Horses and hounds
Monday 2 November 2009
For immediate release
Horses and hounds
This year’s Renown Challenge Cup at the Royal New Zealand Show, will include a touch of tradition with Christchurch Hunt Master David McConchie and his hounds leading the competitors’ out into the arena.
Based on the tradition of fox hunting, the Renown Challenge Cup is an equestrian competition for qualified hunter horses and riders. A hunter is a type of horse that is judged on its movement, manners, and way of going, particularly while jumping fences.
At the Royal New Zealand Show, Renown Challenge Cup competitors follow a course around the StableMateTM Arena which includes brush style jumps reminiscent of farm fences.
At the beginning of the competition, riders familarise their horses with the course by taking them for a couple of laps around the arena. This year they will be lead out by the Christchurch Hunt Master and his Harrier Hounds from the Hunt Kennels in Aylesbury.
The Renown Cup, which is awarded to the winner, was originally presented to the Christchurch Hunt in 1921. It was named following a visit by HRH The Prince of Wales, an avid Hunter, who travelled to Christchurch aboard the HMS Renown.
The Christchurch Hunt was formed in 1880 making it the second oldest of the 26 Hunts existing in New Zealand. The territory allocated to the Christchurch Hunt by the New Zealand Hunts Association is bounded by the Waimakariri and Ashburton rivers, the Alps and the sea.
Hunts are still being held in Canterbury. With changes in farming practices, including the use of high tensile wire and electric fences, a lot more effort has to be put into preparing the country for the Hunt. However, families, children and less experienced riders still enjoy the sport of following a pack of hounds across the Canterbury Plains and foot hills.
Don’t miss the spectacle of the opening of a traditional hunt; catch the Renown Challenge Cup at 11.15am on Thursday 12 November in the StableMateTM Arena.
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.