Mutual respect vital for growth of the sport

2009-03-26 00:00

Congratulations to midlands junior rider Tess le Roux who cleared 1,65 metres riding her lovely grey warmblood Davenport Pegasus at last weekend's AnA Insurance Power Jump competition held at Inchanga. Three riders cleared this height and shared first place. The other riders were Le Roux's instructor Colin (Chookie) Ferreira, riding the All Fired Up thoroughbred Butchie and Keesha McLean riding Shia Khan.

Another midlands equestrian star is Natalie McLarty, who is a pony rider competing at the top level in show jumping and equitation. This young woman is also an international polocrosse player and is about to leave for a tour of Australia.

The McLarty family firmly believes that the dynamics and speed of polocrosse have helped McLarty tremendously with her showjumping, especially in improving her reactions in a jump-off where she is amazingly fast and accurate.

It is really interesting to see how the different equestrian disciplines have a positive interaction and that what is learnt in one sport can be utilised in another discipline.

It is vital for the promotion and growth of all equestrian disciplines that, when at an affiliated event, all participants and officials treat each other with courtesy and respect.

Once this mutual respect is broken down the integrity of classes and shows will be called into question and this will be a disastrous backward step for South African competition, especially as Sanef (South African Equestrian Federation) is working really hard to send competitors to the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky next year, followed by the London Olympics in 2012.

South Africa already has one competitor qualified to the WEG - European-based South African Charles Luyckx and Olibero. This combination had a great show at the end of Spanish Sunshine Tour with only four penalties in the CSI4* Grand Prix in Vejer de la Frontera. Olibero is a 13-year-old 15,2HH Dutch bred gelding with phenomenal jumping bloodlines including Libero H, Jasper and Animo.

A large contingent of KZN show jumpers have left to compete in the popular President's Cup Show held at Maple Ridge, Gauteng this weekend and the eventers are trucking to Inanda Country Base Gauteng to compete in this venue's first CIC* and CIC** events. Englishman Mike Tucker, who is one of the worlds most respected eventing officials, will also be giving a seminar to Southern Africa's top eventing officials at this event.

The home team was the victor at the recently held Tri-Nations showjumping competition held at the Hawkes Bay Show in New Zealand with a finishing score of 10 points, with the South African team of Dominey Alexander, Lexi Carter, Lisa Williams and Oliver Lazarus being the runner-up with a score of five penalties. Japan was third on four points.

Canterbury Equestrian Centre is holding a two-day showjumping show at their equestrian centre in Pietermaritzburg this weekend. Please call 082 905 4912 for more details.

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