NZ endurance schedules final WEG qualifier

Mayfield, just west of Ashburton, is sodden thanks for Cyclone Ita.
The remnants of Cylone Ita dumped a huge amount of rain on Mayfield, just west of Ashburton, prompting the abandonment of the 2014 National Endurance Championships. © Metservice

A new event is being added to the endurance calendar to allow horses and riders the chance to achieve the final qualifications needed for the 2014 FEL Alltech World Equestrian Games.

Extreme weather forced the abandonment of the Fibre Fresh New Zealand Endurance Championships at Mayfield over Easter weekend.

A two-day event is being organised at Taupo over the weekend of May 10 and 11. As well as offering FEI-level 3* 160km, 2* 120km, and 1* 100km rides for both senior and junior riders, there will also be several national rides from 20km to 100km in introductory, novice and open sections.

This means that there will be no “National Championship” in New Zealand for 2014. Consideration was given to rescheduling the “Nationals” in another location, but it was felt that many members would be disadvantaged by this, given the tight time-frames involved.  All entry fees received for the 2014 Nationals will be refunded.

The FEI rides at the new Taupo event will be the last opportunity of the season for High Performance Squad members to achieve the final qualifications needed for WEG 2014.  It is also an opportunity to qualify horses for the star levels and to begin a campaign for the next World Championships and the Junior World Championships in Chile.

Entries for the new event close on Sunday, May 4.

The abandonment of the 2014 Nationals has meant that organisers will incur a significant financial loss, but already several riders have indicated that they wish their entry fees to be left “in the kitty” to help cover expenses. The ESNZ Endurance Board said it was extremely grateful for this assistance.

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