The ESNZ Endurance Championship series comes to a close over Easter weekend with the ESNZ Endurance Nationals, being held at Springfield, Canterbury. It’s also the final event of five in the FEI series. With only one ride to go Naomi O’Shaughnessy and Castlebar Party Girl hold a commanding lead in the FEI series, this year sponsored by Mitavite. In the Championship series the competition is much closer, with only point between leader Alison Higgins on Northwinds Apollo and Naomi. Mistakes or misfortune by any one of those on the leader board could change the allocation of trophies tremendously. This region is renowned for challenging conditions and rocky ground so riders will need to be vigilant.
There are strong entries for this year’s Nationals. With a matter of days before competition starts just less than 100 horses are entered. Almost a third of those are entered in CTR classes, testament to the great work being done by host club, Canterbury Endurance and Trail Riding Club, in promoting the sport and encouraging new riders.
The start list as it stands less than two weeks out gives an indication that the competition will be strong across all classes. Australia is well represented, with four riders entered, and North Islanders make up 20% of the endurance entries in the run up to the event.
A glance at the names on the start list shows a competition that will be wide open on the day, in every class. Good luck and good riding to all.
. By Daryl Owen