We thrilled to announce the recipient of the ESNZ and NZPH Star Spotters Scholarship, Mikayla Chalmers from Waitemata.

Showjumping Waitemata had such a tough decision selecting one Star Spotter Scholarship winner… they have decided to choose a second young talented rider to support! With kind sponsorship from Ray Burmester Equestrian Jewellery- 13 year old Pipi Cornish has also been awarded a year’s riders membership and equine registration. A special thanks must go to committee member, Jane Burmester, for her ongoing support. 


Mikayla, 15 years old, is very excited to win this scholarship as it will give her the chance to compete in ESNZ competitions with her pony SLC Golden Phoenix, something she has never had the opportunity to do. A student at Kaipara College, Mikayla intends to take Equine Studies as part of her NCEA next year. She is also an active member of the Kaipara College Interschools equestrian team. Mikayla rides at least five days a week. She does not have a trainer, but her mum helps her most weekends. She would like to work in the equine industry in the future and aspires to be a NZ show jumping representative. Mikayla would love the chance to compete at the World Cup Finals Show and her aim for this season is to win the Top Pony Stakes run by Show Jumping Waitemata.

Over the winter Mikayla competed at two of the Woodhill Sands and two of the Show Jumping Waitemata Winter Series Shows and finished 7th on the leaderboard- with many prizes up to 1.10m. Mikayla has been a regular attendee at working-bees, proving she is a very worthy recipient of this scholarship, both as a rider and volunteer.


Fleur Weaver has taken on the role to mentor Mikayla and she has already fundraised to provide her with ten jumping lessons with Bryony Smith. What a great way to kick start the season! ESNZ Jumping and NZPH are extremely proud to welcome Mikayla as a Star Spotters Scholarship winner! Good luck for the season ahead.


Pipi has brought on her own Kaimanawa pony (named Lunaire) over the last 3 years, from newly broken to now confidently competing at 1m. The Waitemata committee have quietly watched Pipi compete in unregistered classes at Woodhill Sands and were very impressed with her riding ability. Pipi’s tireless volunteering and fundraising work for the Riding for the Disabled and the Kaimanawa Heritage Horse also made her a stand out candidate. Georgia Lawrie will be mentoring Pipi throughout the season, with her aim being to compete at the Horse of the Year Show, in Show Hunter. 


Due to the high standard of applications for this Star Spotters Scholarship, Showjumping Waitemata also gave out two awards of $100 entry credits to promising combinations. These were awarded to Trinity Croul and Hayley Palmer.


On behalf of ESNZ Jumping and NZPH, we congratulate the Showjumping Waitemata committee on their generous encouragement of these young riders!