Riders enjoy top course

2008-09-04 00:00

The annual KwaZulu-Natal Eventing Championships were held at the Durban Shongweni Club last weekend.

James Arathoon did a magnificent job designing the various cross-country courses, which all rode really well. The Speedi-Beet FEI CIC** Championship was won by Paul Hart, riding Heartbreak Hill, 13 penalties ahead of the stylish Graham Winn, riding Zorba.

The CIC* Mini Championship was won by Martyn Swanepoel and Kardinal from KZN’s Leigh Markham and On Tap’s Katmandu, who finished just four penalties behind Swanepoel.

The Equi-Feeds Junior Intermediate Championship was won by the consistent Savannah Wilmot, riding Waterside Stardust, from Sarah Hulley and Magson.

The Pony Rider Novice Championship was won by Rachel Barrett, riding Scott, with Melissa Tratschler, riding Maderia Leila, in second place.

* * *

The fourth leg of the World Cup Qualifier Show was held at the Pretoria Show last week. The entries have increased since last year and 139 horses jumped in the open classes. The organisers invested time and energy in the arena surface and the riders were most appreciative of the improved going. Gauteng course-builder Brian Lavery designed several tough tracks, especially for the Farnham Riders Grand Prix Tour and the Alzu FEI World Cup Qualifier class.

The Riders’ Tour was won by imported horse Gold Rush, ridden by Shaun Neill, in a very fast jump-off time of 39,80 seconds from Dominey Alexander and Capitol Shiraz in second place with a time of 42,73 seconds.

The FEI World Cup Class was thrilling to watch with 21 competitors. The first round produced just five clears and Dominey Alexander turned the tables on Shaun Neill by beating him by a 10th of a second in the exciting jump-off.

KZN’s Jodi Pieters, on her own Jaunty Gent, a horse that she originally rode as a junior, was in third place.

The 1,4 metre Championship was won by Lexi Carter, riding Riff Raff, from Michelle Hobbs and Alzu Obligation, while the 1,35 m Championship was won by Barry Taylor, riding Udokes, from Mandy Johnstone and Calaho Carina.

The equestrian part of the Pretoria Show is hectic throughout this week with over 90 Friesians, 230 general breed horses and 200 Saddlers who are making a welcome return to this show after a few years of absence. There are also classes for the Welsh ponies and horses, Arabs, Boerperd and other native breeds, as well as the popular miniature horses.

* * *

The Spurwing International Horse Trials will take place from October 16 to October 18 at the Karkloof Polo Club. Extensive work has been carried out on the cross-country course including a huge new water complex which is in the process of being completed.

This event will be a full three-day event with dressage on Friday, cross-country on Saturday and showjumping on Sunday.

For more information, or if anyone would like to volunteer as jump judges, dressage scribes, etc., please phone Colin Scott at 082 894 7712.

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