The 2013 New Zealand Young Rider and Junior Rider Eventing Championships take place this weekend at the Rotorua A&P Showgrounds at Ngongotaha, with the cross-country running over the adjacent Ngati Whakaue Tribal Lands.
This is the second successive year these prestigious championships have taken place at Rotorua, sponsored by Dunstan Horse Feeds, with the Young Riders (under 21) vying for the coveted Charisma Trophy at Intermediate level, and the Junior Riders (under 17) for the Hoffman Trophy at Novice level.
Bing Allen designs the cross-country course, which is always beautifully presented, and the challenging championship classes run across country in reverse order of standings, so the excitement builds as the competition progresses. A full schedule of classes from Training through to Advanced/Intermediate is also run, so a full day’s action is assured.
Nine Young Riders will contest their title class, all having qualified at Intermediate level, although one is well performed in Advanced competitions. This is Ashleigh McKinstry (King Country) on Pioneer Makokomiko, winners of the Puhinui 3* Three-day Event, who have an unassailable lead in the Massey University Young Rider series, as well as lying second in the Bell Tea Super League, but have yet to win this title.
Ten Junior Riders will contest their championship, with last year’s winners, Sarah Young (Tokoroa) and Clarke Johnstone’s former international horse Oakley Vision, defending their title. Young also rides Vaughn Jefferis’s High’n’Dry in the Young Rider championship, so is making the most of the opportunity to ride such well performed school masters.
She leads the Alltech Junior series on High’n’Dry, and is second behind McKinstry in the Young Rider series, being eligible for both. The championship classes earn extra points in their respective series, the Massey University Young Rider series and the Alltech Junior Rider series, both of which run throughout the year, culminating at the NRM National Three-day Event at Taupo in May.