LOCAL rider Jenny Champion came up trumps in the main event when the Wairarapa Endurance and CTR Club hosted the North Island endurance horse riding championships at Whareama.
It was a testing time for horse and rider with temperatures over the two days soaring into the 30s but they handled it well with no major mishaps being recorded. The high standard of vetting between loops was obviously a big help in that respect.
In what was a busy programme which attracted more than 100 entries, the Domhealth CEI three-star 160km championship took centre stage.
It started at 1am on Saturday morning and, after the completion of three loops, four combinations had made a significant break on the rest of the field - Masterton's Jenny Champion on Barack Obama, Stu Wakeling of Taumarunui on Tokopuhe Kaid, Leanne Ireland of Ruahine on Alshar Blue Levi and a second Taumarunui rider, Amanda McConachy, on Makahiwi Geneca.
Of that quartet, it was Champion and Wakeling who assumed control on the final loop and they looked set for a decent battle until the last vetting stop where Wakeling's horse was adjudged lame by the vets and eliminated from the contest.
Their misfortune left Champion well clear and she continued on to take the title, finishing in just over 11 hours; an excellent effort considering the heat. Ireland came in second and third went to Alice Nunn on Arahi Azamah.
The Pala Mountains FEI 100km one-star event got under way at 3am on Saturday and there the spoils went to Louisa Muir on Cyden Night from Zora Boettcher on Mauka Bella and Lisa Davenport on CR Montezuma.
Sunday saw the Fibrefresh CEI two-star 120km championship and, with 20 combinations involved, prospects of a close finish were strong.
As it transpired, however, Jenny Chandler riding AC Tigger led from start to finish in an impressive performance. Second was Raewyn Carter on Miaora Tahi and third Sharon Linton on Wicked Moment.