With record entries of 167 starters and run all on one day, Eventing Wellington’s 5 Mar event at QE Park Paekakariki was a busy time for everyone involved. Good weather and skilful organisation, plus the dedicated personnel and officials meant the event ran smoothly. The number of entries especially in the 65 & 80 classes making up 69% of the total entries shows eventing is alive and well in the lower North Island with lots of younger riders coming into the sport.
The CCN2* class had 9 entries with Holly McInnes on My Royal Spirit taking out this top class.
Kate Fleming on Lumiere VWNZ won the CCN1* and Abigail Long on Anfield Dragon the CCN105.
This event was also the final in hotly contested Zilco Series for the 2023 season which covers the CCN65 to CCN95 classes. It was held over three events run by Battle Hill and Eventing Wellington.
The winners were; CCN95 21+ Hayley-Ann Oakley/Carnival; CCN95 u21 Caley Fisher/Mother Superior; CCN80 21+ Georgia Fellows/Absolute; CCN80 u21 Casey Bolton-Smith/Covered in Cloud; CCN65 21+ Deborah Selby/Pioneer Toy Soldier; CCN65 u21 Amber Auret/My Jimmy Choo.
The cross country course at QE Park is being improved each year by local ESNZ Course Designers Clive Long, Jim Hoddinott & Grant Porter. Grant Porter is Eventing’s newest listed Course Designer and is part of Eventing Wellington’s programme of mentoring local talent through the process to become Eventing Officials – the “local officials for local events” initiative. Steward Suz Bassett and TD Janet Robertshawe who were both officiating at the event also gained their officials status last season through this initiative. As part of Eventing Wellington’s active commitment to increasing the number of officials in the lower North Island they hosted an Officials Seminar at QE Park the day prior to their event. This was attended by 15 current or potential officials and facilitated by TAG Chairperson Wendy Lansdown and top level Course Designer Chris Lever.