One-day pony event grows in strength

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Support for the Gore Pony Club’s junior one-day event is growing, club president Eveline Roberts says.

The event comprising dressage, show jumping and cross-country was held at the club’s grounds on Sunday.

Mrs Roberts said it was the third year the event had been held and entries were increasing each year.

“It’s getting a really good reputation for developing riders and horses so [they] can come out and have a first go at different heights while still being challenged,” she said.

There were more than 60 entries and riders of all ages were coming from throughout Otago and Southland.

The hot weather conditions were challenging for both horses and riders.

“We tried to run the day as efficiently as possible to get the horses home earlier and out of the heat.”

With water restrictions on at the moment in the Gore district, the committee decided not to fill the water jump.

“It’s really unusual not to .. have water in the complex.”

Many volunteers were needed to organise the day and it was pleasing to see many of the riders also helped with the practical tasks involved in running the day.

“[They] stepped into roles such as scoring, writing and helped set up, so returning the favour to the club after the work we have put into them [and] coming back now as technical people.”

The club was fortunate to have the expertise of members Robyn Clarkeand Debra Gibson who set out the course and made sure it was safe for riders.

“We are not allowed to open the course until they have walked it and passed it.

“They volunteer their time so we are really really lucky.”

The aim of the day was to develop young talent.

“We are going to run a training night after the event so that riders can work on any particular jumps they have trouble with.”

This would be held on January 24 at 5.30pm.

Riders who had not attended the event were also welcome to attend the training night.

Eventing coach Donna Smith, of Te Kauwhata, would also take a clinic using the Gore course on Thursday and Friday.