Friday, April 29, 2011

New Zealand: New Endurance Champions are Crowned

NZEquestrian.org.nz

28/04/2011 3:45:45 p.m.

Andrea Smith riding Glenmore Tariq completed a thoroughly deserved victory on Good Friday at Endurance’s Nationals, at Kuratau, Lake Taupo, in the CEI 3* 160km ride, finishing in an impressive time of 9.34.55 and uncontested in the final stages.

For Smith and her homebred horse the victory was doubly sweet as they had come so far at the same venue earlier in the season, at the North Island champs, only to be given out lame in the final hurdle, that particular time they crossed the line in second.

This time round however there were no concerns for Smith; riding in perfect conditions they shaved over an hour off their previous time, finishing at an average speed of 16.7kph and looking in fine form the whole way.

Coming home in second place in his hundred mile race, and also securing the Grassroots World FEI Qualifying Series win (over a maximum of seven CEI rides) was Taranaki’s Sean Trafford and Sayfwood Rolling Stone, just under 30 minutes behind Smith, while one of last year’s WEG competitors, Jenny Chandler onboard Lace and Fineness claimed third spot, a respectable time of 10.04.37. Lace and Fineness was also awarded the Best Conditioned award the following day.

Also contested at these Nationals, and for the first time in several years, was the CEI JY 3* 160km ride, for riders under 21 years of age. For the past few years these riders have had to compete against adults, and some still chose to do so, but the FEI now allow them their own class. These young riders had a successful day with a 75% completion rate and first buckles for most. 16 year old Emma Mason from Wellington, riding Taralea Sheer Illusion was the top in this class, coming home also uncontested in a time of 11.25.24, almost one hour ahead of Georgia Smith and Aurora Australis. Third place was Tessa Deuss and Aspen Hills Santa Ana. All three horses a tribute to these young riders who worked so hard to bring them to this level. Best Conditioned Horse was awarded to Taralea Sheer Illusion.

Having a successful weekend also was Gemma Haywood from Wairarapa. Riding Roselea Royal Fire on Easter Sunday, the pair took home the CEI 2* 120km title from some close contesters, their total time of 7.57.05 enough to secure the win. In Second place was Marie Wakeling on Tokopuhe Kid, just over 2 minutes behind Haywood, and third, and later Best Conditioned, was awarded to Jessica Scheffer riding Sheba, their time of 8.03.27.

There was also a young rider 2* 120km class and this was won by Leanne Ireland and Alshar Blue Levi, riding sensibly in a time of 8.46.57, ahead of Emma Armstrong and Blue Thunder Shimar and Stacey Jones, Makahiwi Pretoria.

Winner of the CEN 120km ride was Australian Errol Watt, riding Raewyn Carter’s Maioro Tahi, their time 9.59.07

There were two CEI 1* classes; the 80km on Good Friday and the 100km on Saturday. Gemma Haywood rounded out her weekend by winning the CEI 1* 80km ride, on Roselea Flaunt It, while South Islander Charlotte Wadsworth, and Avaasha NZL, claimed the Young Rider class of this distance.

The CEI 1* 100km ride featured an exciting gallop finish – Wellington rider Sandy McCuan and Mizraim Silver Gym just getting the nod over Natalie Bickerton and Makahiwi Gazelle. Amanda Walton and Lotus Blue Moon finished first in the Young Rider section, their time 6.43.05, and the CEN 100km Junior event was won by Brigitte Smith and Craig Royston Melba.

Also on Sunday were the CEN 60km events, won respectively by Eileen Hart and Montana Rein in the Senior and Charlotte Berrett and Aspen Hills Balalaika.

Full results can be found on http://www.nzequestrian.org.nz/Resource.aspx?ID=11818