Record numbers enter showjumping champs

St Peter's College pupil Zoey Davis (16) rides Stella at the Gore Pony Club Interschools Showjumping competition in Gore last week ahead of competing in the South Island Showjumping Championships in Gore this weekend. Photo: Sandy Eggleston

THE South Island Showjumping Championships are at the Gore Showgrounds this weekend.

The three-day event begins on Friday and would be the largest edition of the championships on record.

There were 239 riders and 370 horses and ponies registered from throughout the South Island.

The championships were an annual fixture shared around the provinces. It had been five years since Southland hosted this event.

The Southland Showjumping headquarters was based in Gore and volunteers had been busy painting the jumps and readying the grounds. There would be four show rings operating at the same time to accommodate all the competitions.

There would be 100 classes from children’s to grand prix levels, with prize money, ribbons and trophies to be won.

Southland president and chief organiser Jo Fahey said it had been a big team effort by the local officials, volunteers and sponsors.

“We are very lucky with our sponsors this year; Mainland Coachwork is the major sponsor of the event, one of their horse floats is being auctioned off on Sunday.”

Early bids could be taken via the phone and internet.

Fahey said a bonus of hosting the event was the chance for local officials to get their skills and qualifications upgraded by the judges and timekeepers from the North Island.

A social highlight of the weekend would be on Saturday night with a catered meal at the Hokonui Pavilion.Running sportsBoots