French steps up to World Challenge

Last updated 07:00 15/11/2012

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Marlborough dressage star Nicola French claimed advanced class honours in the prestigious World Challenge event in Taupo last weekend.

Fresh from collecting a Massey University sporting blue and winning the open medium (level 5) grade at the Central Districts and Bay of Plenty championship shows, 19-year-old French topped a strong, eight-rider field to win the Quality Presentations Advanced Class. She achieved the feat riding her 8-year-old mount, Don Freese, and scored an impressive 67.5 per cent to take out the title.

The World Challenge is an international competition split into zones and riders must be selected to ride for their country to be eligible to compete.

Making her victory even more meritorious was that French had to travel to Taupo a couple of days early to fit in an exam. The added pressure clearly did not detract from her performance as she headed back to her Palmerston North base with another major title to her name.

Coming to the end of the first year of her BA degree at Massey, French has her sights set on competing at the CDI qualifier in Sydney in May.

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- The Marlborough Express

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