Arran Station Autumn Horse Trials
Takapau, New Zealand
Central & Southern Hawkes Bay Eventing's autumn horse trials take place at Arran Station, Fraser Rd, Takapau, this Saturday and Sunday, May 6-7. The event is the final of the Hatuma Lime circuit, comprising six events in the southern North Island, but entries have been received from as far away as north of Auckland.
Olympian Heelan Tompkins is bringing her team from New Plymouth, including Glengarrick, on which she was the highest placed New Zealander at the Athens Olympics, and won the Puhinui three-day event in December. They have been named in the squad for the World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany, in August.
Tompkins will also have her Australian horse, Prince of Princes, destined to be Glengarrick's successor, for a final run before the Taupo three-day event, May 19-21, where she hopes to qualify him for the World Games, as a back-up.
Also from New Plymouth, Matthew Grayling is bringing his new ride, Shelley Ross's NRM Alberta Tomba, but will not start the Montgomery family's NRM Gordon, on which he won the NZ qualifier for the Eventing World Cup at Kihikihi last month, and is also hoping to qualify for the World Equestrian Games at Taupo.
NRM Gordon leads the advanced section of the circuit, but could be overtaken by Kirsten Kelly, from Auckland, riding Mitty Forsyth's Phantom Ghost. If Kelly does win, it will be the first time a rider from outside the Hatuma Lime region has taken the honours.
Circuit veteran Bryce Newman, Bulls, is also bringing his team, all of which are going particularly well this season. He has an outright lead in the intermediate section of the circuit with Mamaku Stud's Sanskrit, and cannot be caught there, but while he also leads the novice section with Santarae, the margin is narrow, and competition is keen at that level.
Young rider (under 21 years) and junior (under 18 years) classes were introduced at the spring event, with a number of other areas following suit, and these classes have been well supported.
Arran Station's reputation for running a well organized and friendly event, along with Mary Darby's cross-country courses, which provide good learning experiences for horses and riders at all levels, continues to attract new competitors from outside the region, particularly the Auckland area.
This is the last time the Hatuma Lime Co.will sponsor the southern North Is.circuit, but they have supported the circuit very generously for sixteen years, which is a fantastic sponsorship term. We hope as many people as possible will attend the event and wait for the presentation, to show their appreciation of Cliff and Helen Topp's support of our sport.
Dressage and the lower level showjumping take place on Saturday, with cross-country and the top showjumping on Sunday. Spectator viewing is excellent at Arran Station, entrance is free, hot food and drinks are available, but dogs are not permitted on the PPCS property.
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