The eventing season in Canterbury kicked off to a great start over the weekend with the first event of a busy spring schedule.
Held at Eyreton in the most perfect of weather, 251 horses and riders contested various levels over two days.
The main class, the CCN3* Plus-S was taken out by Amberley’s Giles Gormack who was also busy all weekend as one of the cross country course designers. He had a great cross country round on his bold horse Lucero, putting in some spectacular jumping, especially into the water jump, to the delight of his daughter Grace, who was fence judging at that fence.
Emily Cammock (West Melton) elected to start her top horse, Shaw Lee, in a lower class at this point of the season and won the class, the Bates CCN3*. “He was very fresh,” she said. The always-busy rider had nine horses at the event, and is planning a full season ahead too. “Originally I was just going to do the South Island three day event in October, and then go show jumping all summer but then Blyth Tait rang me to encourage me to come to Puhinui in Auckland in December. He outlined the big changes they plan on making, and now I am tempted – I want to support those changes!”
The Eventing Canterbury committee of volunteers did a fabulous job of the event, according to Chair Kirsty Sharapoff who had her hands full competing on her two horses finishing fourth and tenth. “The event has gone really well, and we had some great cross country courses to jump.” There is no rest for the dedicated team though, as the next event is just three weeks away, and then there is South Island three day event on 11-13 October. “We also have a development camp for the South Island riders before the next event, which will be great for riders as they will get some great tips from top coaches. It’s certainly a busy time for us!”
There were some impressive performances in the lower graded competitions as well, and some tough competition. Molly Moffatt and Glenmark continued their good form, winning the UDR CCN2* easily and impressing with her cross country round.
Another cracking round to watch was Charlotte Thomas and Time after Time’s. The pair won the Under 21 class sponsored by Rangiora Equestrian Supplies and Betavet. Charlotte had to put in a top all round performance as the competition was one of the tightest, with many of Canterbury’s top young riders vying for the win.
Recent recipient of a 2019 Prime Minister’s Scholarship, Brodie Roberts had a good win on Playmaker in the Hobson Horsecoaches CCN105 class.
The next Eventing Canterbury competition is 14-15 September and will be at the National Equestrian Centre, McLeans Island.