Originally scheduled to take place at the Springbush Hunua Horse Trials near Auckland in February, but cancelled due to bad weather, the 2018 National Young Rider and Junior Rider Eventing Championships take place at the Central Districts Horse Trials on the McKelvie family property, Pukemarama, near Foxton this coming weekend.
Nine Young Riders will compete for the handsome Charisma Trophy in the Norwood Farm Machinery CIC2* class, including two South Islanders, Amalia Rowley on Mexico II and Molli Thacker on Happy Go Lucky. They will meet stiff competition from their North Island peers, including 2017 NZ Oceania Young Rider team member Renee Faulkner on Rubinstar HH, a vet nurse from Papakura.
Northerners Beth Wilson on Alto et Audax, Elise Power on Arctic Cielo, and Abbey Thompson on Rockin It, have all spent time with Tim and Jonelle Price in England during the southern winter, which has been a big benefit to them. They are all are well placed in the year long Mitavite Young Rider series which culminates at the NRM National Three-day Event at Taupo next month.
But the Amon brothers, Jeffrey and Samuel, who hail from Murupara on the edge of Te Urewera National Park, cannot be discounted. Samuel, who is still a Junior Rider in fact, rides the scopey Trojan Warrior, while older brother Jeffrey has two rides, My Silver Lining and JA Candy Girl.
There are also nine Junior Riders contesting their CIC1* championship for the Hoffman Trophy, including South Islander Annabelle Jones on the evergreen school-master Braxton Boy. Others come from the four corners of the North Island, including Taranaki, Hawkes Bay, Auckland, and Wellington, all hoping to perform well and add to their Junior Rider series points.
Dressage and showjumping take place on Saturday, and the cross-country on Sunday. Both championships are being run concurrently with open CIC1* and 2* classes. Live scoring is available on www.equestrianentries.co.nz