Equi­days show­case top Amer­i­can rid­ers

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery -

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.

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