North Island Championships – Team Challenge
Becoming a regular feature on the North Island Endurance calendar is the annual Team Event. Sponsored by Equibrew, the 2015 challenge is open to all riders competing at the North Island Endurance Championships held in the beautiful Wairarapa.
Teams aim to complete a total of 500kms and are awarded points for distance travelled as well as for placing’s. And it’s not all the top level riders that are necessarily the winners. More points are awarded for distance over placing’s, and a qualification will earn your team 1 point for every 10 kilometres qualified over. A vet out will earn your team 0 points. Last season’s winner, the “Ruahine Club -Smith family” won by a margin of just 7 points. With Second place going to “Auckland-Woodhill club” and “Ruahine club - Ruahine Gang”, in both teams a vet-out had caused both teams to fail to be awarded the necessary points which would have seen them over take the winning team.
The team event was the brain child of the Waitomo Endurance Club after they hosted the 2014 Championships. It was designed as an inter-club challenge with the intention to create comradery amongst clubs, with each club putting forward as many teams as they wished. This year however, the club angle has been dropped so that every rider gets a chance to be part of a team. The only rules are that members must have a team name and a team captain (not necessarily a rider), horse and rider combinations can only compete in one team and a team’s pre-ride kilometres cannot ad up to more than 550km.
ESNZ Endurance is pleased to be supported by Equibrew who stepped up this year to support the team challenge. The winning team will go home with a prize pack sponsored by Equibrew which will no doubt be put to good use by lucky winners!
Team riding Photo: Hannah Edwardson
Waterboy Continuing Sponsorship of North Island Endurance Champs
Another sponsor continuing their support from the 2014 North Island Championships is Paihia based company Waterboy NZ. Last year’s sponsor of the Team Event, a waterboy unit was sponsored for the members of the winning team to go into the draw to win. Fortunately however this did not need to happen as the winning team was a family who all claimed ownership.
This year Waterboy have stepped up once more to support the event with another unit up for grabs. Ride organisers put their heads together and decided the best course of action was to reward qualification with EVERY rider who qualifies being put into the draw which will be pulled out at the prize giving dinner on Sunday night. One lucky winner will go home with a 40L unit valued at $550 + GST.
These units are a fabulous addition to any endurance riders “must-have” list. The wheels on the base make it easily transportable across strapping areas, the 40L tank is sufficient to strap horses with minimal refills and the quiet engine becomes acceptable to even then most sensitive horse… and to top it off the units are also great for cleaning out the horse float after the event! Endurance NZ is pleased to be supported by such a great company.
Kiwicare Bit Drive
The official Charity of the 2015 North Island Endurance Championships is Kiwicare NZ. Providing owner education and equipment to horses working in less than ideal conditions overseas, Kiwicare is a worthy charity.
North Island Champs Organisers Natasha Guest and Tosca Warren got talking to the Kiwicare volunteers at the recent Equidays being held at Mystery Creek. On revealing the conditions that most horses faced over there, Natasha & Tosca felt obliged to help.
The main focus of kiwicare is education but as volunteer Nanette Felton says “Without having a humane replacement it is difficult to confiscate inhumane bits from horse owners or to educate them away from using rope”.
Natasha & Tosca decided to assist the cause by asking endurance riders for unused, snaffle bits in tidy condition. These will be collected at the event and presented to endurance vet Stuart Gordon, who is himself a regular volunteer with Kiwi Care working in Fiji and Egypt. Once collected these are stored at the Kiwicare headquarters before being sent by ship overseas to horses in the South pacific. Kiwicare also welcome donations of horse wormers and drenches. More information on this worthy cause can be found at www.kiwicareteam.co.nz
By Natasha Guest