Northland horse riders have given Whangarei's Barge Park the seal of approval.
Riders from throughout the region descended on Barge Park to compete in Eventing Northland's Autumn Horse Trials.
All levels were catered for from pre-training to open intermediate on the first weekend of the month and Northland combinations succeeded in the conditions.
The highlight proved to be a bit of fun when riders from all levels combined in the Dunstan Team Challenge.
With 21 teams taking part, Team Nom de Plume, made up of Ella Poole-Crowe, Ashley Calder, Rowan Calder and Sarah Bleakly, won the challenge.
The Waitangi Sport Horses open intermediate grade turned out to be a tight one, with the scores after dressage close, and all horses jumping clear in the show-jumping.
During the wet cross-country day on the Sunday, Dannie Lodder, on Moochi, could not be moved from top spot and won from Chanel Hargrave, on Carbon, and Northland's Chloe Phillips-Harris, on Cor Jet.
While Waitangi Sport Horses are not only strong sponsors of the event, they also are breeders of some of the country's best up-and-coming young event horses - which was proven when Lodder's horse, Waitangi Icon, won the novice class and took home the trophy for the best-placed Northland novice horse.
Horse World Whangarei's pre-novice young rider class was a hotly contested division, in which results couldn't have been closer. Devon Raos and Poole-Crowe tied the whole way, moving up together from fifth after dressage to first after the final cross-country phase.
However, it was Raos, on Mount Conquistador, who won by breaking the tie after having a slightly faster time on the cross-country. Poole-Crowe was the recipient of the Robert Fox Memorial trophy for the best-placed Northland rider in the class. Third place went to Samantha Reeves, on Voldermin.
Sarah Bleakley won the pre-novice, on El Novio, followed by Andrea Kisten, on Light Ridge AF, and Duet Diva with rider Jacob Razak.
The training classes were won by Jade Telfer, on Viking Thunderbird, and Kate Wood, on Swanky.
The Training Junior Rider class was won by Sophie Alexander, on the experienced pony Boots and All, with second place going to Kerikeri's Fenella Carter and Apple Mac. Third place went to Dana Hawkins, riding Splash Bandicoot.
Northland Eventing will hold their second horse trials of the season in late March.
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