Free riding clinic for showjumping buffs

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FLYING: Alycia Burton puts Classic Goldrush over a jump during a free showjumping exhibition and horse training advice clinic in Kaitaia.
FLYING: Alycia Burton puts Classic Goldrush over a jump during a free showjumping exhibition and horse training advice clinic in Kaitaia.

Alycia Burton and the remarkable rapport she can achieve with her horse were on display at a free, informal clinic at the Kaitaia A&P Showgrounds earlier this month.

A crowd of around 100, many good friends of the Doubtless Bay born and bred equestrian, turned out in overcast and drizzly conditions to hear tips and advice on how to improve the relationship with their horse.

Having garnered millions of online hits for her free-riding feats where she puts a horse over high show jumps without a saddle and her arms wide out rather than gripping the rein, the 28-year-old Burton proved articulate, confident and personable as she gave a 20-minute presentation before delivering a short showjumping exhibition in Kaitaia on her favourite horse, Classic Goldrush, as the weather slowly began to clear.

While she didn't quite reach the extremes she's renowned for - "We've travelled a long way and Goldrush is tired," she explained - the pair still made some high jumps with seemingly little effort while showing the remarkable bond between horse and rider for which Burton is renowned.

Afterwards, Burton chatted with the crowd and answered questions while Classic Goldrush proved a real show pony in front of the camera while lapping up no small amount of attention, adoration and pats from young admirers.

Having attended the Horse of the Year Show in Hastings earlier this year where she performed a free-riding demo in front of more than 10,000 spectators, 2016 is shaping up to be another busy year for Burton, who is preparing to travel overseas to feature in a movie along with a few other exciting things.

- Northland Age

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