SA riders compete in challenge

2008-11-20 00:00

THE South African National Equestrian Federation (Sanef) Challenge took place at the Cyril Geoghan Stadium last weekend. This challenge enables competitors from each province to compete with each other without travelling out of their province.

The course designs are sent to all the provinces and the tracks are built to exact specifications. The riders then jump the tracks and all the results are sent to Sanef, which calculates who the overall South African winners are in each grade. The first round on each day is judged on precision and the second round is judged on precision and time. The jumping penalties from both days and the time from the second day’s speed round are counted in the final results.

Roxy Leyshon, riding Winslow Christmas, won the KwaZulu-Natal JD leg, while her sister, Tyla, on Santa Domingo, won the KZN JC section. Tess le Roux was the star of the KZN JB class with a super victory riding Davenport Pegasus. Eric Gasa, riding Silver Siren, won the KZN Adult E grade section by 0,03 of a second from Jessica Bateman and the impressive Arctic Gale.

The KZN adult D grade section was won by university student Jessica Pickard, riding Alzu Observation, and the experienced Grant Langley won the KZN adult C grade section with Foresyte Preamble D. In the JA/Open Welcome Stakes, Stuart Naysmith, on Sharp Oasis, was the winner. Rainie Kietzmann and Global Game were the winners of the Competition Stakes. This grade was not included in the Sanef Challenge.

• South African Dressage was privileged to host respected Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) German judge Dr Beutler-Bath for a Southern African (FEI Group 1X) judges’ seminar in Gauteng last weekend. Beutler-Bath has an impressive track record both as a rider and an international judge since 1982. He has also directed many international seminars throughout the world.

The 17 participants from Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana joined various delegates from the South African provinces and all gained huge insight on the critical link between training and judging.

Whatever level the horse is at, the basic requirements of regular paces, rhythm, energy, suppleness and obedience to the aids of the rider remain paramount. The aim of the rider is to produce his horse as a gymnastic athlete and the task of the judge is to assess the correctness of the training and mark accordingly.

Seminars such as this are important for the improvement of South African dressage and riders are appreciative of the judges who gave up their time to attend.

• The South African National Junior Multi-Discipline Championships will be held in Gauteng from December 6 to December 14. The junior and showjumping teams were published last week.

KZN junior dressage team: Megan Berning (Ravenna), Hoskings Maggie-May (Sea Lord), Dominique Tardin (Don de Niro), Roxy Leyshon (Winslow Christmas), Deandra Mattioda (Ivar). Chef d’Equipe: Pam Crompton.

KZN junior equitation team: Megan Berning (Mr Matt), Hoskings Maggie-May (Sea Lord), Tyla Leyshon (Santa Domingo), Kirsten Heilgendorf (Venture To Venus), Coralie Roberts (Reach No More). Chef d’Equipe: Debbie Greenwood.

KZN vaulting team: Melanie Wood, Natalie Anderson, Page van Rensburg, Melissa Haygarth, Erin Seals, Veraksha Singh, Brook Holm. Chef d’Equipe: Tracy Wood.

• The horse community was saddened to learn of the death of Kathleen Stephenson after a long illness. Stephenson, who worked tirelessly for Riding for the Disabled and the Hospice Association, was one of the founders, in the sixties, of the famous annual Pietermaritzburg Pony Show. The founders’ aim was to provide an unthreatening environment for children in KZN to showcase their talent. This the original committee achieved with great success and the show still continues today.

• The KZN Horse Society Midlands Group are meeting tonight at the Victoria Country Club in Pietermaritzburg at 6.30 pm. All riders and supporters are welcome. This weekend the final leg of the 2008 FEI World Cup Showjumping takes place in Cape Town, while in Gauteng the postponed FEI Showjumping Challenge takes place at the Gauteng Horse Society. The Durban Shongweni Club is holding a two-day affiliated jumping and equitation show. Phone Karen Levey at 031 768 1241.

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