The first national eventing titles of 2014 will be contested at the Bay of Plenty Horse Trials at Rotorua this weekend, with the Dunstan NZ Young Rider and Junior Rider Championships attracting riders from throughout the country.
The dressage and showjumping phases take place on the A&P Showgrounds at Ngongotaha on Saturday, with the cross-country on the adjacent Ngati Whakaue tribal lands on Sunday.
Eleven Young Riders (under 21 on January 1) will compete at 2* level for the Charisma Trophy, with last year’s winner, Tayla Mason (Wellington) and Lucy with Diamonds, defending their title. The current leader of the Massey University Young Rider series, Lauren Alexander (Auckland) on BMW Ripley, will be hoping to cement her lead, but with four members of the Talent Development Squad entered she will need to be on form.
The four are Mason, former winner Jessica Woods (Waikato) with LV Award and Defies Logic, Bonnie Farrant (Canterbury) with Kaipara Dior, and Francesca Silver (Wairarapa), a previous winner of the Junior Rider title, with Case in Point. This is the third year these titles have been contested at Rotorua, so the riders will be expecting another serious challenge on Bing Allen’s cross-country course.
The Junior Riders (under 18 on January 1) compete at 1* level for the Hoffman Trophy, with eight combinations vying for the title, including defending champion Samantha Mynott, riding Take Two this year. She will meet keen competition from Loran Mathis (Waikato) on Flintoff, the current NZPCA Dorothy Campbell Trophy winner, as well as two riders lying third and fourth in the Alltech Junior Rider series.
They are Abigail Long on BMW Advokaat, who is third, and Madeline Banks on Rakaunui Gazelle, who moved up to fourth place after a win at Whangarei recently. National Championships earn extra points in the Eventing NZ series, which culminate at the NRM Three-day Event at Taupo in May, so all riders will be hoping for good showings to add to their totals.
Live scoring will be operating on www.equestrianentries.co.nz.