natalie’s story about her heroic fire-fighting efforts in 2017, where she rescued horses from the Port Hills fires.
There were some really good sponsors on board for the competition and the eight rental cars provided by Apex Car Rentals looked great next to the dressage arenas for the judges.
The Horsejump Warehouse fences were also well decorated, thanks to Zealand Horticulture providing lots of beautiful plants. The fired-up brazier between the Protranz BBQ and the coffee cart was a popular spot!
Photos are available for purchase from Pegasus Communications.