Supporting the next generation of horse riders.

Supporting the next generation of horse riders.

Petcover New Zealand sponsored the Dressage NZ EvoEvents Youth Festival and U25 Championships over the weekend. This sponsorship helps to support the next generation of horse riders while also keeping them and their horses safe and protected from whatever the future may bring.

Even though COVID-19’s restrictions made it difficult to organise such an event, there were 176 horses entered, making it the second-largest number of entries in the event’s history, with riders and parents promoting the event as the highlight of the Dressage season.

There were eight nominations for Equestrian Sports New Zealand’s ‘Game Changer’ awards, which recognise acts of generosity or helpfulness by ESNZ members that make a difference to someone else’s day. Those that are nominated for a Game Changer award contribute to making the show a great experience to all attendees. Christchurch’s Amanda and Beth Condon recount one of their submissions, “Beth was schooling and having a few challenges with her pony, Becki was nearby grazing her horse and kindly stepped in to help with some advice. It was so nice for Beth to have help and support from someone a similar age and she was a great role model.”

The Petcover Young Rider Novice Championship was one of four classes sponsored by Petcover New Zealand. There were three riders who dominated the championship’s scoreboard. The eventual winner was Stephanie Baker, who recorded 2 wins and a 2nd place to record 58 points. Following closely behind was Lilly Jefferies who recorded top 3 scores in all tests and gained 54 points. Millie Thompson was right behind these two riders, finishing in the top three in all tests.

Stephanie spoke with the Dressage NZ Bulletin about the horse she rides, “he’s a hardworking and talented horse who I am very lucky to have the chance to ride.” The 23-year-old Auckland University student is on track with her goal to build a team of nice horses and eventually represent Dressage NZ on the international stage. Stephanie discussed the constant challenge of improving and progressing in the sport. “I always want to ride better for my horses and I constantly work towards being the best rider I can be.”

Petcover would like to congratulate all competitors on their achievements in their respective classes and thank the event organisers for putting on a fantastic competition.

Photography credit to Libby Law Photography