Monday, March 26, 2007

New Zealand to South Africa: Ride of her life

Timaru woman Linda Pullar is set to sightsee around South Africa on horseback.

The endurance horse rider has been selected in the New Zealand team to compete there in June.

The four riders were named at the recent Horse of the Year competition in Hastings.

As this year was the first time endurance riding had been included in the event it was also a first-time competition for Mrs Pullar.

"It was a childhood dream to go up and look at it let alone ride in it."

But the biggest thrill will be the upcoming trip when she wears the silver fern for the first time.

"I didn't get any foreword warning, it was all just a big surprise."

Mrs Pullar travelled to Hastings to compete as an individual in the 120km endurance event.

Upon arrival, however, she found herself named as reserve for the New Zealand team.

Mrs Pullar said as a team of riders from South Africa and an international team made up of riders from various countries including Spain and Belgium, had come to compete, officials decided New Zealand should also field a team.

Nearly 50 people were entered into the 120km endurance event but Mrs Pullar said only 33 started. Of those only 16 horse and rider combinations completed the tough course.

Mrs Pullar said many of the horses were "vetted-out" as their heart rates were too high.

"I think it was the extremes of very flat then very steep."

Mrs Pullar and her horse Kishon Fashamatazz passed each of their vet checks and were the third kiwi combination home, finishing in seventh place in just under seven hours.

As one of the New Zealand team riders failed their checks Mrs Pullar, as reserve, was slotted into the team.

And next weekend she will be back in the saddle, competing in the 100km event at the national endurance riding champs in Feilding on her second horse Kishon Abigail.

[More ...]

No comments:

US Equestrian Announces Team for 2024 FEI Endurance World Championship for Seniors Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian is pleased to announce the athlete-and-horse combinations that will represent the U.S. at the 2024...