The Southland Showjumping Group hosts its 2013 Championship Show at the Gore Showgrounds Equestrian Park this weekend, one of the last on the circuit of championship shows.
This is the business time of the year for all serious competitive equestrian riders.
The Circuit Shows are running throughout New Zealand, leading up to the Horse of the Year Show in Hastings from March 12 to 17.
The championship classes at each show earn the riders points towards entry into the National HOY Show.
Southland showjumping riders will have travelled to compete at Ashburton, Waimate, Dunedin and to the most challenging of these South Island circuit shows - Christchurch.
In Christchurch, the National Showjumping Championships were held at the beginning of this month, followed by the Canterbury Showjumping championships a week later.
With top North Island riders competing against local entries, competition was testing for younger riders and horses.
Of the Southland riders, Nicole White with her horse Cricklewood Ace, carried on her winning performance from last year with placings in both The Young Rider and the Grand Prix the following week at Canterbury, no mean feat at 1.35m-1.45m height.
Also at the Nationals, Amanda Roy gained a second placing at 1.20-1.30m and Nikki McLennan was placed third on Mt Self Cappucino in the 1.30m competition.
Experienced rider Kathryn Manson with her top horse Gin Seng turned in the most outstanding performance at the National Championships.
Over the three days competing at 1.10m, they came out as the overall winner of that Championship class.
Among those riders placed in the top 10 were Kimberley McCabe on Kace in seventh place, Manson with her other horse, Kohinoor, and Vicky Cole on Keating.
Most of these local riders will face stiff competition from Otago riders as time runs out for championship points.
- The Southland Times