Over 100 horse riders from pony clubs all around the Waikato will convene at the Waipa Equestrian Park at the Kihikihi domain next month for the 70th annual Gold Cup Gymkhana.
The competition, on Saturday, December 7, is being organised by Te Awamutu Pony Club and was first contested by Pony Club teams in South Auckland when it started in 1949.
For the past few decades the gold trophy has been competed for solely by Waikato Area Pony Club teams including Waingaro, Ngaruawhaia, Hamilton, Te Awamutu, Matamata, Timberlands, Parenga and Cambridge.
Competitors take part in a range of equine disciplines during the day including fast-paced mounted games, displays of riding skills (rider on the flat) and a team show jumping competition held in two rings in heights ranging from 45cm to 90cm.
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The competition ends with an exciting team speed weaving relay race with four riders from each team manoeuvring their way around five poles. This was won by Matamata last year and they are the favourites to win it again.
A mounted parade event and prizegiving with riders and ponies assembled in team colours will wrap the day up.
Last year's Gold Cup trophy was won by Cambridge Pony Club with Te Awamutu Pony Club winning the silver cup.
Both clubs are expected to be tough competition again this year and eyes will also be on Hamilton Pony Club teams who have also won the Gold Cup many times in previous years.
The competition kicks off at 9.30am and is open to the public with no admission cost. Spectators are advised to bring a chair, sunscreen and a hat for the day. There will be food and drink for sale in the clubhouse as a fundraiser for Te Awamutu Riding for the Disabled.