St Anne’s pupil receives top equestrian honour

2011-10-25 00:00

THE International Equestrian Federation (FEI), completed the judging of the 2011 International World Dressage Challenge and notified the South African Equestrian Federation of the final results earlier this month.

St Anne’s pupil, Kirsten Wing, and her horse Highlander finished third overall in the world grouping, in the medium section.

The FEI placed South Africa in a group of countries which include Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. Instead of taking horses to one country and one venue for the competition, international judges travel to each country and judge competitors competing the same dressage tests. This alleviates the logistical challenges of the movement of horses around the world, as well as the cost and organisation.

This year the judges were Peter Holler from Germany (president of the Ground Jury) and Jacques van Daele from Belguim. There are five different levels of dressage competed in the FEI World Dressage Challenge — in order of difficulty — Prix St George, advanced, medium, elementary and preliminary.

This is a fantastic result, as Kirsten, being only 15, could have competed with the juniors on ponies in the lower elementary or preliminary sections, or could have elected to ride alongside the adults in the medium sections and above.

She elected, however, to compete with the adults, which the FEI allow so long as your 16th birthday falls within the year of the competition. Kirsten will be 16 in December, making her the youngest competitor among the seniors in South Africa and possibly even in the group of countries. There is no “top” age limit to the seniors and women compete alongside the men.

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