Equestrian: Western club riding high

By Tim Wakely

On the dry Bridge Pa plains, the Hawke's Bay Western Riding Club has been meeting for 33 years.

Since being established in 1977, the equestrian park has become one of the best western riding clubs in New Zealand.

Club president Mel Sherwood describes the place as a "tight-knit little club".

"All the people involved are talented and helpful.

"It's laid back and people are willing to help each other out."

"We do apply for funding, but we are self sufficient and people are willing to make and donate things if need be," Mrs Sherwood said. She has seen a variety of young riders come through the ranks.

"One of our youth riders, Stephanie Milligan, achieved overall high point junior youth with the NZ Western Riding Federation last year, which we as a club are very proud of.

"In western riding, riders must do obstacles that mimic the riding out in the difficult situations requiring horses to go backwards, sideways and turn in tight areas, and to be able to perform this smoothly and gracefully."

Over the years the club has supported a variety of charities, including Riding for the Disabled.

"We have doubled our numbers over the past couple of years.

"The club is open to anyone who is willing to give it a go."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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