KZN rider places well in President’s Cup

2009-04-02 00:00

KwaZulu-Natal’s Phillipa Baxter had a super President’s Cup show, which was held last week at Maple Ridge in Gauteng. Baxter was consistent in the 1,35-metre classes, riding her Al Mufti thoroughbred Burntwood and was placed in three of the four classes. This 1,35-metre level is a hotly contested group of classes as it is the precursor to the two top-level classes in South Africa.

Baxter’s sister Katelyn also had a good place in the 1,2-metre championships, riding the lovely warmblood mare Cleopatra. Lucinda Woodruffe and Falcon’s Aldante were consistent in the pony rider 1,1-metre classes and had a win in the 1,1-metre AM5 competition class.

Megan Berning, riding Mr Matt, came to the fore when it mattered and won the 1,1-metre junior and adult championships. Berning also placed on her other ride, the diminutive thoroughbred Chestnut Charlie. Tess le Roux also had a super show with the grey warmblood Davenport Pegasus and was eighth in the 1,3-metre junior championships. This is excellent as this combination is new to this level of competition.

The President’s Cup class was won by Gareth Neill, riding Mirage 85, with Tossy Raynor and First for Women Godfather second. Deborah Becker, riding Rina 77, came third. The track, which was built by British international course designer Bob Ellis, was huge and really tested the riders’ confidence.

The Royal Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) World Cup Qualifier Show has been awarded four star status by the FEI and this means that horse and rider combinations who go well at this show can qualify for the World Equestrian Games next year.

A lot of attention has been given to the main arena’s surface to try to improve the going with expert help from John Morrison, Neil McKenzie of Foton, Rob Martin, Laurie Bischoff and Dave Bourge. This work has been vital to try to ensure that the horses have the best surface possible to compete on so that no jarring occurs.

This international show takes place from April 22 to April 25 and, with one of the world’s top 10 course designers flying in to build it, it should be an exciting event for Pietermaritzburg.

The national committee of the South African Para Equestrian Body recently held a meeting where it was decided to ask the KZN Horse Society (KZNHS) to recognise a para equestrian committee as a formal discipline within the horse society’s movement.

Nominations for 10 committee members are being called for. Please apply to the KZNHS office (031 768 1220) for nomination forms as soon as possible as nominations close on April 15. Please send your nominations in together with a brief cv.

* * *

This weekend, Grant Langley of the Foresyte Equestrian Centre is holding a two-day jumping show at the Durban Shongweni Club (phone 082 571 9536). Next Tuesday and Wednesday Shortlands Riding Centre is holding KZN’s inaugural South African National Equestrian Federation (Sanef) Schools League Show (phone 082 452 4432). The KZNHS dressage committee is holding a dressage show at the Durban Shongweni Club (phone Sue Horne at 082 448 8257.

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