New Zealand’s team of four horses and riders has arrived at Werribee Park for this weekend’s Melbourne International Horse Trials (MIHT).
The team arrived on Sunday morning to compete against Australia for the Oceania Young Rider Championship at the MIHT, from Friday, June 6 to Monday, June 9. Now in its 57th year, Melbourne is the oldest horse trials competition in the southern hemisphere.
The competition between the two countries was last held in 2012 and New Zealand has won the last three competitions, two of which have been on home soil.
The Oceania Young Rider Championship will be held as part of this year’s CCI2* competition at the MIHT, and features some of Australia’s best horses and riders, such as Olympic gold medalist Stuart Tinney (Sydney, 2000) and silver medalists Sonja Johnson, Shane Rose and Megan Jones (Beijing, 2008).
Rose is hot from success at the Sydney (New South Wales) Horse Trials, held in April, where he took out the CCI3* (three-star) competition aboard CP Qualified. Rose will partner with his off-the-track thoroughbred Shanghai Joe, while Tinney will ride Rose’s Taurus, with whom Rose was selected for Australia’s London Olympic team.
The New Zealand team of Bonnie Farrant (Kaipara Dior) and Madison Crowe (Brogan), from Canterbury, and Jessica Woods (Defies Logic), and Sarah Young (Regal Romar) from Waikato, is accompanied by team coach Clarke Johnstone, who has won three of New Zealand’s leading events this season, at the New Zealand Horse of the Year Show, Kihikihi International Horse Trials and the National Three Day Eventing Championships in Taupo.
Johnstone was 2011 FEI World Cup Eventing Series Champion and a bronze medalist at the 2010 World Equestrian Games.