Kiwi course designer for Aust World Cup round

October 1, 2009

New Zealand showjumping course designer Gerrit Beker has been praised by Australian riders for his work on courses at the Adelaide Royal Show.

While at the show, Beker, of Tauranga, designed the course for the World Cup qualifier.

Gerrit Beker, at 2m tall, dwarfs the 1.60m fence he is measuring in Adelaide.

Adelaide World Cup qualifier winners Becky Allen and Koyuna Ted. © Jenny Sheppard

The qualifier was won by Becky Allen, from Victoria, riding Koyuna Ted.

Beker set a course of 12 fences including a double and treble combination from 1.45 to 1.60m in height plus an open water jump. The triple bar at number 6 was set at 1.55m in height and 2m in width, the verticals at fence 8 and 12 were 1.60m high and the double of oxers at number 11 were 1.55m high.

"I expect four to six clear rounds, the course is height tough but not distance difficult I expect good jumping today, the footing is perfect equipment great," Beker said before the event.

Beker, who is Dutch born but has lived in New Zealand for 22 years, is a civil engineer and breeds sport horses with his wife, Jenny. Both have been representative riders at national level in eventing and jumping.

It is this background that led him to become a course designer. "My children started on ponies and the course design evolved from there. I really enjoy this sport, love meeting the people, love good riding - I hurt as much as the horse when there is a problem. I thoroughly enjoy it, it's a passion."

Beker's courses gained accolades all week from the riders.

Becky Allen, 29, riding the 10 year old purpose bred thoroughbred sport-horse Koyuna Ted, jumped two super clear rounds stopping the clock at 48.67 seconds in the jump off to win the Adelaide Royal Show Jumping World Cup and 2010 World Championship qualifier. Allen is a full time coach and trainer, lives on the family 80 acre property just outside Melbourne.

Wendy Schaeffer from Hahndorf followed her win at Gawler the previous week with another great performance jumping a double clear round riding her careful mare Koyuna Sunsetto finish second on 49.07 seconds just .4 of second behind Allen.

Michelle Lang-McMahon from Waterford in Queensland finished third riding the big bay Warmblood stallion Animate. They jumped a double clear round finishing in a time of 51.55 seconds. This combination certainly leaving plenty of air over the 1.45 to 1.60m course and have earned the first half of their World Championship qualification.

Kristy Bruhn from Mount Gambier was fourth and was the first of the clear first round riders to go in the second round. This was just the second World Cup qualifier for this young horse and Bruhn is excited about his future prospects.

Julia Hargreaves, 22, from Wilberforce just northwest of Sydney, came in fifth to fill the top end of the lineup for the girls. Riding her big chestnut gelding Hayman Pierville, Hargreaves jumped clear in the first round and set off for a fast second round, a little off the last 1.60m vertical saw the top rail fall and 4 penalties in a time of 51.55 seconds.

Chris Chugg from Glossodia in New South Wales came in next to finally represent the "weaker" sex on the day, riding his Warmblood stallion Vivant, the pair had a slight under ride to the double of oxer's at number 11 to have 11a down for 4 penalties. A clear second round in 52.59 seconds left Chugg in sixth position and still looking for his World Championship qualification.