Eventing Southland to reveal $120,000 Ryal Bush eventing course

Eventing Southland president Hanna Stalker, left, with ANZ staff members Lana Medder and Virginia Anderson painting up ...
ROBYN EDIE

Eventing Southland president Hanna Stalker, left, with ANZ staff members Lana Medder and Virginia Anderson painting up an old Ohai coal wagon which will be used as a jump.

A new $120,000 eventing course in Ryal Bush looks set to become a two-star international course by 2018. 

The course includes a new cross country course and has been in construction since September. The course will open for an event on Easter weekend. 

Eventing Southland Ryal Bush course build coordinator Gail Poole said the course would provide a competition and training ground for riders and officials.

"There are five two-star international eventing courses in New Zealand, all in the North Island apart from [one in] Canterbury," Poole said. 

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Construction would begin on Monday for a complex to house 40 horses, Poole said.

About 500 people are associated with Eventing Southland and Donovan Park was Eventing Southland's only current venue. 

The first event on Easter weekend already had 140 entries, Poole said. 

Eventer Jade McRae said the course would allow more Southland riders to participate in eventing. 

During her 20 years in eventing McRae saw other courses in Southland disappear. 

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"It's a big step for Eventing Southland. When I was younger we had eight courses."

Assistant manager for business banking at ANZ Lana Medder said ANZ sent volunteer staff members to paint jumps. 

The new course would allow her to improve as a competitor, Medder said. 

"For the eventing community it has been somewhat of a struggle to compete over the past few seasons as courses have been removed and places to ride have decreased." 

Eventing Southland has a 10-year right of use contract with the property owners Kakatea Holdings Ltd to hold up to three national and international events per year. 

Eventing Southland built the course with help from the Southern Trust, TTCS, The Lion Foundation and the Community Trust of Southland.  

 - Stuff

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