Masterton's Peter Morris has spent 50 years judging at top showjumping events, but now at 74 he's had to bow out of FEI judging.

"When you're an FEI judge you have to retire at 70, but then you get two, two-year extensions and I've had both those now," he told the Dannevirke News.

"I've spent most of my life around horses and before taking on judging I was a rider."

However, although his FEI judging days are over, Mr Morris can continue at other levels of judging.


"Well until they kick me out when they've had enough of me," he said.

Mr Morris' FEI judging career has been impressive. As well as judging for 50 years, he's been an FEI official for 40. He became a candidate international judge at a seminar held in Masterton, he thinks in 1978 and went on to become, at 40, New Zealand's youngest full FEI international judge.

As well as judging in New Zealand, he has also officiated in Europe and Australia and judged the Queen Elizabeth II Cup water jump in front of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth at Spruce Meadows, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

At the Central and Southern Hawke's Bay Showjumping and Show Hunter Championships in Dannevirke on Sunday, Mr Morris was presented with gifts from Maurice Beatson and Simon Wilson - tokens of appreciation for Mr Morris' contribution to the sport. However, while the rules say he must step down from FEI judging, Mr Morris will officiate at national level and is keen to pass on his knowledge.