Cambridge girl youngest competitor at Horse of the Year

Alisha Macfarlane at the Waikato Interschool Show Jumping Championships. Earlier she had competed at the Horse of the ...
Emma James

Alisha Macfarlane at the Waikato Interschool Show Jumping Championships. Earlier she had competed at the Horse of the Year event in Hawke's Bay.

Cambridge's Alisha Macfarlane was the youngest rider in her show hunter class at Horse of the Year (HOY).

The Cambridge East Primary School student competed in the Cat B show hunter class, where the jumps are a set height and stride length for a set height of ponies.

For the Cat B class the jump height was set at 80 centimetres.

She had seven classes and her highest placing was a 5th.

She started riding three years ago but her first registered show was only one year ago.

"She had enough wins and gathered enough points to qualify for HOY.

"It was 20 points to qualify to ride at HOY, and then 30 points to ride in the title class, which she also qualified for," said mother Kim Macfarlane.

She came 19th in the title class out of 45 riders - the top 45 Cat B riders in New Zealand.

"She was really excited," said Kim.

She rode her pony Starlight Ignite, fondly known as Spot at home, who she has had for about six months.

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Alisha's family has been involved with equestrian sports for many years.

Her father Lance Macfarlane was an overseas eventer, and a jumps jockey for 10 years, and her mum works at Avoca Stables.

"She does everything, she's worked so hard to be able to do this," said Kim.

"In the school holidays she works at Starlight Farms who supply her with ponies and she competes them.

"She has some young ones that she helps out with," she said.

"And the other half of the school holidays she comes to work with me."

Alisha hopes to qualify for Horse of the Year in 2018, but in dressage as well.

Show hunter was founded nearly 30 years ago and is judged on showmanship, style and technique.

Judges look for well-schooled horses with a perfect jumping technique that are round, balanced, soft, have good movement and look as though they are a pleasure to ride.

 - Stuff

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