Some of the South Island’s top pony club riders have taken part in championship week at the Gore A&P Showgrounds.

The championships were part of a four-day event last month organised by the Otago Southland Area Pony Club.

About 150 riders and horses took part in showjumping, dressage and games competitions.

There were three showjumping teams, six teams in the dressage and five in the games.

The North Island championships were held the week before and the points each area’s team earned were ranked to find national title winners.

Canterbury teams won the dressage competition and the games while Otago Southland black won the showjumping and also the national showjumping title.

Area club president Jayne Beer said riders were selected to represent their areas and were the clubs’ elite riders.

‘‘It’s like the pinnacle of your pony club [career] is to get to championship level.’’

The northern-most teams came from Canterbury.

It was only the second time the three disciplines had been held in the same week, after the event was held in Canterbury last year.

The championships had run smoothly, which was due to a well-organised team of volunteers, she said.

‘‘It’s been awesome.

‘‘It’s all about pre-planning and being organised.’’

Relay rider . . . Otago Southland games team member Phoebe Carson (12) and Jack, of the Mataura Pony Club, compete at the South Island Pony Club Championships last week. PHOTO: BOB SMITH
Clear . . . Competing in the winning team at the South Island Pony Club showjumping championships at the Gore A&P Showgrounds last week is Otago Southland black team member Annabel Peters (15), of Tapanui, riding Galaxy in Disguise. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

The social aspect of the championships was also important, Mrs Beer said.

‘‘It’s about meeting like-minded people.’’

A highlight had been a hobby horse competition held in the evening.

‘‘The kids loved it.

‘‘Even if they don’t have a successful champs, they’ll remember what goes on in-between.

‘‘It’s all about team spirit.’’

The showgrounds was a ‘‘superb’’ venue for the event with its facilities, and also with accommodation and food outlets nearby, she said.