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Massey student wins NZ eventing’s Young Rider title

BMW Ripley and Lauren Alexander on the cross country at Woodhill Sands.

BMW Ripley and Lauren Alexander on the cross country at Woodhill Sands.

A business and science student from Auckland’s North Shore has won Equestrian Sport New Zealand’s 2013-14 Young Rider eventing series.

Lauren Alexander, 19, beat 48 riders aged from 14 to 21 in the series that ran across New Zealand from September 2013 and May 2014. The winner is judged on the scores from their top 10 finishes.

Lauren Alexander with BMW Ripley.

Lauren Alexander with BMW Ripley.

Alexander competed in 15 North Island events at two-star level on 11-year-old gelding BMW Ripley while studying for a conjoint Bachelor of Business Studies and Bachelor of Science degree through Massey University’s distance learning programme.

“Massey University is the number one choice for equestrian athletes such as myself,” Alexander said. “It caters for extramural study which has allowed me to create my own daily schedule capable of fitting in training, work and university study.”

Outside of competitive eventing the second year student is majoring in marketing and psychology with the aim of producing films and media. She is also studying some equine papers.

The Long Bay resident, who started riding at nine years old, hopes her success in the Young Rider series will be a stepping-stone to competing for national teams.

“I would absolutely love to represent New Zealand in eventing, it has always been a goal. I’m aiming for the eventing young rider or youth squads.”

Alexander will accept her award and $500 prize money at the Equestrian Sport New Zealand’s awards dinner on July 5.

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