NZCDS NI CDT Championships

A great competition weekend, in spite of the weather, seems to sum up the recent Zilco North Island Combined Driving Championships, which were recently held at NEC Taupo.
A record entry of 41 , made efficient planning a real need, and with 38 starters, including two from Christchurch making a return visit, there were long days ahead for all the Officials and Stewards who had kindly volunteered their time.
Combined Driving Trials in New Zealand, include almost any size, shape or combination of horses and ponies, which are divided into size and experience groups, with restrictions on the distances the smaller animals can do in the Marathon section, our version of cross country.

Karyn Mclaughlan and Phillippa Betts from Otaki

                                Horse: Drayton Troubador

Kate Rawstron -  Backstepper is Kathy Rawstron, from Napier

                                Horse: Pippi Long Stocking

 Dressage tests are based on the same principles as ridden, but in an 80x40 arena, with the three judges at C, B and E.
Dressage day on Friday was fine and the drivers looked splendid in their formal turnout, using the arena in front of the Charisma lounge. Some very good tests were driven, with Jennifer Carew and her pony Willowview Express, aka Henry, posting the best score of the Open drivers, and Joanne Taylor with Double Delight, aka Rosie, doing a very good test, posting the best score in the Intermediate class.

On Friday night the rain started and just kept on going for the next two days. The marathon was held on Saturday, and the drivers had to be well rugged up, but the course was a delight to drive, with the marathon obstacles proving a Challenge. Our thanks must go to Lloyd Weal, who single handedly designed the course and also the testing MO’s. The stewards and vets were stalwart and cheerful in spite of the difficulties with handling wet paperwork etc. Many thanks to them all from all of the drivers.

Unfortunately on Sunday, the weather was no better, and the cone course proved to be a challenge. The novice classes drove first, in reverse order, and actually got the better ground conditions. By the time the last of the Open drivers competed, there were ruts in some places, and when the carriage wheels got into them, there was no way the drivers could correct their lines, resulting in a few more knock downs than expected.

Everyone attending the prize giving was in varying states of dampness but smiling and cheerful, so in spite of the challenges of the competition, it was most enjoyable.
Many thanks to Alison Price of Spotonphoto, for the great images she has selected to accompany this article, taken in extremely trying conditions.

Isabel Cochran

Cherie and Brianna Stalker from Christchurch

                                Ponies: Molly & Mouse

Cathy Venn.  Pony: S Lady Lollipop from Masterton

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