Young riders look to gain experience
The Manawatu Pony Club has named the riders for the North Island Showjumping Championships and Bruce Forbes Teams Training eventing championships.
A selection of young Manawatu riders will compete at the two events in January.
The showjumping championships are at the Leamington Pony Club grounds in Cambridge on January 21 and 22.
Manawatu Pony Club head coach Louise Ilton said last year's event was tough, but the team gained two individual placings.
Two riders who competed as juniors last year would be moving into the intermediate category.
"It will be much harder [for them], but we would hope to come away with some individual placings," she said.
Both of the junior riders were reserves at last year's competition, and they were "inspired" to get into the team this year, Mrs Ilton said.
Nathan Dallas would be competing at the event for his third year, and for Calla Toyne and Caitlin Pemberton it will be their fourth consecutive year.
The team of six will compete in five rounds of showjumping over two days.
Junior riders Karla Wilson on Summer Cloud and Alex Smartt on Diva would start out with jumps at 90 centimetres.
In the intermediates Dallas, riding Donny, and Toyne on Fair Cruzin would start at one metre.
And seniors Pemberton on Lucy, and Rebecca Owen riding Ted, would be jumping 1.05 metres.
Reserves are Megan Lozell, Caitlin Grant, and Grace Hensley-King.
The Manawatu team has also been picked for the 12th annual Bruce Forbes Teams Training, at the Wairarapa Showgrounds in January.
The training team, which will complete a dressage test, one round of cross-country at 95cm, and one round of showjumping, at the same height, over two days, is Toyne on Fair Cruzin, Wilson riding Summer Cloud and Lozell on Storm.
The pre-training team, which will be jumping 85 centimetres, are Smartt on Mystery, Hensley-King with Mr Cobber and Gabrielle Evans riding Rusty.
Mrs Ilton, who had been involved as a coach or manager with both competitions for the past 11 years, said the teams training event was a great springboard for riders to learn what was expected of them in a team.
It also gave them an idea of what it was like to represent the region at a higher level, she said.
Manawatu riders had not been placed at the event for a few years, partially due to the tight nature of the competition, and the unpredictability of horses, Mrs Ilton said.