A team representing ESNZ Endurance competed at the Trans-Tasman FEI competition at Stirling's Crossing, Imbil, Queensland on the 18th and 19th August.
The team of Amanda McConachy, Vanessa Tiffen, Tessa Wells and Ana Whitehead, riding horses loaned to them by Australian owners, won the competition from an Australian team who were riding their own horses.
On Friday Vanessa, Tessa and Ana were all riding in the 80km all qualified with Ana coming second in the Junior/Young Rider class. Tessa and Vanessa started at 5am on a 40km loop and just as they were coming back into base Ana, who had started 15 minutes later, caught up to her senior team mates and from there on the three of them rode together for the remainder of the ride.
The following day Amanda lined up for the CEI 2* 120km did the first two loops well. Unfortunately when presented at the vet ring after 72km her horse, Indiana Seabreeze, was judged to be lame so that was the end of her ride. In spite of the lameness the vets commented how well the horse was metabolically.
Chef d'Equipe Kelly Haywood, her first time in that role, had nothing but praise for the whole team of riders and crew and also the Australian crews who helped with the horses they had loaned to our riders. She said the team were very supportive of each other throughout the whole event and all got along together very well.
This morning Kelly had this to say about the team.
"So proud to be part of this team. We had such a fantastic time, meet some incredible people, worked with some amazing horses and in the end came home with the silverware. Thanks so much to the rest of my team for being so great to work with. You were all professional and looked great the whole time. I love how you all supported each other through the whole trip and I can't wait to see you step up even further in the future, you are all more than capable of representing your country on the highest level possible."
Stirling's Crossing is a purpose built world class endurance venue, the only one of its kind in Australasia and is owned by Mathew Sample. There is a covered, vet ring plus other facilities that endurance riders in New Zealand can only dream about.
ESNZ Endurance would like to thank all those involved in hosting this event and especially the Australians who loaned such good horses to our riders, Bullio Arabians for sponsoring the trophies and entry fees for both teams' and Stirling's Crossing Club for providing the amazing venue.