By Devon van Til

A number of new initiatives have been brought in to attract top competition at this year’s NRM New Zealand National Show Jumping and Show Hunter Championships 9-11 February.

The South Island’s National Equestrian Centre at McLean’s Island is looking in fabulous condition a month out from this prestigious event.

The most influential change to this year’s event is the within the Championship classes. Previously run over three days with five rounds, the competition will now consist of three rounds over two days. Friday will be the first day of competition for the majority of the championship classes, with the speed event determining the initial standings.

Saturday will be a day off for most championship classes to give the opportunity for combinations to also compete in their respective National Series classes.

Multiple National titles are up for grabs this day with the rider and age group series classes concluding with the NZ National Horse Derby Championship. A hit with spectators in its first occurrence at Nationals last year, it is bound to be even better again. It will be followed by an entertaining charity event to round out a fun-filled Saturday evening.

The final day of competition on Sunday will comprise of two round competitions to decide the winners of the Championship classes. All competitors will go through to the final day of competition, where the top ten will be rewarded with increased prize money.

Premier level points are up for grabs in all National Series Classes including the Dunstan Horsefeeds & Equifibre NZ National Horse Grand Prix Championship. In addition to the three rings of show jumping there is also a full programme of horse and pony show hunter over a further two rings.

An exciting addition to this year’s programme is a South Island vs North Island Young rider teams event. This will be run in conjunction with the FMG Young Rider where team members compete on their own mounts. Any North Island riders interested in being a part of the team please contact Jan Hunt [email protected]

North Island competitors can take advantage of the Interislander Ferry discount offered to all ESNZ members.Find out more here: 

Another great incentive is a $3000 travel subsidy provided by ESNZ Jumping that is split between all North Island riders who make the journey down. The Nationals committee is dedicated to putting on a wonderful show and will do their best to support anyone interested in making the drive. They would love to see as many riders from both ends of the country, and everywhere in between, compete to make this a spectacular National Championships.