Equestrian Sports New Zealand and the New Zealand Pony Clubs Association have come together to offer a six-month Scholarship Programme that will enable younger riders to participate in some elements of the ESNZ High Performance System.
The goal of the Programme is that all young riders are encouraged to focus on increasing their participation and improving their performance across the Disciplines of Dressage, Jumping and Eventing.
The six-month period would see recipients working alongside High Performance workshops and squad training, and they would also receive an Individualised Programme Plan (IPP) session with a High Performance Manager or Coach.
The Scholarship recipients will be selected from the winners of the A1 Eventing Cup in April, and the Dressage and Jumping events during the NZ Pony Clubs Association “Champs week” held each January in the North Island and South Island.
Board Chair of NZ Pony Clubs Association Emma Barker says the Scholarship Programme is a significant boost for young riders to learn how to be more professional in their sport, and how to plan a campaign and create the right mindset to succeed.
“It’s totally unique and the first time it’s ever been done. It’s an exciting opportunity for three young riders to have their eyes opened to what they could do and where their own ability could lead them, be it having a fantastic equestrian career or reaching high performance,” says Emma.
Equestrian Sports New Zealand General Manager of High Performance Jock Paget says one of the benefits of the new Scholarship Programme is that it will expose younger riders to a High Performance setting and give them a great insight into what their future could look like if they choose to pursue this path.
“Whilst I would put an emphasis on young riders simply have fun and learning correct basics, this is a great opportunity which I imagine will excite and motivate them. Hats off to the Pony Clubs Association for a great idea and we are really excited to partner with them,” he says.
The Scholarship Programme is open to senior Pony Club members and will be offered from January 2024.