The National Equestrian Centre at Christchurch is celebrating after receiving a grant of $200,000 from NZCT to complete its irrigation project – an initiative that will revolutionise competition preparation at the centre.

The Committee applied to NZCT for $222,000 and received the majority of that this week.

Convenor Don Robertson said the committee was over the moon with the result which now meant they could begin the project to future proof the facility. 

“The granting of these funds to the Centre means we can forge ahead with the upgrade to our irrigation system. This has served us well in the past but is sorely in need of improving to meet current and future demands.”

Don said the plans were part of an overall development strategy and were an opportunity to improve the riding conditions and accessibility to a whole range of riders from introductory, pony club and through to international.

The money will see a 50m bore drilled and preparation for better irrigation on the grass arenas, the artificial surfaces, and in time the cross country.  It will allow for better water troughs throughout the facility and wash bays.

Don said the committee would like to thank NZCT for the fantastic support to not only the NEC Christchurch, but equestrian sport as a whole.

“We look forward to implementing the system and working towards our next goals.”

Over the past two to four years the NEC committee has spent $615,000 on improvements funded from a mix of philanthropic giving, grants, cashflow and loans.  These include covered yards, pop up irrigation in the main arena, tank farm for water storage, resurfacing of the all-weather surface, upgrade of the XC water jump, tractors and equipment, and replacement of the automatic front gate.