Sue Reid – WEG Endurance Chef d’Equipe
The flights are booked and the training in full swing for New Zealand’s two WEG-bound endurance riders.
Chef d’equipe Sue Reid says both Jenny Champion and Philip Graham are working long hours in sometimes dismal conditions to reach the right level of fitness to leave New Zealand with.
“This time of year is the off-season for us so there are no events being held for them to use as training and fitness,” says Reid. “With Jenny in the north and Philip in the south, they are training on their own, however each island has a mandatory training run for them to attend with their strapping team, myself and (vet) Nick Page, so we can do an evaluation of fitness and soundness.”
There is much excitement within endurance about the champs.
“The whole team is buzzing – especially Jenny and Philip, who have both worked extremely hard to make this happen.”
The lack of funding makes WEG a huge undertaking, with the two riders fronting all the costs of getting themselves and their horses to North Carolina to compete.
“But it is very exciting too,” says Reid. “The thrill of taking two very good New Zealand-owned and bred horses to WEG to compete against the rest of the world is a huge challenge in itself, but one I believe we can do very well with the experience we have in both those combinations and their support crews.”
Both riders are fundraising and Reid encouraged all to get behind them. “If you have a spare bit of cash, put it into the team – they will really appreciate it!”
Reid said it was disappointing endurance wouldn’t have a full team for WEG but she’s looking forward to seeing the efforts of Champion and Graham on the world stage.
The horses will fly out of New Zealand in mid-August. Vet Nick Page will meet them in Sydney and continue the journey with them right through until they arrive in North Carolina. Once they leave Sydney, it is 31 hours of flying. They will face a three day quarantine in New York before the 10-hour truck drive to North Carolina.
Follow Champion’s fundraising through her Facebook page – Get Jenny and Barack to WEG 2018 or donate via her givealittle page at https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/getjennyandbaracktoweg2018
Follow Graham’s fundraising through either Facebook or givealittle at https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/bennys-road-to-weg or https://www.facebook.com/bennysroadtoweg/
By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison