Indoor arena saves the day

2009-02-26 00:00

The wet weather played havoc again with Canterbury Equestrian Centre’s showjumping show, which sadly had to be abandoned due to the grass arena being waterlogged. However, the weather was no problem for Shortlands Equestrian Centre, which has the benefit of a large indoor arena.

On the Saturday, pony rider Kathleen Selleck had a wonderful show. She came second in the CF/CE/CD Welcome Stakes with Forsythe Cooey, won the CC/CB/CA Welcome Stakes with Midnight Fairy Magic and came second in the same class on Sunday Girl, won the CC/CB/CA Competition class on Sunday Girl and came second in the same class with Forsythe Chelsea Nel.

On Sunday, it was the junior and adult riders’ turn. Hilton’s Natalie Gordon-Watson had a super win in the 1,1-metre, 1,2-metre and 1,3-metre Welcome Stakes on the consistent mare Karen, with Kim Isaacs, riding Eagles Whicker, second. Brett Latimer, riding Cambridge Skye Royale and Cambridge Multi Media, collected the other two places in this large class. Latimer then went on to win the 1,1-metre, 1,2-metre and 1,3-metre competition with Cambridge Gremlin riding at 1,1 metres, and came second with Cambridge Multi Media in the same class, but riding at the

1,2-metre level. Helen Fitschen, riding Clipper Captain, was second in the 90 cm Welcome level and won the one-metre competition.

The popular South African National Equestrian Federation (Sanef) Schools’ League is finally getting going in KwaZulu-Natal, and for the first half of the year, it has been decided to kick off with three multidisciplinary shows — one at the Shortlands Centre, one to be run in the Shongweni area and the other in the Pietermaritzburg area. These shows will be held before the middle of July as the National Sanef Schools’ League finals are due to take place in Gauteng during August. KZN is keen to send teams to these finals. There will be a high schools’ league and a primary schools’ league. The KZN league is run under the auspices of the KZN Horse Society; however, riders do not have to be members of the KZN Horse Society. Riders who are affiliated to the KZN Horse Society can have points accumulated at schools’ league shows added to their affiliated points and these points will count for affiliated upgrading point requirements. Each school that wishes to take part will need to pay a once-off R30 fee per school to the KZN Horse Society. In Gauteng there are over 750 entries at each show, so the scope for development in KZN is huge. This is a great initiative to promote equestrian sport. Schools and riders can phone Sandy Cox at the KZN Horse Society office at 031 768 1220 for information about who the convener in your area is, and also to collect the form and information packs for the schools.

The aim of the schools’ league is to promote all equestrian disciplines as a school team sport and to ensure that riding becomes equal to other school sports, thus enabling schools to recognise pupils’ commitment to riding for their school by way of awarding schools honours and colours for exceptional dedication and talent. This initiative also encourages less privileged schools and their riders to take part in competitions.

This weekend sees the cross-country fundraiser for Riding for the Disabled taking place at Ulwazi Farm just outside Hilton. Phone Yvette Taylor at 082 803 3440. There is also an affiliated summer show taking place at Durban Shongweni Club. Phone Karen Levey at 031 768 1241.

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