Monday, February 17, 2020

New Zealand: HYGAIN ESNZ Endurance South Island Champs 2020 - Full Article

17 February 2020
Race Report made with the assistance of Heidi Bulfin

Marlborough Endurance and Trail Riding Club, New Zealand. Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 February 2020.

The Marlborough Endurance and Trail Riding Club played host to New Zealand’s HYGAIN ESNZ Endurance South Island Champs with the venue being just outside the small town of Renwick at the top of the South Island. The ride programme featured classes of all levels, starting with Introductory Endurance and CTR 15km and right up to 160km Endurance. The FEI events were combined with National, so those in the combined classes were competing for the same title over that distance.

All loops over the weekend travelled over many of Marlborough’s top winery vineyards – starting with Spy Valley wines, into Delegats, Hunters and Mudhouse, Pernod Ricard (Stoneleigh), and finishing up on smaller blocks of Saint Clair, Johnson Estate and Isabel Estate. The vineyards in this area are flat but feature many creeks and ditches throughout, with the tracks winding around them, maze-like in some parts, meaning riders had to always keep checking which way the marking was taking them. Despite the heat and dry conditions, the underfoot was surprisingly good thanks to the decent grass covering over the vineyards’ many headlands.

Saturday 1 February started at 1am with two HYGAIN 160km CEN Senior riders making their way out in the dark to negotiate the 35km loop while the temperatures were still relatively cool. This loop was repeated before doing two 25km loops and finishing with two 20km loops...

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