ESNZ Endurance has kicked off 2024 with the first Championship event of three being held in the amazing Otaio area, south of Timaru. The Skevingtons South Island Championships were hosted for the first time by the East Coast Endurance Club. As always, the contribution of the Landowners was the key to an incredibly successful event, with a technical track designed to keep horses and riders fresh and, on the best going possible. The Event Organising Committee handed the ride over to an experienced crew of FEI Officials and Vets to get the weekend going.
Incredibly excitingly for the sport there has been a significant increase in FEI entrants in 2024, the international future of the sport is looking much healthier than it did just 12 months ago.
Saturday’s events saw three riders tackle the CEI/CEN*** 160km event, Jorjia James taking out line honors in this event for the third season running on her incredible mare, Glendaar Windsong, completing the event in 12:46:09. Second place went to Jess Kennedy on Glendaar Nissar just under an hour later.
The CEI/CEN* 100km Championship event was won by Helen Graham and Sherwood Shaheel, completing the 3-loop course in 6:54:42, with second place going to Ursula Keenan and Arahi Silhouette six minutes behind.
Kate James with Glendaar Zarena won the Junior Division in 8:19:46.
In the 64km class East Coast member Hollie Nicolson and Glenpark Mischievous enjoyed a successful day placing first in 4:36:43 with Katherine Mouatt and Mishkat Alzaahir second just over a minute back. The Juniors completed the course in a similar time with Sophie James taking our first place on Glendaar Golden Girl by 10 minutes from Tara Simpson with Summersdale Rasheeka.
Sunday’s pinnacle event, the CEI/CEN** 120km event saw a family double, with Louise Holmes and Willowbrook Aramis completing the course successfully for the win in 11:23:30 with husband Alastair, one second behind on Zarah. A special mention goes to Australian competitor, Brandon Dick on his first competition in New Zealand with his mare Cameo Cranberry Moon placing third. It is wonderful to have Australian competitors back in New Zealand, it really adds so much excitement to the competition.
To create as many FEI opportunities as possible, the club also hosted a CEI/CEN* 100km on Sunday, which was again well supported and again won by Helen Graham this time on Howdy Dudey EPH in a time of 7:53:10 with Jorja James rounding out 260 competitive kilometers over the weekend in second place with Glendaar Taffeite Flame in 8:17:54.
The CTR Championships were well supported, with Canterbury’s Jenna Harrington on Colorado Sky clocking up another win for the season in the Open 64km Division. The 40km intermediate was won by Lorna Scoon and Glenpark Fire Blade with second place going to James Webster and Tannahill. The Junior 40km CTR was won by Sophie James another taking her second win of the weekend with Glendaar Jasmine and second place going to Charlotte Watty and Rococco DH.
Full results are available through Evo Events.