Southland will get to show who's Boss at the national dressage championships in Christchurch next week.
The championships have attracted more than 170 entries from throughout the South Island and 14 from the North Island.
Balclutha's Jenny Affleck will fly the flag for the south in the Level 6/7 championship as well as the grade 4 section of the Tavern Harewood Para-Equestrian national championships which are being held alongside the able-bodied competition.
Affleck will ride Boss II, who at 20 is one of the sport's elder statesmen.
Central Otago rider Kate Maclean's horse Oscar Del A Hoya is also 20 years old, an experienced schoolmaster enjoying teaching 16-year-old Maclean the tricks of the trade.
The combination goes into the competition in good form after strong performances at the South Island Championships held before Christmas.
The early favourite for the level 5 title is Dunedin's Anya Durling and Rosari Guest Star. The duo have been in near faultless form this season having already secured the Canterbury and South Island titles.
Agnes Irwin, of Hokonui, will take her place in the field with Glamorgan Rhythm ‘n' Blue and Central Otago will be represented by Kate Dodd and Don Carlo (Ranfurly) and Jude Nickolls and Glenview Cabellero (Arrowtown).
South Island level 3 champions Allie Harper and Dream Girl MH will be looking to replicate their good form and consistency over the coming weekend. They will be joined by Marlene Parkinson and Te Peka About Time as well as young Wanaka rider Ashleigh McLean and Amillion MVNZ in the race for the level 3 title.
Winton's Kerrie Morrison and the expressive Allitation are the south's only representatives in the level 2 championship.
They will face 36 other combinations that will be hungry for glory so Morrison will be hoping to perform consistently good tests each day. Allitation was named South Island champion and was also victorious in the South Island Zilco musical series.
A full field of 40 will compete for the level 1 championship, with Athol's Rosie Hore competing her trio of horses, Ananoir, La Nina and Sylvan Antics. Also competing from the south are Helen Boyd (Mossburn) and Gemma MH, Kerryn McLean and Alberto, Marlene Parkinson (Invercargill) and Te Peka Lucky Me. Ananoir and Gemma MH will also take part in the Elite Equine Young Dressage Horse Championship, together with Phillipa Thomson (Wanaka) and Coalstar.
- The Southland Times