A Canterbury combination has taken out New Zealand’s CEI3* National Endurance Championships over 160km, with Philip Graham and Rosewood Bashir prevailing in the 19-strong field at Springfield, west of Christchurch, on Saturday.
Graham rode the 13-year-old Rosewood Bashir to win in 10 hours and 43 minutes flat over the challenging Canterbury course, about 65km from Christchurch. Mid-Canterbury challenger Kevin James rode into second place with Glendaar Fire Maid in 11:00.49, with Northern visitor Ashley Cole third on Kahuna Moon in 12:06.37.
It was Graham’s first national 160km championship win, though he has achieved several completions. The field was packed with previous winners, including last year’s winner Georgia Smith, Sian Reed (2012), Mark Tylee (2005, 2007, 2009) Jenny Champion (2008), Kevin James (2002, 2003, 1998, 1996) and Andrea Mason (1991, 1996).
Despite the perfect riding conditions, less than half the field finished in the senior 160km championships, including one withdrawal, one vetted out for metabolic reasons, and the remaining eight vetting out for lameness issues.
Rosewood Bashir was bred in Sefton by Helen Chambers of Rosewood Stud, by the late imported Australian stallion River Oak Colorado, and from the Kandahar ibn Kazra mare Rosewood Rhiannon.
There were just four classes on the first day of the championships, with one finisher from two starters in the 3* Junior/Young Rider 160km Championship. The sole starter in the CEI 1* Junior/YR 100km Championship, Australia’s Isabel Foster, had an unfortunate fall from Euralea Electric near the end of a loop. Foster reportedly sustained a gash to her head and a suspected broken arm in the accident. She was taken by ambulance to Christchurch Hospital.
Competition continues on Sunday at the championships at Brooksdale Station, with 120km, 80km and 60km endurance classes, and three competitive trail riding (CTR) championship events.
CEI 3* 160km
1. Philip Graham – Rosewood Bashir 10:43.0
2. Kevin James – Glendaar Fire Maid 11:00.49
3. Ashley Cole – Kahuna Moon 12:06.37
4. Mark Tylee – Josiah 12:36.18
5. Louise Holmes – Silands Dainty Dish 12:39.26
6. Andrea Mason – Glen Rae Amin 14:28.28
7. Ash Cole – Twynham El Zephyr 14:28.31
8. Alice Nunn – Arahi Azamah 15:04.11
9. Nadine Barker – Arahi Real Purpose 15:04.12
CEI 1* 104km
1. Shane Dougan – Tararua Sharman 7:49.59
2. Tessa Wells – Masada Park Maestro 8:29.51
3. Robyn Hill – Purdark 9:23.31
CEI 3* JY 160km
1. Brigette Smith – Glenmore Titan 11:15.49