Equidays showcase top American riders
Organisers of Equidays, New Zealand’s newest national equine event, are excited to include the American royals of eventing, David and Karen O’Connor, as part of their exceptional lineup of more than 30 riders and trainers geared to educate Equidays visitors.
This competitive duo are recognised around the globe for their success in eventing and have won five Olympic medals between them. As part of their training philosophy David and Karen educate riders to think like a horse rather than react to the horse’s behaviour.
David retired from competition in 2004 and is the coach of the current Canadian Events Team which won silver at the 2010 World Equestrian Games. Karen has been named to the federation’s High Performance List for 2011 and continues to work with Mark Phillips with an eye towards the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Equidays has organised an impressive programme of accomplished jumping trainers including Andrew Scott, Leigh Taylor, Travis Morgan and Vaughn Jefferis.
Equestrian Sports NZ are right behind Equidays. Eventing sport manager Eliza Johns elaborates: ‘‘Eventing NZ are pleased to be involved with Equidays 2011 and are excited to have some of our performance squad riders participating in the clinics with David and Karen O’Connor. Former world champion Vaughn Jefferis will be hosting eventing demonstrations and staff will be on hand at our trade site to answer any questions about becoming involved.’’
Held from November 18 to 20 this year at Mystery Creek Events Centre, Hamilton, Equidays will also feature two indoor night shows on the Friday and Saturday evening.
Hosted in the expansive Mystery Creek Pavilion, both night events are set to educate and entertain horse enthusiasts from all disciplines.
Friday’s show A Touch of the Classics will follow a classical discipline format celebrating dressage and eventing. Dressage rider and trainer Jan Ebeling and eventing legends David and Karen O’Connor will headline the evening. The O’Connors and Ebeling will be joined by accomplished trainer and equine behaviourist Andrew Mclean from Australia with Jody Hartstone as Andrew’s rider on her Stallion Donnerwind.
Saturday’s night show provides a spectacular lineup of natural horsemanship greats. Titled Heroes of Horsemanship, the show will feature one of the world’s best trainers fresh from Kentucky; Josh Lyons of Lyons Legacy. Equally impressive Australian master horseman, Ian Francis will share his award-winning techniques and Australian based showstoppers, Double Dan Horsemanship, will present an impressive example of the craft mixed with clever acrobatic antics.
Saturday night will also include New Zealand’s only four-star Parelli instructors; Jackie Chant and Russell Higgins. Equidays trio The Three Horsemen – Ben Longwell, Scott O’Malley and Dan Steers – will also feature in Saturday’s showcase.
Tickets for the night shows are separate to day event entry and are on sale now. Adults $40, children aged five to 14 years $20, with no charge for under-five year olds. Riders and horses are sought to participate in a range of Equidays clinics.
Applications can be submitted through http://equidays.co.nz/participate.