Rid­ers sur­vive ‘car­nage’ course

The Invercargill Eye - - FRONT PAGE - STAFF RE­PORTERS

A group of South­land horse rid­ers have done their team proud at a pres­ti­gious event­ing com­pe­ti­tion.

The Cen­tral South­land-Lorneville Makarewa team ‘‘ex­ceeded all ex­pec­ta­tions’’ when they fin­ished 9th out of 39 teams in the Springston Tro­phy event at the week­end.

Com­peti­tor Ge­or­gia Wat­tWright’s mum Emma Wright said the team was the high­est placed Otago-South­land team at the com­pe­ti­tion. ‘‘The re­mark­able thing about their plac­ing was they moved up from 23rd af­ter dres­sage, to 11th af­ter the tough cross-coun­try phase that many a com­bi­na­tion strug­gled with.’’

The cross-coun­try course was well up to height, with lots of tech­ni­cal jumps to dis­tract both the rider and horse, she said.

‘‘Throw into the mix non-stop rain and there was, as one mother de­scribed, car­nage on the course.’’

The South­land rid­ers were not put off by a bit of rain and ‘‘blitzed’’ around the course all com­ing home with big smiles, Wright said.

The same could not be said for the 16 teams elim­i­nated on the cross coun­try.

On the third and fi­nal day, the weather was not any bet­ter for the rid­ers.

‘‘South­land’s weather has well and truly pre­pared them and, af­ter clear show jump­ing rounds, the team moved up to 9th place, some­thing all the rid­ers, par­ents, sup­port­ers and spon­sors were very proud of.’’

Man­ager Ni­cola Hamil­ton said, ‘‘I am very proud of the six rid­ers we took to Springston Tro­phy, de­spite try­ing con­di­tions they all rode amaz­ingly well.

‘‘We are very hum­bled by all the mes­sages of sup­port we re­ceived ... [the com­pe­ti­tion was] a valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence for all of our rid­ers.’’

Lana Med­dar was 5th in the se­nior sec­tion, a huge ef­fort as this sec­tion cov­ers a wide range of very ex­pe­ri­enced rid­ers. She added only a few cross-coun­try time faults onto her dres­sage score.

Ge­or­gia Watt-Wright and her pony St He­lens Dream­catcher won best con­di­tioned pony of the com­pe­ti­tion, judged on mus­cle tone, fit­ness, coat con­di­tion and how well­pre­pared they were for the event.

Af­ter get­ting towed out of the sod­den grounds, the rid­ers made their way back to South­land, ar­riv­ing home on Mon­day, all the bet­ter for the ex­pe­ri­ence.

SUP­PLIED

Cen­tral South­land-Lorneville Makarewa event­ing team Is­abelle Ha­zlett, Lana Med­dar, Ge­or­gia Watt-Wright, Ken­dra Botham­ley, Kate Hamil­ton and Siob­han Ha­zlett.

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