Eventing in Canterbury resumes this weekend with a two-day event held in two different places. The dressage and show jumping phases will be held at the National Equestrian Centre at McLeans Island, and then the cross country will be held at the Eyreton Pony Club’s ground at the Mandeville Sports Grounds.
There are 157 combinations entered in the 10 different classes, ranging from the Ultimate Design & Renovation’s CCN3* Plus-S class down to the BetaVet CCN 65cm class. There will also be classes for dressage and show jumping at most levels as well.
There are some quality horses entered, with many of them having recently competed in the various show jumping events which have been held in the region recently.
Hokitika’s Rebecca Wardle is making the trip over from the West Coast to compete at the event. “After a super fun season showjumping my horses are feeling really sharp and ready to go,” she said. “We are very excited to get back out eventing, especially on the awesome cross country course at Mandeville this weekend!” Rebecca will be competing her mare WS Paradise in the Dunstan Horsefeeds CCN3* class, and Dingmac Eccles in the Rangiora Equestrian Supplies & The Rider Shop CCN105. She has been picking up a lot of very good results in her recent show jumping outings so will be hoping her form continues in the eventing discipline.
Another who is pleased to be out competing is the Chair of Eventing Canterbury, Kirsty Sharapoff. Kirsty had hoped to have her top horse Shoot the Breeze out earlier in the show jumping classes, but an altercation with a hedge saw him sidelined for a while.
“I’ll be crossing my fingers for a steady dressage, working on our changes and suppleness in particular,” Kirsty said. “Because he has missed competing recently due to the hedge incident, he will likely be a little fresh in the jumping. I will be aiming to have a steady run in the cross country, taking the ground conditions into account. All in all I want to have a steady first hit out to build on for the rest of the season.”
Kirsty also was a little annoyed that the weather gods appeared to be a little late responding to everyone’s request for irrigation to soften the ground. “At least the weather will be a little cooler,” she said. The weather forecast is looking like there will be heavy rain in the area, with the southerly winds (possibly severe), bringing cooler weather.
Canterbury Weather Updates posted that the Canterbury region is “now looking at quite a significant cold outbreak with impressive rainfall totals, strong to gale force southerlies and snow to unusually low levels; possibly even effecting our higher passes – almost unheard of for later stages of February!”
While the weather conditions may not turn out to be ideal for the hardy eventers, they are a group who are known to compete in most weather conditions. It will definitely be time to bring out the rain coats.