Express events prove popular

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Flying. . . Gorge Rd rider Kimberleigh McCabe rides her horse Satin Jitterbug over a jump in the 105cm class the Eventing Southland’s Gore Express Event on Sunday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Eventing Southland organisers are pleased with the support for an express event held in Gore on Sunday.

Seventy-four competitors took part in the dressage, showjumping and cross-country event at the racecourse.

Eventing Southland president Debra Gibson said the express events were proving popular.

“People are liking the express events because they can come and don’t have to spend too much time here and they can just leave.

“It’s working well and it’s probably encouraging people to come eventing a little bit more that wouldn’t normally.”

The express was a shorter version of what was usually held at an eventing competition and was held in response to Covid traffic light settings.

The showjumping and cross-country courses were shorter and there was a short amount of time between the phases.

“Once you are on your horse you can complete all three phases without having to get off – it might be all done in quarter of an hour.”

Competitors had a short amount of time to change their gear but were allowed to take part wearing their protective cross-country outfit if they wished, Gibson said.

Usually competitors had chunks of time between each component and were needed to help out on the course.

Another benefit to holding the shorter event was fewer officials were needed.

It was also a good introduction to the sport for new riders.

While other competitions in showjumping and dressage had been cancelled this season, eventing was held in a larger area and it was easier to separate people, she said.

Gorge Rd showjumper Kimberleigh McCabe said she did not usually compete in eventing.

“This is my third one because showjumping’s been cancelled down here.

“It was good to get out and do something different.”