The National Young Rider and National Junior rider titles are up for grabs this weekend at the South Island Three Day Event Championships at McLeans Island, Christchurch.


The 3* class also doubles as the National Young Rider (Swarbrick Trophy) competition and Lucy Turner is lining up as defending champion. She also won it in 2016 when it was held in Auckland.  This year she will be riding her exciting young horse, Astek Victor. The pair haven’t been out much yet this season as Lucy has had representative hockey commitments, but they put in a great performance at last weekend’s Springston Trophy, with Lucy helping her Halswell Crusaders team finish in third place.


Lucy’s hot competition will be Vicky Browne-Cole who has come down from the Auckland region determined to win this title. Vicky, who has already won a number of national junior and young rider titles, and is currently the National One Day Event Young Rider title holder, wants the three-day trophy in her cabinet.


Emily Cammock and Antara as well as Brent Jury and SE Gorky Park are two who regularly feature in the prizegiving – while neither qualify for the Young Rider competition, they will be keen to take home the prize money on offer for those over 21 in this 3* class. Eventing Canterbury’s Chair, Kirsty Sharapoff has elected to start Shoot the Breeze in this class rather than the 4* class, as she hasn’t been able to compete or ride much lately due to injuring herself while at her job as a physical education teacher. It did involve a horse, but not the kind with four legs.


The Junior Rider title (Lenamore Trophy) will be contested in the 2* class.  Last year’s winner, Christchurch’s Jordan Shrimpton isn’t back this year to defend her title. Others to look out for include Ella Morshuis on World Class, Imogen Morrison on Agricola, Annabelle Jones on Quintero, Rebecca Wardle on Dingmac Eccles and Molly Moffat on Glenmark. Molly was part of the Kaiapoi team who have just won the Springston Trophy and put in an excellent performance in all three phases.


20-year-old Savanna Stirling is another who has made the trek down from the Auckland region and is competing in the 2* class with two horses and has one horse in a lower class.


There are only two entries in the 4* class, Emily Cammock (Shaw Lee) and Giles Gormack (Lucero). There are good entries (178) in the other classes, which include a range right down to those competing over the 65cm height class.  The National Equestrian Centre will be a hive of activity on Friday for the dressage which starts at 9.30.  The cross country is on Saturday with the final test, the show jumping on Sunday.


By Jane Thompson