Gospel stars in Premier 1

By Jared Smith

More than 500 horses with 250 riders made for a series of logistical challenges as Wanganui A&P; Show hosted their equestrian events on a busy 138th annual show weekend.

Club secretary Margaret Donoghue said she was looking at around 1800 event entries from the various horses and their riders over the three days of competition.

This included accommodating about 150 horses and their masters staying on the actual Wanganui Racecourse grounds.

Top competition was in the Premier 1 Star Grand Prix yesterday afternoon, which was won by Hawera's Robert Steele on Gospel.

After two clear rounds, Steele and Gospel had to go to a jump off with another competitor, but had the better of their final go around in downpour conditions.

Gospel, a 17-year-old warmblood, took down only one rail while their opponent retired after knocking over two.

Steele said it had been a good weekend for his horses, which picked up a few ribbons.

The different events are also governed by varying bodies just to keep things interesting.

The Royal Agricultural Society oversaw the Showing events on the Saturday, while Equestrian Sports New Zealand rules are used for the showjumping, dressage and showhunter classes.

The New Zealand Miniature Horse Association watches over the popular little horses as well.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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