Eventing Canterbury’s horse trials were scheduled to be held last weekend (16 and 17 March) but after Friday’s tragic events in Christchurch, the event was postponed until tomorrow, Saturday 23 March 2019.
“As well as our members and organisers feeling very shocked and emotional at what happened in our city, we also had some practical issues that meant postponement was necessary,” said Kirsty Sharapoff, Chair of Eventing Canterbury. “Any horse trials event has to have a medical team on duty in case of accidents, and the St John and other medical personnel had far more pressing work to do that weekend than be at our horse trials.”
The event was therefore rescheduled to this weekend and the two days combined into one on Saturday so that the Jump for Cancer charity event which is on Sunday at Hagley Park was not impacted. “Our riders, our officials and our community really love this event and many of us are involved in both this event and our Eventing Canterbury horse trials,” said Kirsty. “There was also the issue with both paramedics and officials not being available on Sunday so we had to decide to either cancel it altogether or try to get it all done in one day.”
“The goodwill we have had from our community in rescheduling this event into one day has been tremendous. It has involved a huge amount of work from our volunteer committee, and the 130+ competitors have been very understanding. We hope everyone involved enjoys the day on Saturday.”
As a token of goodwill, Eventing Canterbury fully refunded all entry fees to any riders unable to reschedule. In addition, the on-line entry company, Equestrian Entries, will be donating all their fees from this event to to the Victims Support Official Christchurch Shooting Victims Fund, expected to raise at least $400.
The dressage is the first phase on Saturday morning at 8am and will be closely followed by show jumping and cross country. The four-star class has four entries, including Corey Wood who is travelling up from Southland to compete. Corey had travelled up last weekend on Friday so knows that road well now! There are larger entries in the lower graded classes.
It will be a busy Saturday for eventers and organisers at the National Equestrian Centre at McLeans Island, fitting what is normally two days of competition into one. Entry is free and if anyone wants to volunteer in any capacity, you would be most welcome!