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2014 Jumping action kicks off in Ashburton

2014 Jumping action kicks off in Ashburton

Top flight show jumping action will return to Ashburton this weekend for the first South Island event of the New Year.

The Ashburton Area Equestrian Sports New Zealand (ESNZ) 1* Jumping and Showhunter Show has attracted strong fields across all levels with riders eager to get the autumn season underway following the Christmas break.

Local pony riders Lucinda Askin and Jamiee Bird will be hoping the hometown advantage will play into their favour in the Country TV Pony Grand Prix Series, which is undoubtedly the highlight of the weekend’s competition.

Featuring 13 of the South Island’s leading pony combinations going head-to-head, competition will be tough as they look to secure vital points on the national series’ leaderboards heading into the business end of the season.
Consistency has Halswell’s Steffi Whittaker on Moonlight Glow currently the leading southerners on the series, but Askin and Lucy Turner on Tallyho Mystic are in hot pursuit.

Askin has the best chance with four ponies entered including the eye-catching skewbald Totem, who has been back to his brilliant best of late with wins back-to-back wins at Ashburton and Canterbury A&P in the spring. She also has Buckle Up, Mai Tai and Dusky Brew, while Bird has Showtym Image.

The One Star Horse Grand Prix has attracted just the seven starters, with Mosgiel’s Claudia Hay and her two starry stallions, Euro Sport Centavos and Euro Sport Heartbreaker, the obvious one to beat. She will come against promising young rider combo Nicole White (Invercargill) and Cricklewood Ace, as well as Juliet Scott (Cave) Amarula MVNZ, Georgina Power (Mosgiel) Waldorf, Carissa McGregor (Christchurch) Chatterton and Tegan Fitzsimon (Rolleston) on Dual Diamond.

Disappointingly, top local hope Susie Hayward and her stallion Andretti are not in contention having opted not to start after traveling up to the North Island last weekend to take on the country’s best in the FEI NZ World Cup Final at Waitemata.

White is also the leading combination in the Telford Young Rider Series, up against arch rival Rose Alfeld (Weedons) on My Super Nova and Capprera.
Competition will also be tight in both the KiwiSpan Junior and Caledonian Amateur classes, and the age group series classes.

FEI Level 1 course designer Lex Peddie from North Canterbury will be designing in ring one, while ring two and three will be designed by Donella Still and Eryn Duffy respectively.

The show has three full rings of jumping and a show hunter ring in operation over both days catering to riders of all levels jumping from 65cm right through to Grand Prix. Jumping action starts at 8.30am. Entry to the grounds is free.


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