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Para-equestrian display at the show

Para-equestrian display at the show

Visitors to this year’s Royal New Zealand Show in Christchurch will be treated to an outstanding display of equestrian brilliance with four para-equestrian riders taking to the arena for a Dressage Display.

The Dressage Display is a regular fixture at the Show, providing an opportunity for competitors to let loose and put on a display for Show visitors.

“This year’s Dressage Display is going to be just that extra bit special. The riders that will be performing are an inspiration; their abilities are just amazing” commented Canterbury A&P Association Dressage Convenor Jackie Hill.

Christine Lawn (paraplegic), Jenny Affleck (amputee), Kyle Woodfield (cerebral palsy) and Anthea Gunner (paraplegic) will be performing in the Dressage Display in the StableMateTM Arena, 10.30am on Thursday 12 November.

Christine Lawn was a jockey up until 2002 when she was injured in a raceday fall and became a paraplegic. Through a lot of hard work and determination Christine is back in the saddle and is co-author of ‘One Stroppy Jockey’ which details her life as a jockey and the accident and rehabilitation that followed.

Kyle Woodfield had a brain bleed at three days old which resulted in cerebral palsy. The condition has meant daily physio treatment since the age of three months. Part of that therapy has included horse riding since the age of four years which has assisted with strengthening, balance and self assertiveness. Kyle has achieved many Champion wins in the Show ring and many jumping ribbons.

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The riders use slightly modified equipment including the use of velcro straps and rubber bands to assist with balance.

Christine, Jenny and Anthea will be competing at the Riding for the Disabled Association Australia Nationals in December, hoping to qualify for the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010 and the Paralympics in London in 2012. Jenny and Kyle are also competing at the Royal New Zealand Show against able bodied competitors.

The Royal New Zealand Show runs from 11-13 November at Canterbury Agricultural Park Christchurch. Attracting 120,000 people, over 7000 livestock and feature competition entries and close to 600 trade exhibitors, plus three full days of entertainment, it is the premier agricultural and pastoral event in the country.


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