The New Zealand team with chef d’equipe Oliver Edgecombe and reserve Molly Moffatt were the winners of the Trans-Tasman clash at the Larsen Sawmilling Equestrian Championships.            Photo KAMPIC / Kerry Marshall


New Zealand has this afternoon triumphed in the Trans-Tasman Teams’ Challenge at the Larsen Sawmilling Equestrian Championships in Gisborne.

Led by best-performed Kiwi Johanna Wylaars (Christchurch) aboard Central Zone, the team finished the three day Easts Outdoor World & Leisure-sponsored competition on 14 points, with the Australians on 11. It was a hard-fought battle with the teams having won a day apiece coming into the final rounds.


The top rider across both teams in the Trans-Tasman clash was Kiwi Johanna Wylaars pictured here aboard Oliver Edgecombe’s Central Zone.  Photo KAMPIC / Kerry Marshall

The Kiwis kept it tight today, picking up 12 faults a round to finish on 24, with the Australians on 40 and gracious in defeat having claimed the previous two clashes.

Despite the result, both teams were proud of their efforts and hugely appreciative of the opportunity to continue the competition which is held twice a year – in Gisborne in January and Australia around August.

Jeff Chapman’s Tiramea Logan, who was ridden today by Australian Jack Barker, was the best horse of the three days, and fittingly topped the visitors’ team in the final rounds.


Australian young rider Jack Barker aboard Jeff Chapman’s Tiramea Logan who was the best-performed horse across the Trans-Tasman competition.  Photo KAMPIC / Kerry Marshall

Winning chef d’equipe Oliver Edgecombe had plenty of good things to say about his team. “They are a good bunch of young riders and this type of competition is a good start for the future,” said Oliver. “It’s a good chance for us to see how each copes under the pressure of team riding and they all learn a lot about each other. Team events like this are very important.”

The goal was for clear rounds, especially as they knew more about each horse given it was the final day of competition. As it turned out Johanna produced the only clear of the final day, riding Oliver’s own Central Zone.

“I am very happy with the result.” He thanked the committee, the owners of the horses who had kindly lent them for the competition and tipped his hat to the Australians who he felt had all ridden well.

Australian chef Phil Stephens reiterated his thanks to the show and owners, adding he was very proud of his riders. “It is not easy to get on these teams as we have a lot of good riders. We’ve loved every minute here,” he said. “We would love to be back next year and take it back off you.”

Today his instructions were clear – “get out and believe in yourselves”.


Results –

New Zealand: Emma Gillies (Oamaru) SP Magic Symbol (owned by Andrew Ormond) 4, 8; Johanna Wylaars (Christchurch) Central Zone (owned by Oliver Edgecombe) 4, 0; Dylan Bibby (Onga Onga) Centare Max (owned by Vinia Mason) 37, 12; Liam Rutland (Te Awamutu) Centanna (owned by Pip Wylaars) 4, 4; 24 faults (best three results from each round), 1.


Australia: Cody Tincknell, Red Cliffs Kachow (owned by the Bull Family) 8, 4; Hayden Parker, Pure Suggestion (owned by Laura McGregor) 20, 8; Elissa Stephens, Colemans Daughter (owned by Rhinnon Smith) 12, 12; Jack Barker, Tiramea Logan (owned by Jeff Chapman) 4, 4; 40 faults (best 3), 2.


Total points (three days): New Zealand 14; Australia 11.


Diana Dobson

28 January 2024