Horses, riders to put on top show

Margaret Ridley and her horse Tallaght, who won the Southland Stakes at last year's Southland Showjumping Championships at the Gore Showground, with committee member Kimily McHugh and president Jo Fahey.

THE Southland Showjumping Championships are this weekend at the Gore Showgrounds.

President Jo Fahey had put a lot of work into this event and the sport throughout the years. Fahey would be stepping down as president after this weekend and six years in the role.

Late last year, life memberships were awarded to four people who had played special roles in the Southland Showjumping Group: Mike Smith, Kimily McHugh, Gail Richardson and Ann Irvine.

The championships had been an annual fixture since the 1950s. About 200 horses and 150 riders would be competing.

Across the competitions there were 80 classes with prize money, ribbons and trophies to be won.

The main prize to be presented after the two-day event was the Buckingham Trophy for the Southland horse and rider combination which earned the most points over both the Southland Festival Show (held in December) and the championship show.

This year, Southland was proud to be running the first Tower was a fantastic horse for the late Donna Smith, who was a legend of Southland showjumping and was well known around the nation’s showjumping circuit.

The Tower Cup was for riders 10 years and under, the jumps were maximum 50cm and the class would be judged on style, with each rider having a mentor.

These mentors were introduced to their rider before the class, they would walk the course with them and help at the practise fence.

The mentor also went into the ring with their rider and offered help during their round. All 12 riders would receive goody bags and the winner would receive the

The Southland Stakes was a prestigious class first competed for in 1973.

The Bryan Horrell Memorial Trophy would go to the winner of this 1.15m jump category.

The Geoff Bower Trophy was for the jumpers in the 1.20m class, and the Bolgar Trophy for the winner of the Mini Grand Prix for the 1.30m-1.40m class.

The Shah Trophy would go to the champion jumper in the 1.10m class and the Dollarman Trophy to the winner of the Pony Grand Prix.

The action would get under way in Gore at 8.30am on Saturday.Sportswear free shippingSneakers