Equestrian: Hometown ride not good for nerves

By Greg Taipari

Rotorua equestrienne Georgia Dufty will make sure she's on the right page when she competes at this weekend's New Zealand Young Rider and Junior Rider Eventing champs.

Some of the country's best younger riders will compete at the Rotorua A&P; Showgrounds near Ngongotaha for the two day event.

One of those riders is Dufty who is competing in the intermediate section. The youngster had what you'd call a nightmare of a run at her last eventing competition last weekend.

"I actually had to pull out because my mum printed off the wrong test for me for dressage ... When you do your dressage you get given a specific test to do and so I went into the arena and started to do a different test. So I got eliminated."

Dufty admits to having some nerves leading into the event.

"I'm very nervous. I suppose it's because there is some really tough competition and for me, I don't know why, but I actually find doing an event at your home track hard.

"People expect you to do well but with horses, it doesn't always happen. They've got their own brain and all that."

Her mount Charlton Tabloid which she has been riding for the past three years was a good horse and looked ready for a good run this weekend, Dufty said.

"I think she's ready for it but I have been changing a few things in my show jumping with my coach. So if she doesn't quite click on to that, it could not go so well.

"She's definitely ready, like I've done that same event in Rotorua before and at the same level and she went around good. But [it depends] just on the day, I suppose."

Dufty will compete against nine other riders in her division with King Country's Ashleigh McKinstry on Pioneer Makokomiko moving down from advanced most likely the favourite.

McKinstry is the winner of the Puhinui three-day event and has an unassailable lead in the Massey University Young Riders series.

In the junior riders' division 10 riders will compete, with Tokoroa's Sarah Young riding Oakley Vision looking to defend her title. Young will also ride High n Dry in the championship.

The youngster leads the junior series on High n Dry and is second behind McKinstry in the Young Riders series.

It is the second successive year the champs have taken place in Rotorua and Dufty hopes there will be plenty of Rotorua residents heading to the event to support the local riders. The dressage and show jumping begins tomorrow with riders competing in the cross country on Sunday. The event will also host an area trial for the Bay of Plenty Pony Club for riders wanting to represent the area at the NZPCA horse trial champs.

Entry to the event is free. Dogs on a lead are allowed on the A&P; grounds.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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