KZN rider is Junior Equitation champ

2008-12-18 00:00

The South African Junior Multi-Discipline Championships took place last week in Gauteng and a large contingent from KwaZulu-Natal travelled to this event. The province was well represented in all disciplines.

KZN’s Megan Berning is the joint South African Junior Equitation Champion of 2008, together with the Western Province’s Megan Colman. This is the first time in the history of the event that the title has been shared. Berning has had a wonderful year as she also won the South African Pony Riders’ Equitation Championships and the South African Pony Riders’ Dressage Championships in July. These are remarkable achievements and Berning’s future equestrian career looks exceedingly bright. Berning has an excellent support team behind her — both her mother Fee and her elder sister are top riders and the family is dedicated to horsemanship.

The KZN showjumping team of Keira Brandon, riding Beachhaven Amex, Stuart Naysmith, riding Top Of The Hill, Coralie Robert, on the evergreen Reach No More, and Rainie Keitzman, riding Global Game, performed superbly to finish second to the Gauteng Horse Society (GHS) in a closely-fought contest.

Keitzman and Global Game had a consistent show, being in most of the individual 1,30 m class placings. George Purbick, riding King Cole, had a great win in the 1,20 m speed class, and was almost a second faster than Kirsty Lane (GHS), riding Seattle. This combination was also third in the 1,20 m Accumulator, which was won by Stuart Naysmith and Top Of The Hill. KZN riders did well in the 1,20 m Championships — Tamryn Vecueil, riding Matersons Maliza Rouge, was second with Sam Warren, riding Arcade, third. The Showjumping Championship of South Africa was won by Gauteng’s Cara Frew, riding Anais, who was half a second faster than Samantha McIntosh and Alzu Oakley.

In the Large Show Hack class KZN’s Dominque Tardin rode beautifully on the fabulous thoroughbred By The Book to win the class and went on to win the South African Champion Show Hack Title. KZN’s Maggie-May Hoskings was second in the Large Show Hack class, riding the young chestnut Skye Pretender.

The KZN team were just half a percent behind the team from GHS in the South African Team Dressage Championships in spite of one horse going lame and another suffering a severe bout of colic. A substitute horse was found for one of the riders and, therefore, four KZN riders were able to compete.

The KZN equitation team were also second, the GHS just one and a half penalties behind. KZN’s Jarryd Nurden was crowned Mr South Africa by past junior riders, who are now in the adult ranks. These judges always have fun and have to make hard decisions on who should win these social titles at the final party.

One of our World Equestrian Games eventing hopefuls, Stuart Fitzgerald, is back in South Africa from his base in the United Kingdom for a few weeks’ holiday after a hectic season in Europe. The year has had its trials and tribulations for Fitzgerald and his super young Irish horse Classic Diamond Charm. This pair is training with some of the world’s best instructors and Fitzgerald is working extremely hard at becoming consistent in all phases of the competition.

South Africa’s highest Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) ranked competitor is Katherine Gillespie, who is now based in the United States and rides Renegade Reno with success on that continent.

From the Horse’s Mouth wishes everyone a very merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

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