Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New Zealand: Round One To The South Africans at HOY

Photo by Helen Bain
NZEquestrian.org.nz - Full Article

24/03/2009

The visiting South African endurance team seized victory in round one of a South Africa–New Zealand contest which began at Horse of the Year. The 100-kilometre one-star endurance event at HOY was the first of two rides in the inter-country challenge –the second will take place in Dullstroom, South Africa in October. However New Zealander Peter Birkett took individual honours, taking first place in the HOY CEI* 100km rideon Makahiwi Fire, with fellow New Zealanders, Amy Crowley on Makahiwi Stirling in second place, and David Hutchings on Tally Man coming third.

The South African team of Eone Willemse riding Hardisty (4th place), Leanne Geldenhuys riding Makahiwi Pandora (6th), Dominique Van Zyl riding Makahiwi Huron (7th), and Machel Greyling riding Makahiwi Genoa (9th) didn’t take out the top individual rankings but they all survived to compete the course successfully.

In contrast the New Zealand team lost two riders (Trina Hill riding Arizona McCue and Selwyn Boler riding Denzel) to vet-outs after the third loop of the four-loop ride, so Peter and Amy’s first and second placings weren’t enough to secure a team win.

However the Kiwis will have the chance to even the score when they ride in the 123km CEI** event in Dullstroom on South African horses – the South Africans rode horses provided by their New Zealand hosts here.

The HOY endurance rides were run through vineyards and farmland south of Hastings on a track which was relatively flat for a New Zealand endurance course. But though the terrain was not particularly arduous, the fast pace and warm conditions provided their own challenges, and only 10 of the 19 starters in the 100km ride completed the course.

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