New Zealand’s just-named young rider team will be out to set the record books straight when they line up against Australia for the Jumping Young Rider Trans-Tasman Challenge in Gisborne in January.

Dylan Bibby (Onga Onga), Emma Gillies (Oamaru), Johanna Wylaars (Christchurch) and Liam Rutland (Te Awamutu) along with reserves Molly Moffatt (Christchurch) and Kim Carrington (Takapau) and chef d’equipe Oliver Edgecombe, will take on the Aussie visitors at the Larson’s Sawmilling Equestrian Championships in Gisborne, in late January (January 26-28).  Johanna and Liam have both previously been in the team.

“It’s a good strong team,” says Oliver. “There’s some experience in there as well as a bit of new blood, so hopefully they’ll make the most of home advantage and come through with the win.”

The Aussies are two up on the Kiwis, having won in August at the Sydney Showjumping World Cup Show, and in their previous meeting in Gisborne in January where they made a little history chalking their first win since 2017.

But now it is back on the Kiwis to reclaim their bragging rights in the 1.2m competition, which is run aboard borrowed mounts who are swapped between the teams over the three days.

“Young rider team events like this are a good stepping stone to senior teams and hopefully some of these riders will go on to represent New Zealand at championships.”

The competition is open to riders aged 14-21. Faults accumulate over the three days, with just the best three combinations from each team to count towards the scores. Bonus points can be earnt with three clears from a team in a single round – those bonus points have proved critical in the past.

ESNZ received 17 applications from young riders keen to be considered.

By Diana Dobson – HP Media Liaison